3 Takeaways From Roma 4-2 Win Against Liverpool
It is going to be the defending Champions, Real Madrid against former Champions Liverpool in the 2018 UEFA Champions League final in Kiev, Ukraine.
Liverpool lost 4-2 to Roma in the second leg of their semifinal at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday, but still advanced to the final with a 7-6 win on aggregate.
Goals from Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum, his first in the Champions League, eventually secured advancement for Liverpool.
A brace from Radja Nainggolan, a great finish from Edin Dzeko and an own goal from James Milner brought the Giallorossi within one, but they ran out of time in the end.
Here are three quick thoughts from the game.
Too Little Too Late For Roma
Roma began Wednesday’s match on the front foot, just like the first leg.
For about 10 minutes, the hosts pushed forward and unleashed waves of attacking pressure.
Then one misplaced pass from Nainggolan – who was pressed resiliently by Milner – to Roberto Firmino allowed the Brazilian to dribble towards goal.
Firmino laid off a through ball for Sadio Mane on the left side of the box, and he calmly converted past Alisson.
Milner’s freak own goal briefly boosted Roma’s prospects of mounting yet another improbable comeback.
The match was only 15 minutes old and the Giallorossi’s original objective of three goals was restored.
Unfortunately for the Romans, Dzeko’s header was knocked backwards to Georginio Wijnaldum and he had a tap-in from point-blank range.
That brought Liverpool level with Roma on away goals, and it essentially ended any hope for the Italian outfit.
At this point in the competition, you simply can’t have the amateur-level we’ve seen from Roma.
Unlike Barecelona, Liverpool did enough on the night to contain Roma's onslaught.
Firmino Casts His Name In Gold
Firmino was involved in four Liverpool’s five goals at Anfield in the first leg.
His assist for Mane’s opener was the 17th goal involvement for the Brazilian, level with Cristiano Ronaldo for the most in the Champions League this season.
On top of that, the Liverpool front three of Firmino, Mane and Mohamed Salah are the highest scoring trio in the Champions League era.
The previous record was held by Real Madrid’s forward corps of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.
Salah was named the PFA Player of the Year and is favoured to win the Golden Boot in the Premier League this season.
But Firmino’s influence on this side, as mentioned last week, has helped the entire side flourish.
His ability to press, recover possession, drive forward, distribute passes and finish is why the attack has been this lethal.
Own goal aside, Milner was sensational yet again for Liverpool.
Without the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the dynamism in midfield could’ve taken a hit.
Thanks to Milner’s efforts, the fluidity and intensity remained.
This is nothing new from Milner, though. He’s the assists leader in the Champions League this season with nine, he’s a great passer of the ball and never stops running to contain the opposition attack. His pass map and location of his tackles demonstrates that work rate.
WATCH: UNILAG students 'mob' Fela Durotoye at Lagos Shift 2018