Champions League Semi Final First Leg
Liverpool vs. Roma
Wednesday, April 25th, 2018
03:45 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Last five matches form: W D W W D
CL Average goals per match: 3.30
CL Average goals against per match: 0.70
CL Top Scorer: Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino ( 8 )
Last five matches form: L W D W W
CL Average goals per match: 1.50
CL Average goals against per match: 1.20
CL Top Scorer: Edin Dzeko (6)
Liverpool turned their quarter final against Manchester City into something of a stroll in the end, coming through 5-1 on aggregate against the new Premier League Champions. They face a totally different test here, but with Roma having conceded an average of 2.4 goals per game in their away trips in the Champions League, the prospects of Firmino, Mané and Salah causing havoc must be fairly high.
On the other hand, overcoming a three goal first leg deficit against Barcelona - as the Italian side did in such memorable style in the quarters - is the kind of thing which makes a side begin to believe that their name is on the trophy, and Roma will head here as a confident side.
No new injury concerns for Liverpool, with only long term victims Adam Lallana, Joel Matip, Emre Can and Nathaniel Clyne remaining out.
Roma are just about at full strength. Only squad players Rick Karsdrop and Gregoire Defrel look set to miss out.
As good as Liverpool are going forward, Roma are yet to concede a goal at home in the Champions League this year. Jurgen Klopp will therefore know the importance of Liverpool building a lead here at Anfield to take over to Rome for the second leg next week.
Whilst they may be vulnerable at the back away from Rome, Roma are also a dangerous side in attack and have scored in 18 of 22 away games in all competitions this season.
Overall this has the makings of another Anfield cracker. We expect the Red's to win, but Roma can be expected to pick up at least one all-important away goal.
Prediction: Liverpool 4 - 2 Roma
Half time: 2 - 0
Full time: 5 - 2
Shots: 21 - 14
Shots on target: 11 - 6
Corner Kicks: 7 - 4
Possession: 49% - 51%
Referee Felix Brych booked Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson for the home side. Juan Jesus and Federico Fazio received yellow cards for Roma.
Nobody has been able to stop Liverpool's devastating three-pronged attack so far this season, and Roma couldn't either as the Reds blew the Italians away. Salah in particular was magnificent on the night against his former club.
The deadlock was broken in the 36th minute, and who else but Mo Salah. Picking up the ball just inside the right-hand corner of the 18-yard box before unleashing an unstoppable curling drive right into the far top corner. What a goal!
On the stroke of half time Salah made it two. An excellent ball from Roberto Firmino finding Salah racing through on goal. As Alisson Becker came flying of his line, Salah calmly dinked the ball over the keeper and in. 2-0 at half time.
Liverpool started the second half as they had ended the first. When Salah was played in down the right on the counter attack in the 56th minute, he drifted into the right-hand side of the area before cutting back to Sadio Mané to side foot home. 3-0.
Salah was proving simply unplayable tonight. Once again driving into the box from the right, he slipped past his marker as if he wasn't there before playing a wicked low ball across the six-yard box. Firmino on hand to tap in. 4-0 in the 61st minute.
In the 69th minute things went from bad to disastrous for Roma, and this goal was all too simple. A James Milner corner from the right finding the head of Firmino. 5-0. Anfield in dreamland.
A long way back for Roma, but they did at least make a start in the final ten minutes.
Radja Nainggolan finding Edin Dzeko with a ball over the top in the 81st minute. Dzeko calmly chesting down before finishing past Lors Karius at his near post.
Then in the 85th minute James Milner was adjudged to have handled in the area when attempting to block a Nainggolan shot. Diego Perotti dispatching the resultant penalty kick into the top corner. 5-2 final score.
Having overcome a three goal first leg deficit against Barcelona in the Quarter Finals, Roma now need to do it again as Liverpool have one foot in the final.