It’s not yet over for A.S. Roma in the UEFA Champions League as the scoreline ended at Liverpool 5-2 Roma in the 1st leg of semi-final played at Anfield.
The visitors looked quite comfortable and dominating in the starting 30 minutes of the game but couldn’t keep the same composure throughout the game. The substitution of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 16th minute due to injury that he suffered during the sliding tackle to Aleksandar Kolarov gave a huge blow to Liverpool in the midfield. The Reds got distracted due to a bad injury to their in-form midfielder and it was clearly visible as Sadio Mane missed a couple of chances that should have been ended inside the net. The first chance was one on one chance against Alisson Becker in the 28th minute in which the Liverpool winger did everything correctly but just kicked the ball with a lot of power but no accuracy and then in the 29th minute kicked the ball too high from a shot right in front of the goal.
In starting minutes, Juan Jesus gave no chance to Mohamed Salah and pushed him towards the wing, giving no chance to the Egyptian National footballer to cut inside the box. However, the 26-year-old defender couldn’t stay consistent and maybe it’s not his fault, you just can’t stop Salah from scoring this season. The moment it looked like that the Giallorossi will be able to stop Jurgen Klopp’s attacking trio from scoring, Salah scored the brace in quick session to put his side 2-0 up in the first-half of the game. The Liverpool winger scored his first goal after receiving the ball from Roberto Firmino on the right side of the 30-yard-box and cut the ball slightly to his left and curled a brilliant shot which rattled the crossbar and ended inside the net giving no chance to Alisson to stop it. The Egyptian forward took 10 more minutes to score his second goal and once again it was Firmino whose movement in the center of the field created space for Salah and the 25-year-old winger did no mistake in putting the ball at the back of the net in the last minute of first-half.
After going 2-0 up in the first half, the momentum was completely shifted towards Liverpool side. After coming out of the tunnel in the second-half, the home side went all-out attack against the Roman club and scored 3 more goals within the 70th minute of the game. It was Mane who started the scoring board for his side in the second-half as he scored a tap-in from a brilliant assist by Salah from the right wing. It was just not possible to keep the Egyptian National footballer silent as he assisted once more from the right wing and the ball ended up at the back of the net from a tap-in by Firmino. The 26-year-old attacking midfielder scored his second goal in the 69th minute from the corner of James Milner which took his tally of goals to 28 across all competitions this season.
Eusebio De Francesco’s side got 2 goals back in the last few minutes of the game. It was Edin Dzeko who went past through all the Liverpool defenders and put the Radja Nainggolan cross right at the back of the net. Once again, it was Naingollan who was involved in the second goal as his shot from outside the box hit the Milner’s hand right in front of the keeper and the referee took no time in offering the penalty to visitors. It was Diego Perrotti who came forward to take the responsibility of scoring the penalty and he scored it after putting the ball in the top right corner of the net.
There were many records that were broken in this seven-goal semi-final thriller. One of the major record of the most assists in a single season of the Champions League was broken by James Milner as he took his tally of assists to 9 this season.
Although, it’s hard to make a comeback from a three-goal deficit but Roma has already done it against FC Barcelona in the quarter-finals. So, you never know what might happen in the 2nd leg which will be played at Stadio Olimpico on 3rd March.