Wijnaldum’s header shatters Roman Dreams: Match Highlights, Analysis & Observations

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After the second-leg of the semi-final, one can only say that AS Roma was unfortunate to not reach the final of the UEFA Champions League.

Even though the result of the second-leg ended in the favor of the Roman side, they were unable to qualify for the final. There were few wrong decisions from referee and mistakes from Roma players that stopped them from writing the name in the history books. But also, one cannot deny that Liverpool deserves to play in the final. The way in which the Anfield outfit have performed in the Champions League this season is just unbelievable. The Reds have lost just one game in the whole campaign. The mark of an elite team, if nothing else. Last night, they also broke the record for most goals scored in a single campaign that just shows how dominating this team has been against all opponents.

Jurgen Klopp’s side won the first-leg 5-2 and it was Liverpool’s in-form attacking trio who scored all five goals. Edin D?eko and Diego Perrotti were the two players from the Roman side who scored one goal each in the closing minutes of the first-leg. Liverpool was happy with the result at home turf as they had three goals difference before entering the second-leg.

In the ninth minute of the second-leg, Radja Nainggolan misplaced a pass that was intercepted by Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian then passed the ball to Sadio Mane who was wide open on the left side of the box. After receiving the ball, the 26-year-old winger didn’t make any mistake and got his team the early lead that they were looking for. The Romans got lucky in the 15th minute as Dejan Lovren’s shot hit the face of James Milner and the ball ended-up in Liverpool’s own net.

This goal gave some hopes to Roma, but the hopes could only stay for 10 minutes. The Reds’ second came in the 25th minute and it almost ended the tie. This time it was Edin D?eko who made a defensive error by heading Liverpool’s corner towards his own keeper. Georginio Wijnaldum used this opportunity perfectly and capitalized before Allison Becker could reach the ball. Now, the Anfield outfit was leading with 7-3 on aggregate and was on the verge of entering their eighth Champions League final.

The Romans didn’t give up and came back stronger in the second half. Once again D?eko scored for Roma from a rebound shot of El Shaarawy. Following this Liverpool gave no space to the Giallorossi and kept them on hold until the closing minutes of the game. But the Romans were not in a mood to give up at all.

In the 86th minute, Naingollan’s strike from outside the box entered the goal after deflecting from the woodwork. In the additional time, Roma has gifted a penalty after Ragnar Klavan made the contact with the ball inside 30-yard-box. Naingollan stepped up to take the penalty for the Romans and then he scored from the penalty spot taking the aggregate to 7-6.  Although Roma tried to make a late comeback in the second-leg, it was too little, too late. The Anfield outfit progressed 7-6 on aggregate and will face Real Madrid in the final at Kiev on 26th May.

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