Liverpool 5-2 Roma: 3 managerial decisions that had an impact on the game
Three managerial decisions that were critical in determining the final outcome of the UCL semifinal game between Liverpool and Roma.
In a highly entertaining semifinal, Roma kept their Champions League final hopes alive after scoring two goals in the space of 5 minutes.
Until the 75th minute of the game, it seemed as though the second leg of the semifinal is going to be irrelevant. Liverpool looked so comfortable on the ball and so fierce in attack. They secured a five-goal lead and looked set to score more.
However, the match was so intense that Roma required only a moment of Liverpool's complacency to come right back into the game.
This Semi-final tie was considered a battle between two brilliant and highly admired tacticians, Jurgen Klopp and Eusebio Di Francesco. Every tactical move they made had a lasting effect on the match.
Di Francesco had been an angry figure in the dugout till 80th minute and Klopp all smiling and celebrating. In the final 10 minutes, it was Francesco's turn to celebrate while Klopp was left raging.
Here are the three managerial decisions that were critical in determining the final outcome of the match.
#3 The decision to start Cengiz Ünder
Two weeks ago, in their remarkable win against Barcelona, it was Patrik Schick who started alongside Dzeko and Nainggolan in the attack. However, against Liverpool, Di Francesco preferred Ünder to Schick.
Under was ineffective and lacked aggression. He barely posed Lovren and Van Dijk any considerable threats. They looked so comfortable and defended with ease.
In the second half, Schick came on, but by that time Liverpool had already scored three and were in the mood to score more.
Schick, even though it took him some time to get into the game, caused Liverpool defence all sorts of problems in the final period of the game. He forced a brilliant save out of Karius in the 74th minute when he got the better of Robertson to head the ball towards the goal.
In his presence, the Liverpool backline became nervous and gradually started losing confidence as the final 10 minutes of the game suggests.