Champions League

Don't take Roma for granted, warns Klopp

2018-04-13 15:56
Jurgen Klopp and Mohamed Salah (Gallo Images)

London - Jurgen Klopp has warned his Liverpool stars that Roma's epic comeback against Barcelona proves the Italian club shouldn't be underestimated when they clash in the Champions League semi-finals.

Klopp could have been forgiven for feeling relieved that Liverpool avoided holders Real Madrid and formidable German champions Bayern Munich in Friday's draw.

But the Liverpool manager insists Roma will present a formidable barrier to his team's bid to reach the Champions League final for the first time since 2007.

Roma may lack the star power of their last four rivals, but the Italians underlined their quality by recovering from a 4-1 first leg deficit to eliminate Barcelona with a stunning 3-0 success in the second leg on Tuesday.

At the same time as Roma's comeback for the ages, Liverpool were easing into the semi-finals with a 5-1 aggregate success against Premier League leaders Manchester City.

"I tried to think about what I feel, but it was not that I thought 'Thank God not Bayern, thank God not Real Madrid, yippee Roma' or the other way around," Klopp told Liverpool's website.

"Whichever opponent we would have got, I would have said there is a chance because it is football - so there is a chance against Roma.

"But if anybody think this is the easiest draw then I cannot help this person; they obviously didn't see both games against Barcelona.

"The second leg was outstanding, it was outstanding what they did. They should have probably won four or five-nil - I was really impressed."

Liverpool will host the first leg against Roma at Anfield on April 24 before heading to Italy for the return leg on May 2.

Asked if he felt playing the second leg at home - as they did against Barcelona - would be an advantage for Roma, Klopp insisted Liverpool could cope with the intense Stadio Olimpico atmosphere.

"The teams are all too strong. The atmosphere is always important, of course. In our tie it was not too important, in Real Madrid - Juventus it wasn't too important, but for Rome it obviously was important," he said.

"I think they will think it is an advantage, but it all depends on the first result. Of course, whatever happens, as long as you are in the race there is always a chance wherever it is, so I am fine with it."

Liverpool fans gave a hostile reception to City in the quarter-final at Anfield, bombarding the team bus with bottles in shocking scenes outside the stadium.

Klopp apologised after that incident, but he expects the atmosphere in the stadium to be red-hot again.

"First leg at home, I am really looking forward to it because it will be a special atmosphere. It'll be great," he added.

Liverpool haven't faced Roma since the 2002, but the still retain fond memories of the Eternal City after twice winning the European Cup there - once against Roma in their own stadium in 1984.

The tie will also give Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah a chance to face his old club.

Salah has been in superb form since leaving Roma to join Liverpool last year - scoring 39 goals.

"It makes it a really interesting thing and for him, it will be 100 per cent special. He is already of interest wherever we go, but it might go crazy when we go to Rome! He can deal with that, I am sure," Klopp said.

Read more on:    liverpool  |  roma  |  champions league  |  jurgen klopp  |  soccer
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Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
AEK Athens v Ajax, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Viktoria Plzen, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Valencia, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v Benfica, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Manchester City, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v Young Boys, Old Trafford 22:00
Roma v Real Madrid, Stadio Olimpico 22:00
Hoffenheim v Shakhtar Donetsk, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 22:00
Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Atletico Madrid v Monaco, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 19:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Galatasaray, RZD Arena 19:55
Porto v Schalke 04, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
PSG v Liverpool, Parc des Princes 22:00
PSV v Barcelona, Philips Stadion 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Club Brugge, Signal-Iduna-Park 22:00
Napoli v Crvena Zvezda, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Internazionale, Wembley Stadium 22:00
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