Score: A.S Roma 4 Liverpool 2FT (Liverpool win 7-6 On Agg)
The day has finally arrived a big Champions League semi-final Clash between Roma and Liverpool. A much anticipated second leg between these two sides as history will have to be made Again by the Italians and a must-see an emotional night. As Mohamed Salah makes his return to the Stadio Olimpico for the first time since his move to Liverpool Last Summer. After a very emotional first leg in which he refused to celebrate either at his two goals in the 5-2 victory at anfield. Roma scored twice in the last 10 minutes of that first leg giving them some life and a little hope to turn this thing around again. After reversing a 4-1 deficit at home against Barcelona finals a similar performance will be required once again. With Roma having the best home record in the Champions League without the single goal being scored against them the question become do they have a little magic left to shock the world again to secure a place in Kiev to meet Real Madrid or will Mohamed Salah haunt his old Club on an emotional night for the Egyptian king. It turned out to be a magical night in Rome not quite the magic Roma displayed against Barcelona but magic night a night in which Roma never gave up even though Roma had a mountain to climb. Roma started incredibly strong completely dominating the play but unfortunately Liverpool got one chance and seemingly killed it off as Sadio Mane found the back of the net a very early in the game. There would be a rapid response from Roma as James Milner scored an own goal after getting hit in the face with a ball Roma continued to look like the better team going forward and were up for the challenge. Unfortunately Liverpool got another chance and took the lead again making it almost impossible for a comeback as Wijnaldum doubled Liverpool’s lead making it 2:1 to end the first half. Despite being down Roma played as a far superior team and the second half Roma finally had luck on their side after having two penalties calls denied Roma made a breakthrough. Edin Dzeko scored yet again for Roma to equalize making it 2-2. Roma continued and continued to do whatever it took to try and mount a comeback Roma’s domination only continued as the game progressed they were the far better team throughout the game. Then late in the game Roma were starting to cut into the deficit as Radja Nainggolan scored a screamer from outside the box to give them the 3-2 lead. As time was running out Roma still needed two goals. In the dying minutes of the game Roma were finally given a penalty. Roma’s world-class Belgian Radja Nainggolan stepped up and buried it to give Roma the 4-2 lead. Sadly it was too little too late as time ran out with Roma falling one goal short of the ultimate miracle As they crashed out of the Champions League semi-final with their heads Held High. To cap off an incredible Champions League campaign it cannot be underestimated what Eusebio Di Francesco and this Roma team have done.
After being criticized for a 3-5-2 formation during the first leg at anfield. Eusebio di Francesco made a change in formation as he reverted back to the formation he used over the weekend in Rome’s win. As Roma return to the 4-3-3 formation a formation that they have played exceptionally well with other than a few occasions a very smart tactical move by the Roma boss. Just a few changes for the Romans from their team on Saturday. In goal between the Brazil’s number one of the best Keepers in the world Alisson Becker. Operating out of the back for this Roma’s defensive line would at left-back Alex Kolarov beside him would be the centre-back partnership of Federico Fazio and Kostas Manolas then to make up the defense at right back would be Alexandro Florenzi. Roma’s accustom starters in this formation. There would be only one change to Roma’s three-man Midfield. On the left would be Roma’s world classic Belgian Radja Nainggolan. In at Center mid would be Roma Captain Danielle De Rossi and then on the right coming in for the injured Kevin Strootman would be Roma youngster Lorenzo Pellegrini. Upfront in the Roma attack would be the identical 3 from Saturday. On the left wing would be Stephan El Shaarawy then on the opposite side controlling on the right-wing would be Patrik Schick then in the middle as the main Striker would be the red hot Edin Dzeko who has scored in four straight Champions League games. Due to the injuries of Kevin Strootman and Diego Perotti it would not be a very deep Roma bench but Roma had Cengiz Under and Gerson to their disposal.
