Liverpool’s Champions League semifinal first leg match was a perfect synopsis of the club’s season. At times, Liverpool have been one of the best attacking sides in the world and scoring five goals in a 34-minute timespan showed just how lethal the club can be. However, the Reds also showed their ineptitude at defending as Liverpool allowed Roma to score twice in the final 10 minutes to give themselves a lifeline in the second leg.
Roma’s pulse is barely beating after the suicide tactics of manager Eusebio Di Francesco. The manager was accused of not watching Liverpool play all season and underestimating the English team’s ability to score goals. Now with the second leg kicking off on Wednesday night, fans can use our coral promo code to enjoy the big match.
Roma have everything to do in the second leg. The team needs to score at least three goals without conceding to force extra-time. It will be difficult against Liverpool’s incredible attack, but the Giallorossi showed it can be done in the previous round. Losing 4-1 to Barcelona on aggregate going into the second leg, Roma defied the odds by scoring three goals without reply. The Italians qualified for the semifinal thanks to the away goals rule. It could happen once more, but Liverpool’s attack will be far more potent at the Stadio Olimpico than Barcelona’s was.
Perhaps the biggest take away from Liverpool conceding two late goals was the fact that star player Mohamed Salah wasn’t on the pitch. Removed in the 75th minute after another world-class performance – two goals and two assists – Liverpool looked lacklustre after he took a seat on the bench. The Reds’ attacking presence was gone from the game, and Liverpool allowed Roma to get back into the match.
For all the goals conceded by Roma, the team not only finished stronger than Liverpool, but the Giallorossi started much better as well. Unfortunately for the Italians, that has been lost on fans and pundits alike due to Liverpool’s rampant 34-minute scoring spree. Roma opened the game controlling the possession and pushing Liverpool back into their own half. Roma’s Aleksander Kolarov nearly put the visitors ahead in the first 10 minutes. The left-back’s shot went through the hands of Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius and ricocheted off the crossbar. Without Karius’ touch that put the ball on to the crossbar, Roma would have led.
Liverpool have been guilty of letting up in matches this season. Against Manchester City in January, Liverpool led 4-1 in the 80th minute. However, the Reds allowed two late Manchester City goals, giving supporters a scare and showing once again the vulnerability of their defence.
Manager Jurgen Klopp not only goes into the second leg with a wounded defence, but the injuries are piling up. Already without centre-back Joel Matip, midfielder Adam Lallana and left-back Joe Gomez, Klopp won’t have midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain available after suffering a devastating knee injury at Anfield. The knee ligament injury will also keep Oxlade-Chamberlain from playing at this summer’s World Cup.