Champions League

'Fantastic' Liverpool surpass Klopp's expectations

2018-04-25 07:10
Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)

United Kingdom - Jurgen Klopp saluted Liverpool's "fantastic" 5-2 demolition of Roma on Tuesday as the Reds manager soaked up a Champions League semi-final first leg goal spree that was beyond his expectations.

Klopp's side are within touching distance of the final after crushing Roma at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah's brace was followed by goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, who also struck twice to leave Liverpool five up by the 68th minute.

Liverpool let their guard down in the closing stages and Roma netted twice to give themselves a slender chance of a second-leg escape act in Italy.

But Klopp admitted he couldn't have hoped for a more dynamic display from his team.

"It was the perfect performance for pretty much 80 minutes. We made defensively one mistake, then their penalty is not a penalty but that is the situation and now it is 5-2," he said.

"Of course we would have been more happy with 5-0 or 5-1 but 5-2 is a fantastic result. We go there and try again.

"It is absolutely better than I thought before the game."

Following Klopp's game-plan, Liverpool exploited Roma's creaky defence as Salah and Mane ran them ragged with their pace and movement.

"We had all these runs behind, it changed the game completely and they couldn't cope with that. We scored these goals and could have scored more," Klopp said.

"That is all positive, at this moment it doesn't feel all positive because they scored these two goals but tomorrow I will see the really good part of the game."

Aside from Roma's late double, the only problem for Klopp on a memorable evening was the injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that saw him carried off in the first half.

"Oxlade-Chamberlain is probably a really bad injury," Klopp said.

"That is bad news for us. The squad doesn't get bigger at the moment so we need to be creative in the next few games."

Although Liverpool fans will be dreaming of a final showdown with Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, their players are well aware Roma staged a stunning fightback to eliminate Barcelona in the quarter-finals.

The Italians lost the first leg 4-1, but won 3-0 in Rome to go through on away goals.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson admitted there was frustration at letting Roma back into it and he warned his team-mates not to let down their guard in the return leg.

"It felt as though we were in full control but we basically gave them two goals, you can't do that in the Champions League," he said.

"At the same time we played well, we will go there with a three-goal advantage.

"Overall we have got to stay positive. We knew it would not be easy here, we know it will not be easy there.

"It will be a challenge but one we will look forward to and one we will hopefully finish them off."

Read more on:    liverpool  |  roma  |  champions league  |  jurgen klopp  |  soccer

 

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Tuesday, 01 October 2019
Atalanta v Shakhtar Donetsk, San Siro 18:55
Real Madrid v Club Brugge, Santiago Bernabeu 18:55
Juventus v Bayer Leverkusen, Allianz Stadium 21:00
Manchester City v Dinamo Zagreb, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Lokomotiv Moscow v Atletico Madrid, Lokomotiv Stadium 21:00
Red Star Belgrade v Olympiacos, Stadion Rajko Mitic 21:00
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Genk v Napoli, Luminus Arena 18:55
Liverpool v Red Bull Salzburg, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Inter Milan, Camp Nou 21:00
Valencia v Ajax, Mestalla 21:00
RB Leipzig v Lyon, Red Bull Arena 21:00
Zenit St. Petersburg v Benfica, Saint Petersburg Stadium 21:00
Lille v Chelsea, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 21:00
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Shakhtar Donetsk v Dinamo Zagreb, Metalist Stadium 18:55
Atletico Madrid v Bayer Leverkusen, Wanda Metropolitano 18:55
Juventus v Lokomotiv Moscow, Allianz Stadium 21:00
Manchester City v Atalanta, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Club Brugge v Paris SG, Jan Breydel Stadion 21:00
Olympiacos v Bayern Munchen, Karaiskakis Stadium 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Red Star Belgrade, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 21:00
Galatasaray v Real Madrid, Turk Telekom Arena 21:00
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Ajax v Chelsea, Amsterdam ArenA 18:55
RB Leipzig v Zenit St. Petersburg, Red Bull Arena 18:55
Benfica v Lyon, da Luz 21:00
Slavia Prague v Barcelona, Eden Arena 21:00
Genk v Liverpool, Luminus Arena 21:00
Red Bull Salzburg v Napoli, Red Bull Arena 21:00
Inter Milan v Borussia Dortmund, San Siro 21:00
Lille v Valencia, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 21:00
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Barcelona v Slavia Prague, Camp Nou 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v RB Leipzig, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Genk, Anfield 22:00
Lyon v Benfica, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Valencia v Lille, Mestalla 22:00
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Borussia Dortmund v Inter Milan, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
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Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid, BayArena 22:00
Dinamo Zagreb v Shakhtar Donetsk, Maksimir Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Club Brugge, Parc des Princes 22:00
Real Madrid v Galatasaray, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham Hotspur, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
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