Reds hold on to book final date with Real Madrid

Liverpool scored twice in the first half to book their place in the UEFA Champions League final, despite Roma winning 4-2 in Rome on Wednesday night.

Roma 4 Liverpool 2 (6-7 on agg)
Mane (9′) gives Reds perfect start
Milner OG (15′) gives Giallorossi hope
Wijnaldum (25′) puts visitors in command
Dzeko (52′) equalises for hosts
Nainggolan (86′, 90′) bags late brace

Match Summary

Sadio Mane made the breakthrough for Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Stadio Olimpico after just nine minutes, before an own-goal from James Milner on the quarter-hour mark levelled the match.

Georginio Wijnaldum soon restored the Reds’ lead to put them in control, although the Giallorossi made for a thrilling contest with three goals in the second half to go out 7-6 on aggregate.

Full Report

The hosts looked to make a fast start and threatened in the opening minute when Stephan El Shaarawy lifted the ball over to Edin Dzeko from the left, but the striker directed a header wide of the right post under pressure from Virgil van Dijk.

Alessandro Florenzi then pulled a shot wide of the left post from 25 yards out on six minutes after not being closed down, although the Giallorossi fell behind just three minutes later.

A poor pass from Radja Nainggolan was pounced upon by Roberto Firmino, who played in Mane on the left and he beat Alisson with a left-footed shot from eight yards out.

Nainggolan had an opportunity to make immediate amends when Dzeko set him up outside the box, but the midfielder skied his effort well over the crossbar on 11 minutes.

After Mohamed Salah drew a routine save out of Alisson with a tame shot from 20 yards out three minutes later, the Serie A outfit went up the other end of the pitch to equalise.

There was a slice of luck involved as Dejan Lovren cleared El Shaarawy’s header straight into Milner’s face and the ball bounced back into the net.

The fast-paced action continued with Mane curling an effort just wide of the right post from 20 yards out on the left in the 17th minute, before Alisson turned the winger’s close-range shot around the left post from Andrew Robertson’s cutback eight minutes later.

However, Eusebio Di Francesco’s men were made to pay for another mistake at the back moments later when an unmarked Wijnaldum headed past Alisson from six yards out, after Dzeko headed the ball towards his own goal.

The woodwork came to the visitors’ rescue on 35 minutes as El Shaarawy’s strike from outside the box took a deflection off Milner and hit the right post, before Florenzi lashed an effort wide of the near post from Nainggolan’s headed pass in the 42nd minute.

Roma were trailing 2-1 at the break, but they restored parity just seven minutes after the restart. Loris Karius could only parry El Shaarawy’s strike into the path of Dzeko, who fired into the left corner of the net.

They piled on the pressure in the second half and Dzeko failed to keep his header down at the back post from a 56th-minute free-kick, while Cengiz Under forced Karius to save his acrobatic volley on the line from a long ball into the box on the hour mark.

Trent Alexander-Arnold put his body on the line three minutes later to block El Shaarawy’s volley inside the six-yard box, and Dzeko wasted a glorious chance on 66 minutes when he fired wide of the left post after being picked out by Daniele De Rossi’s ball over the top.

The Bosnian was presented with another opportunity two minutes later from Nainggolan’s cross, but volleyed well over the target from 14 yards out, while at the other end Alisson denied Firmino with his leg from a tight angle on the right from a 69th-minute counter.

Patrik Schick was a whisker away from finding the top-left corner of the net with a first-timer curler from the edge of the area on 78 minutes, and Karius managed to get a glove on Dzeko’s left-footed shot from an angle two minutes later.

Nainggolan gave his team the lead on the night with a drilled effort from 21 yards out that went in off the left post four minutes from time, with the Belgian scoring again in stoppage time from the penalty spot.

Ragnar Klavan handled Under’s flick inside the box and Nainggolan blasted his spot-kick down the middle to bring an end to an exciting match.

Liverpool Champions League semi-final win