Liverpool put on a fantastic team performance against Roma on Tuesday. The five goals the Reds sent passed Alisson were shared between Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané. Salah and Firmino even notched two assists each to go along with their braces. Mané was an attacking threat all game long and continuously got himself into dangerous positions, despite missing a few chances early on. These three players have proven themselves as a force to be reckoned with both in the Premier League and the Champions League this year. And next week’s trip to Roma for the semi-final second leg is just another opportunity to unleash this unstoppable force.
The Reds enter Rome as the leaders in the tie, from the 5-2 victory at Anfield. It’s not the best look letting Roma walk out with two away goals but there’s plenty of good that Liverpool will take with them to Italy. Roma will still have to score three and successfully hold back the unstoppable force for ninety-odd minutes. I’m not seeing it. You’re not seeing it. Dejan Lovren isn’t seeing it.
“I am still confident that we can score there,” said Lovren.
“We had so many chances, they are really open, they are a team that likes to play and that is good for us.
“They now need to score. It will be a crazy atmosphere but we played in one similar at Man City and we know what we need to do. If we score quite early I think it will be quite different.”
Lovren was at fault for Roma’s first goal because he misjudged the flight of a ball over the top and gave Edin Dzeko a golden opportunity that the ex-Manchester City player was happy to use to his advantage. It was a lapse in concentration by the Croatian defender in an otherwise solid performance alongside Virgil Van Dijk, at the base of an otherwise dominant display from the whole team.
“You feel powerful to be in this team, you feel strong when you look around and see the players next to you,” Lovren said.
“We have big names, we don’t maybe have lots of ‘superstars,’ but it is not about the name. it is how we perform on the pitch.
“You can see the system working, definitely. Every training session, every game we feel we are more comfortable and more confident.”
Jürgen Klopp and his staff have created a defensive unity throughout the squad that has come on leaps and bounds over the second half of the season. Roma’s goals came from one defensive error dealing with a ball Lovren had been handling well all night and one penalty because of a fluke hand ball in the box by James Milner.
It was a dangerous end to the match but it shouldn’t be an indictment on Liverpool’s ability to see out this tie. The quarter-final second leg in Manchester is proof that the team can maintain it’s confidence and composure under pressure.
“We are a team who will not think about these five goals that we scored in the first leg,” said Lovren.
“We will go there like a 0-0 game and we know we have these 90 minutes to make history again. We know what we need to do.
“What did the manager say after the game? Just keep the head up everyone. Calm.
“We know we what need to do there and I am pretty confident that we can defend it even better than the first leg.
“They are a good team who likes to play which, like I say, is good for us. We had so much space it was incredible. I couldn’t believe they let us have so much space with these players – front three.”