Record-setting Liverpool see off Roma to book Champions League final spot
Roma 4 - 2 (6-7) Liverpool

Record-setting Liverpool see off Roma to book Champions League final spot

03/05/2018

Liverpool set up a repeat of their 1981 meeting against Real Madrid despite a first Champions League defeat of the season at the Stadio Olimpico.

A chaotic 4-2 semifinal second leg loss to Roma saw Liverpool progress 7-6 on aggregate, with victory secured thanks to Sadio Mane's 19th of the season and the rare sight of Georginio Wijnaldum's first away goal in almost three years.

A fortuitous own goal by James Milner in between had put the hosts back in the game, while Edin Dzeko's strike shortly after half-time ensured the Reds endured a testing conclusion and two late goals for Radja Nainggolan -- including a penalty with the last kick of the game -- came too late for Roma.

But Liverpool move on from defeating the same opponents against whom they won their fourth European Cup -- in this very stadium in 1984 -- to facing the club they beat 37 years ago for their third.

Given the way they have taken teams apart in this competition a sixth triumph in Kiev is a realistic possibility, although whether their defending can cope against reigning champions who have won three of the last four titles is open to question.

Jurgen Klopp's side are smashing all kinds of records this season and another one fell as they reached 46 goals in 14 Champions League matches (including qualifiers), eclipsing the previous best set by Barcelona (in 16 games) in 1999-2000.

A great deal of that is owed to their formidable front three of Mohamed Salah (10), Roberto Firmino (10) and Sadio Mane (nine), now the highest-scoring club trio in a single Champions League season after overtaking Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, who scored 28 in 2013-14.

They are the fastest to 40 (12 matches) in a single campaign in the competition proper.

It was Mane's turn to star on the night Liverpool booked their first Champions League final place in 11 years and their eighth in the competition.

Having survived a scare when Alessandro Florenzi fired a long-range shot just wide Mane, who had an early penalty claim waved away after Kostas Manolas' challenge, struck the first blow which severely damaged Roma's hopes of clawing back a 5-2 first-leg deficit.

Nainggolan squandered possession in midfield and Jordan Henderson fed Firmino, who teed up his teammate for a smart left-footed finish: the first goal conceded by Roma at home in the Champions League this season as Liverpool maintained their record of scoring in every away fixture.

That left the hosts requiring four in 81 minutes and they were handed a lifeline when Dejan Lovren, under pressure from Patrik Schick, hacked the ball straight at Milner's head and rebounded past goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Liverpool wobbled and Roma sensed their chance but that was taken away from them by a second away goal, cancelling out the only slight advantage the Serie A side had coming into the tie, in the 25th minute.

Alisson turned Mane's shot for a corner after Andrew Robertson's driving 35-yard run to the byline to provide Wijnaldum with his big moment, heading in his first away goal in 1,081 days since he found the net for PSV Eindhoven against Den Haag in May 2015 and his first for an English club in 64 away games.

It sent the 5,000 travelling fans, who had to deal with long queues to get in but apparently none of the prematch security concerns, into raptures.

Stephan El Shaarawy offered Roma hope as he had a shot deflected off Milner and onto the post and a penalty shout against Trent Alexander-Arnold turned down but when Dzeko fired home a badly-directed punch from Karius, Roma required three in 38 minutes to force extra-time.

Alexander-Arnold appeared to get away with a handball against El Shaarawy but Liverpool were hanging on even before Nainggolan's 86th-minute drilled effort off the post set nerves jangling, with the midfielder converting a penalty after substitute Ragnar Klavan's handball.

Related news

Jurgen Klopp hints Mohamed Salah likely to miss World Cup

Jurgen Klopp hints Mohamed Salah likely to miss World Cup

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Mo Salah is likely to miss the World Cup after leaving the Champions League final injured in the first half.

