Liverpool made it through to the final of the UEFA Champions League courtesy a 7-6 aggregate victory over AS Roma in their semi-final tie.
Liverpool booked their place in the final of this year’s UEFA Champions League after overcoming a defiant AS Roma side over two legs in the semi-finals.
Heading into the second leg at the Stadio Olimpico, the Reds were the major favourites to progress, given their 5-2 triumph at Anfield last week. And when Sadio Mane opened the scoring for Jurgen Klopp’s side in Rome, just nine minutes into the game, the tie seemed done and dusted.
However, Roma weren’t about to give up that easy and six minutes later a James Milner own goal provided them a way back into the game. Georginio Wijnaldum increased Liverpool’s advantage in the 25th minute, making it 2-1, but a second half comeback by the Giallorossi almost threatened to play spoilsport on the Reds’ parade.
Edin Dzeko pulled one back in the 52nd minute, before midfielder Radja Nainggolan added two late goals, including a penalty in the added time, to win it 4-2 for his side on the night. But, ultimately Liverpool made it to the showpiece event in Kiev where they will take on reigning champions Real Madrid, thanks to the 7-6 aggregate scoreline.
WE'RE HEADING TO THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL!!!!!🔴🔴🔴 pic.twitter.com/fYVKiQh5hl
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 2, 2018
And here’s how we rated the Liverpool players’ performances in Rome;
Loris Karius: 6/10
The German shot stopper demonstrated great command in his area, constantly coming out to collect the horde of crosses that the Roma players bombarded into the box. Not a lot he could do about Milner’s own goal. Should have done slightly better for Dzeko’s goal though, as he palmed Stephan El Shaarawy’s shot straight into the Bosnian’s path.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 5/10
A big learning curve for the young Englishman who was flying high after his performance against Manchester City in the quarter-finals. El Shaarawy constantly got the better of Alexander-Arnold all game, including during the build up to the second Roma goal. Survived two penalty shouts, one for a foul on his tormentor and another when he blocked a shot with his hand.
Dejan Lovren: 6/10
The Croatian centre-half didn’t always strike as the most composed presence on the field. Could have done better with the clearance that struck Milner’s face leading to Roma’s first goal. Booked just before half-time for a foul on El Shaarawy. Kept his discipline after the break and defended strongly.
Virgil van Dijk: 8/10
Was once again the pick of the defenders, dominating his battle against Patrik Schick and Dzeko. Composed, kept it simple at the back and was untouchable in the air, when the home team resorted to long balls as the game wore on. The Dutchman is proving to be such a brilliant acquisition for the Reds.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
The Scottish international made some trademark lung-busting runs forward down the left flank in the first period, combining well with Sadio Mane. Defended solidly after the break when Roma went hell for leather, keeping Alessandro Florenzi at bay. Booked late on.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 3, 2018
Georginio Wijnaldum: 7.5/10
Starting the game in place of the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Dutchman couldn’t have picked a better game to end his three-year away goal drought, scoring the second one for the Reds in the first period. Was a steady presence in the middle, always looking to provide an option to his teammates, finding spaces in a packed midfield.
Jordan Henderson: 7/10
The Liverpool captain led from the front on the night, shielding his back four admirably for most parts of the game. His passing game wasn’t as accomplished as it usually is. Disciplined, professional and a busy performance from the Englishman at the base of the midfield.
James Milner: 7/10
Did not have the slightest clue about the own goal he scored in the first half. But barring that, it was another typical James Milner display in the middle of the park, full of energy and excellent work-rate. Good delivery from the corner in the lead-up to the Reds’ second and his experience was once again vital.
Mohamed Salah: 6/10
A little subdued on his return to his old stomping ground, the Egyptian forward could not repeat the heroics of the first leg at Anfield. May not have been able to score his 44th goal of the season, but still posed some threat each time he was on the ball and linked up well with his fellow attackers.
Roberto Firmino: 8/10
Showed why Liverpool recently signed him down to a long-term deal. The Brazilian was a menace at the top of the attack, constantly pressing and harrying the Roma defenders, especially in the first period. Created the opening goal for Mane with a brilliant pass.
🎶 Oh, Mane Mane! 🎶 pic.twitter.com/RieO2m1Psi
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 3, 2018
Sadio Mane: 8/10
The Senegalese speedster showed his clinical nature with the finish for the early goal that put the Reds firmly in control of the tie. The Giallorossi struggled to cope with his pace and power throughout the game. Subbed off late on as Klopp looked to close the game out.
Ragnar Klavan: 5/10
Replaced Mane with less than ten minutes left to be played. Gave away the late penalty, handling the ball in the box.
Dominic Solanke: N/A
On for Roberto Firmino in the 86th minute. Booked.
Nathaniel Clyne: N/A
Injury time substitute for Alexander-Arnold.