After preparations and predictions for this much anticipated Champions League semi-final second leg against Liverpool. In the return of Mohamed Salah to the Stadio Olimpico both teams already to get this one under way. Roma was aware of what they were going to need to do once again it would take another football Miracle to do the impossible. A great atmosphere in Rome it’s going to be difficult for anybody to come here and get a good results especially in the Champions League. It couldn’t have started any better Roma in opening minute of the game Stephan El Shaarawy send through a cross into Edin Dzeko who came really close to opening up the game but his header just had a little too much on it. Roma looked really good in the opening parts of the game but the problem with this Liverpool team is if they get one chance they can punish you and that’s exactly what they did when they had the opportunity. Then in the 9th minute Liverpool picked off a pass from Radja Nainggolan who had his pass picked up in the middle of the field a costly mistake as sadio Mane was through on goal in a breakaway as he buried it in the bottom corner getting Liverpool a much important away goal giving Liverpool a 1-0 lead. Roma would now need for goals to pull off the miracle. An unfortunate thing to happen given Roma’s strong start. Less than two minutes later Radja Nainggolan tried to make up for his mistake as he attempted a strike from deep but missed the target. Roma continue to seem in control though but every once in a while Liverpool had a chance. A little later Mohamed Salah had a one of his only chances of the game but his shot from outside the box was saved by Alisson. Moments later in the 15th minute Roma got a little bit of luck as a bizarre own goal got Roma back into the game. While going up the wing Stephan El Shaarawy attempted a cross into the box the ball cleared by lovren but unfortunately hit James Miller in the face heading back into his own net to make it 1-1. Minutes later mane missed from outside the box. Roma continued to look good throughout but the few chances for Liverpool was concerning. Roma were in control but weren’t exactly dominating either. It only takes one chance to score and that was the problem. A little later Mane took a shot from close range but his shot was miraculously saved by Alisson and what looked like a sure goal. Moments later in the 25th minute Liverpool got a second. Coming off a corner Wijnaldum connected on a header found the back of the net to give Liverpool a 2-1 lead. It was arguably an offside Liverpool may have got lucky on that one. Just a few minutes later De Rossi got his head to a Lorenzo Pellegrini cross but misfired. Roma continue to dominate possession but have yet to string together a great chance. However Moments later El Shaarawy curled in a shot from deep but hit the bar denying what could of be the equalizer as we got later into the first half El Shaarawy was putting together a lot of strong runs and did tremendously well on the left side he tried to facilitate as many chances as possible but a lot of chances were blocked by the defense. the first half come to a close with the Liverpool with a narrow 2-1 lead.
El Shaarawy left frustrated after hitting the woodwork at the end of the half
A good performance from Roma in the first half but they could have done a lot better they did some nice things but they needed to open up their attack just a little bit more because a lot of goals were needed. Early in the second half Roma came out a lot more aggressive making smart decisions as the game started opening up. The referee still wasn’t helping when Edin Dzeko was brought down in the Box by Karuis a clear pen but no call was made. Minutes later Stephan El Shaarawy took a great shot from the side of the box but Karuis was able to hold on to it in the bottom corner a tremendous save. Then finally moments later in the 52nd minute Roma’s moment arrived Stephan El Shaarawy coming from the left-wing took a powerful shot that was saved by Karuis however the rebound fell to Edin Dzeko as he took one touch and put it in the top corner to equalize making it to 2-2. It would be Edin Dzeko fifth consecutive knockout stage goal in this competition and his 24th gold of the season.
