Roma 4-2 Liverpool (6-7) Champions League 2018: report
Liverpool edged through to a Champions League final against Real Madrid after Roma push them right to the end in a thrilling second leg. LAFC vs LA Galaxy: Vela vs Zlatan live online, MLS week 25
Liverpool will travel to Kiev to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final after edging past Roma in a thrilling semi-final.
The home side ran out of time at the end of a tie that yielded 13 goals and will survive in the memory as a scalding, high-octane clash in which Liverpool were lucky to avoid conceding a pair of penalties.
Roma were relentless after the break, but the three-goal deficit from the first leg and woozy defending in the opening half meant that passage to the final was always slightly beyond them. Liverpool held them at arm’s length, but those arm muscles were wobbling at the end as Radja Nainggolan thumped an injury-time penalty in to the roof of the net. Roma were one goal from taking the tie to extra-time when the referee blew his whistle and prompted a relieved Jürgen Klopp to gallop on to the pitch.
Liverpool thought it would have been more straightforward when Sadio Mane opened the scoring in the tenth minute. That was the crucial away goal that was supposed to tranquilise Roma. The home side drew level through a slapstick own-goal from James Milner, who watched with a sore cheek as Dejan Lovren’s clearance cannoned off his face and in to the net. There was a hint of Benny Hill to the goal, and the same vibe surrounded Liverpool’s second. Georginio Wijnaldum nodded past Alisson after the Roma ‘keeper had lolloped out of his goal and in to no-man’s land.
Roma had not registered a shot on target at half-time. But the excellent Eden Dzeko found the bottom corner seven minutes after the break. That goal reinvigorated the crowd and a period of sustained pressure ensued. The officials denied Roma two clear penalties. First, Karius upended Dzeko in the box but escaped unpunished as the linesman raised his flag. Replays revealed the striker was onside. Trent Alexander-Arnold escaped a red card and a penalty soon after when he deflected Stephan El Shaarawy’s close-range shot over the bar with his hand.
When Radja Nainggolan eventually made the breakthrough for Roma with a lethal shot from the edge of the box, only four minutes remained. The final whistle blew immediately after the same player scored a penalty deep in to added time. Roma had the beating of Liverpool but they could not beat the clock, and it is the Reds who progress to the final.
To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?