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Liverpool soundly defeats AS Roma 5-2 in Champions League Semi-finals

"The greatest match I've seen in 30 years at Anfield," Reds fans react to their club's win against Roma.

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said his side will withstand another Roma match next week after seizing control of their Champions League semi-final first leg tie with an amazing performance highlighted by “world class” superstar striker Mo Salah. Mohamed Salah led the Red’s onslaught to leave Roma with a mountain to climb to get back. The Egyptian forward dazzled his former club with 2 exquisite goals, taking his goal tally for the campaign to 43, and 2 assists as Liverpool swept into a 5-0 lead before conceding two late goals to Roma. The 5-2 result means Roma must replicate their brilliant comeback against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals to deny Liverpool a spot in the Champions League final in Kiev on 26 May. Klopp, concerned by the probable loss of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the rest of the season through injury, said his men will be ready for a backlash at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome next Wednesday.

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“Since I arrived Liverpool has always had to take the more difficult way but in the end Liverpool always succeeded and that’s what we have to do again,” Klopp said. “If one of my players doesn’t think Roma will try to come back, then he will not play. The boys played a brilliant game over a very long period. Even the last minutes, when we conceded, Dejan Lovren was outstandingly good and this ball he misjudged. that is no problem if the full-back is in the right position. We made one mistake and the ref made one mistake and that was two goals for them. We take the penalty. We have to work again in Rome, that is no problem. There would have been work to do if we won 5-0 because Roma would do everything to strike back. What I learned tonight is that we can win the second leg too. Roma need to score against us and we are not Barcelona. Barcelona is one of the two or three best teams in the world and won so many things in the last few years. We didn’t so we will fight with all we have for the result.”

Mohamed Salah was on fire. Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said of the PFA player of the year Mo Salah.

“Without a shadow of a doubt he is the ‘best player on the planet’ right now.”

Mohamed Salah reportedly will be rewarded with a prestigious piece of land in Mecca. Superstar Liverpool striker Salah has a lot to celebrate - his Champions League semi-final form where he notched two goals and two assists in the first leg against Roma, his PFA Player of the Year award win, and now the land in Mecca. Last weekend he was awarded the award ahead of Kevin De Bruyne as a reward for his 31 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League to date this season. And now the vice president of the local municipality in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, has revealed that he plans to award a piece of land in the area to Salah as congratulations. Salah was the main man for Liverpool against Roma in midweek.

"There are several choices regarding giving this piece of land," said Fahd Al-Rowky. "The way to go will be determined by Mohamed Salah as well as the Saudi system. If the Saudi system allows the land to be owned by Salah, he will be given a piece of land in Holy Mecca outside Haram. The other option will be to have a mosque built on the land in his name."

Salah celebrates each of his goals for Liverpool with an Islamic prayer. Mecca is the religion's holiest city as it was the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad. 

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Klopp said that mantle had to be earned over a longer period than one season but has no doubt of the former Roma player’s credentials.

“Outstanding, pretty much not able to defend,” said Klopp, who substituted Salah at 5-0 and saw Liverpool’s performance dip markedly. “The first 15 minutes we needed to adapt to their formation and then we played how we played and he has a massive impact on that. The first goal is just a genius strike, he scored already a few like this which makes clear it is no coincidence. The second is brilliant play, Bobby Firmino between the lines and he makes the pass and then Mo makes the other two goals. If anyone wants to say it is my mistake that we concede the two goals because I change the striker, I have no problem with that. Mo was running all the time and it would not have helped us if he gets an injury. What a player. If you think he is the best in the world, write it or say it. He is in outstandingly good shape, world-class shape, but to be the best in the world you need to do it over a longer period, I think. The other two are not bad.”

Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco said memories of the three-goal comeback against Barcelona would give Roma hope for the second leg.

“Let me remind you once again the tie is not over, and we have proved it,” said Di Francesco. “We have shown we can come back. We scored three goals at home against Barcelona, so we can do it. If any of my players does not believe we can win, they can stay away from the second leg.”

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German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich take on Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final tie at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday in a repeat of last season's quarterfinal clash. Manager Jupp Heynckes's Bayern booked their spot in the semis with ease having overcome Sevilla 2-1 in the quarters, while Los Blancos' progress was slightly more difficult. Zinedine Zidane's side appeared to be strolling through when they thrashed Juventus 3-0 in the first leg in Turin. However, a remarkable come back in the return leg saw Bianconeri secure three goals. The tie looked to be heading into extra time until Real Madrid were awarded a controversial last-minute penalty that superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo converted to secure a 4-3 aggregate victory. Great last minute Bayern Munich v Real Madrid tickets are still available from LiveFootballTickets!



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