Edin Dzeko scores in his 5th Straight champions league game as he gives Roma life
This was not enough though Roma needed more Dzeko grabbed the ball out of the net and got Roma going again. Roma in the second half were a different team they were incomplete domination in the second period. Roma would go to their bench to make their first substitution of the game as Cengiz Under came in for Lorenzo Pellegrini. Roma continue to dominate and not long later Edin Dzeko had another chance as Radja sent in a perfect cross to Dzeko who got his head to it was blocked before El Shaarawy took a cracking shot that was saved by Arnold’s hand. A absolute Stonewall penalty one of the most obvious penalties I have ever seen in my entire life. El Shaarawy shot hits Arnold’s hand straight on. You could make the argument that Roma were robbed here because that is the second penalty that was not given to Roma. Roma continue to dominate what time was not on their side as the game begin to wind down with just a little over 10 minutes ago. It was probably too late for a comeback but Roma doesn’t quit they I kept going. With 12 minutes to go Patrik Schick came extremely close to scoring as his shot from distance inches away. Just a few minutes later Radja connected with Edin Dzeko on a cross the Bosnian shot but missed. Dzeko had another chance a minute later Dzeko shot was saved after a close effort. Roma finally broke through for another goal with just four minutes left in the 86th minute. Radja Nainggolan scored an absolute screamer from outside the box on his first touch As his Long strike hit the inside of the crossbar before going into the back of the net to give Roma the 3-2 lead. It would be Radja Nainggolan’s 5th goal of the season. In the dying minutes of the game Roma got the call but they been waiting for all game as the referee pointed to the spot As Roma was given a penalty. Radja Nainggolan stepped up and buried it’s into the top corner making it 4-2 Roma. Roma would hold on for the win but fell one goal short of making history again. Roma were slightly robbed in this game if they get the two calls it’s possible that Liverpool aren’t in the final. It would be a disappointing end to a fantastic Champions League campaign make no mistake about this this is not the last time you will see this Roma team they will be back
Radja Nainggolan’s late goals not enough as Roma feel Champions League Heartbreak
The dream ends for Roma in the Champions League as they fall one goal short of another miraculous comeback. In Mohamed Salah return to the Stadio Olimpico it would be Roma that came away with the victory. Roma put together another thrilling performance there’s no complaints that can be made on how they perform this evening. Roma never gave up and fought until the very end an a thrilling and extraordinary performance by Roma. However they were unfortunately ended by Liverpool chances they found the back of the net. As Liverpool ultimately put an end to a thrilling Tale in this Champions League season. Liverpool became the first team to score at the Stadio Olimpico in the Champions League this season. With the two away goals they got from sadio Mane and Wijnaldum put semi-final Out Of Reach. However the game wasn’t Roma outplayed Liverpool for the entire game it was one of their better performances of the Season especially in the Champions League. In fact they just fell a goal short of forcing extra time. Even that was a daunting task given what was in front of them. Roma played well in the first half but really stepped it up in a second as Liverpool barely got a sniff in the second half. Roma dominated play and could have scored on multiple occasions the tremendous goalkeeping from Liverpool probably saved the tie. Edin Dzeko Radja Nainggolan Patrik Schick and Stephan El Shaarawy all played well in the second half as Roma had many chances to score. The result of this game was a little of misfortune as luck once again was not on their side. I’m not going to sit up here and blame the referees for why Roma did not advance but there were two penalties that were not called an of red card as well as a few offside calls that were actually on side. This is why VAR needs to be introduced into the Champions League so we don’t end up in situations like this. After so many great chances Roma finally found the back of the net with an Edin Dzeko goal which was his fifth Champions League goal in a row. He has proven to be an absolute steal of a signing 73 goals in 3 season isn’t bad. Roma continue to dominate the duration of the game before Radja Nainggolan scored a screamer and a penalty in the closing moments. As Roma nearly overturn a 5-2 deficit. Roma Falls one goal short of another historical come back. the one thing that I will say about this Roma team throughout this they never gave up even when it seemed they Had no chance of coming back no chance of advancing they still fought as if everything was still in the balance they never back down and they fought to the end the saying Romans never quit proved true because they battled until the final whistle. Their defense did a much better job as well silencing Roma’s old friend Mohamed Salah as he had a very quiet night I don’t recall chance in which he threatened the Roma goal. That is an accomplishment in itself the changes that were made prove to work. Roma ended up winning 4-2 but just fell short in the long run. As a Liverpool advance to the Champions League final in which they will play Real Madrid who will be going for their third consecutive trophy. I first want to congratulate Liverpool for their advancement in this competition. An unbelievable performance, This was Roma’s was the greatest Champions League campaign since 1983 giving the fans a campaign that we will never forget. The man of the match today could have gone to many people as Roma utterly dominated Liverpool in many areas. my man of the match goes to Radja Nainggolan who scored 2 goals in the losing minutes of this match and never gave up he was the fighting force in the Roma he was the fighting force in the Roma Midfield he did make a mistake that led to the opening goal but he made up for it Putting together an excellent performance. A incredible Champions League campaign comes to an end as they go out in the semi-finals a campaign Eusebio di Francesco and all his players should be proud of.
Man Of the Match: Radja Nainggolan (6)
Next Match: vs Cagliari Sunday, May 5th, 2018
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 6
Pass Accuracy: 81%
On Target: 5
Pass Accuracy: 68%