Real Madrid hero Gareth Bale fuels Premier League speculation

Real Madrid hero Gareth Bale fuels Premier League speculation

Gareth Bale said he wants to be playing every week -- which "has not happened this season" -- after leading Real Madrid to the Champions League trophy in Saturday's 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Cristiano Ronaldo hints at Real Madrid exit

Cristiano Ronaldo hints at Real Madrid exit

Cristiano Ronaldo cast doubt over his future with Real Madrid after they won the Champions League for the third consecutive season on Saturday in a 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Bale stunner and Karius howlers give Real historic hat-trick

Bale stunner and Karius howlers give Real historic hat-trick

Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win the Champions League for a third successive season thanks to a spectacular two-goal substitute appearance from Gareth Bale and a performance to forget for Loris Karius.

Real Madrid hold off Bayern Munich to reach third straight Champions League final

Real Madrid hold off Bayern Munich to reach third straight Champions League final

Two goals from Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid advance to their third straight Champions League final 4-3 on aggregate after a scintillating 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in the second leg of their last-four clash on Tuesday.

Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich with Marco Asensio winner

Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich with Marco Asensio winner

Real Madrid will be firm favourites to reach another Champions League final after winning 2-1 away to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their semifinal.

Liverpool score five but late goals give Roma glimmer of hope

Liverpool score five but late goals give Roma glimmer of hope

Liverpool scored five but conceded two late goals as Roma gave themselves a glimmer of hope in a 5-2 defeat at Anfield after the home side had swept into a huge lead.

Liverpool face Roma in semis, holders Real drawn against Bayern

Liverpool face Roma in semis, holders Real drawn against Bayern

Liverpool will face Roma in the semifinals of the Champions League later this month as they continue their attempt to win it for the first time since 2005.

RELATED NEWS

Jurgen Klopp hints Mohamed Salah likely to miss World Cup
Real Madrid 3 - 1 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp hints Mohamed Salah likely to miss World Cup

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Mo Salah is likely to miss the World Cup after leaving the Champions League final injured in the first half.

Real Madrid hero Gareth Bale fuels Premier League speculation
Real Madrid 3 - 1 Liverpool

Real Madrid hero Gareth Bale fuels Premier League speculation

Gareth Bale said he wants to be playing every week -- which "has not happened this season" -- after leading Real Madrid to the Champions League trophy in Saturday's 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Cristiano Ronaldo hints at Real Madrid exit
Real Madrid 3 - 1 Liverpool

Cristiano Ronaldo hints at Real Madrid exit

Cristiano Ronaldo cast doubt over his future with Real Madrid after they won the Champions League for the third consecutive season on Saturday in a 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Bale stunner and Karius howlers give Real historic hat-trick
Real Madrid 3 - 1 Liverpool

Bale stunner and Karius howlers give Real historic hat-trick

Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win the Champions League for a third successive season thanks to a spectacular two-goal substitute appearance from Gareth Bale and a performance to forget for Loris Karius.

Real Madrid hold off Bayern Munich to reach third straight Champions League final
Real Madrid 2 - 2 (4-3) Bayern Munich

Real Madrid hold off Bayern Munich to reach third straight Champions League final

Two goals from Karim Benzema helped Real Madrid advance to their third straight Champions League final 4-3 on aggregate after a scintillating 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in the second leg of their last-four clash on Tuesday.

Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich with Marco Asensio winner
Bayern Munich 1 - 2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich with Marco Asensio winner

Real Madrid will be firm favourites to reach another Champions League final after winning 2-1 away to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their semifinal.

Liverpool score five but late goals give Roma glimmer of hope
Liverpool 5 - 2 Roma

Liverpool score five but late goals give Roma glimmer of hope

Liverpool scored five but conceded two late goals as Roma gave themselves a glimmer of hope in a 5-2 defeat at Anfield after the home side had swept into a huge lead.

Liverpool face Roma in semis, holders Real drawn against Bayern
Champions League Draw

Liverpool face Roma in semis, holders Real drawn against Bayern

Liverpool will face Roma in the semifinals of the Champions League later this month as they continue their attempt to win it for the first time since 2005.