AS Roma 4-2 Liverpool (6-7 aggregate): 5 Talking Points
AS Roma beat Liverpool at home but crash out of the UEFA Champions League on aggregate and there's plenty to talk about
Liverpool have earned the ticket to Kiev and they did it in the most typical Liverpool fashion. The invited the Romans to the transit gates, shut it and waved them away. In a game that oscillated from one side to the other like somebody hot under the collar was swinging it, Liverpool's measured spells of hard work in the first half proved to be the difference.
Roma, needing an early goal to set things in course, conceded as early as the 9th minute as Sadio Mane coolly slotted the ball home after being played in by Firmino. Unfortunately for Liverpool, a clearance deflected off James Milner and ended up in the back of the net and restored parity.
Liverpool got their lead back once again and this time it was Wijnaldum doing the honours. Dzeko equalized for the Romans early in the second half. However, as Liverpool gained more control in midfield, Roma seemed to have given up. A late resurgence saw them pull 2 more back. But time had run out and Eusebio Di Francesco's men could not add yet another chapter to this fairytale.
In Kiev, it will be Real Madrid up against Liverpool. But before we get to that, let's take a look at the 5 talking points from the game.
#5 Roma get their setup right but still struggle against Liverpool's pace
Roma took to the field in a 4-3-3 formation and that proved to be a wise decision from Di Francesco. Mohamed Salah was not afforded the kindof space he was in the first leg thanks to the defenders sitting deep to thwart the danger.
Salah tried to run off the shoulder of the last defender far too many times but was caught offside on far too many occasions. He couldn't get down to his usual trickery down the wings as the Roma defenders tried to make sure they weren't forced into a situation where they'd have to deal with the pace of Mane or Salah.
However, a poor give away from Radja Naingollan did indeed expose the Roma backline and it gave Liverpool the chance to hit Roma with pace and that's exactly what they did. The result was Sadio Mane's goal in the 9th minute.