Liverpool v AS Roma: Live matchday blog
Liverpool secured a 5-2 victory in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with AS Roma at Anfield as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both bagged a brace to add to a Sadio Mane strike.
However, two late away goals for the Italians gave the visitors hope as Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti (penalty) found the target.
Jürgen Klopp discussed Liverpool's first-leg victory over AS Roma, the 'genius' of Mohamed Salah and the injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in his post-match press conference.
Click here to read what he had to say.
The story of an incredible night in Opta widgets...
Reds claim first-leg lead
Liverpool clinch a 5-2 victory over AS Roma in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah struck twice in the first half to set the Reds on their way. He then turned provider for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino after the break.
Firmino then headed in a fifth; however, Roma gave themselves hope ofr the second leg with two late away goals as Edin Dzeko netted from close range before Diego Perotti converted a penalty.
Firmino off, Klavan on.
Four minutes of added time to be played...
Diego Perotti scores from the spot.
Penalty to Roma
Milner is adjudging to have handled a shot.
Goal - Edin Dzeko
The visitors have an away goal as Lovren misjudges a ball into the area and Dzeko scoops in at close range.
A booking for Dejan Lovren.
Mohamed Salah leaves the field to a stunning reception after two goals and two assists.
He's replaced by Danny Ings.
Schick plants a downward header towards goal, but thankfully it's close to Karius and the 'keeper can stop is crossing the line.
GOAL!!!! ROBERTO FIRMINO!!!!!!
And it's 5-0 as Firmino nods down from a corner and into the corner.
Can you believe what we're witnessing here?
Double change for the visitors - De Rossi and Jesus off, Perotti and Gonalons on.
GOAL! ROBERTO FIRMINO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Reds are absolutely flying here.
Salah absolutely skins Juan Jesus and rolls the ball across the six-yard box, where Firmino arrives to tap in.
Two goals and two assists for Mo so far tonight - this is incredible.
The ball ricochets into Robertson's path 10 yards out, but his first-time low drive is blocked by the boot of Alisson.
GOAL! SADIO MANE!!!!
The Reds extend their advantage as Mane gets his name on the scoresheet.
Alexander-Arnold sends Salah speeding down the right behind the Roma defence. The Egyptian cuts into the area before squaring for Mane, who rolls it into the corner.
Anfield explodes once more. Get in!
Back under way
More of the same please, Reds!
Roma make a change during the break - Schick is on for Under.
Here's that incredible rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone that preceded kick-off tonight..
The first half in number...
Mohamed Salah's first-half brace has given Liverpool a two-goal lead at the break over Roma at Anfield.
GOAL!!!! MOHAMED SALAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There is he again - goal No.43 of the season!
And what a goal it is, too.
He plucks the ball from the air, lays it too Firmino who uses his strength to retain possession before sliding a pass through for Salah to run onto.
He uses his pace to meet it and then deftly dinks the ball over the advancing Alisson to guide the goal into the corner and send Anfield into bedlam.
That was goal number 42 of the season for Salah, by the way...
Wijnaldum escapes in behind to meet Van Dijk's ball forward, and strikes low towards goal, but he's thwarted by a save from Alisson.
Off the bar!
Dejan Lovren cannons a headed against the Roma crossbar from a corner. So unlucky!
GOAL! MOHAMED SALAH!!!!!!
Liverpool make the breakthrough - and the identity of the scorer will come as no surprise.
Salah collects the ball on the right corner of the area, steadies himself and then curls a quite magnificent effort into the top corner beyond the reach of Alisson.
He doesn't celebrate due to his respect for his former club, but Anfield goes wild.
Mane turns in Robertson's low cross from eight yards out - but he's flagged offside.
Liverpool getting closer.
Now Salah has a first-time curler tipped away by Alisson after the ball broke for him just inside the area.
Firmino spins into space and crosses towards the penalty spot for Mane, but he lofts high over the bar on the turn.
Much, much better from Liverpool.
Liverpool break at speed and Firmino sends Mane speeding through, but he scoops over left-footed when bounding down on Alisson.
The first booking of the night goes to Roma's Juan Jesus for a late challenge on Mane.
Kolarov launches a half-cleared corner back towards the Liverpool goal. Karius gets a hand to the ball and deflects it onto the crossbar. The woodwork is left shuddering by the power in that effort.
Oxlade-Chamberlain can't continue after injuring himself making that challenge.
Gini Wijnaldum comes on to replace him.
Big blow for the Reds early on here.
Big concern for Liverpool here as Oxlade-Chamberlain is in clear distress after an attempted challenge on Kolarov.
Oxlade-Chamberlain lines one up 20 yards out... too close to Alisson.
Salah plays Firmino into space inside the box. He shoots low across goal from a tight angle and it rolls agonisingly wide of the far stick.
A slight delay in play here... there's an issue with one of the assistant's flags. A replacement is needed.
At the other end, Salah scampers into space down the right, cuts inside and tries to bend into the far corner, but it's too close to Alisson.
Roma register the game's first shot on target as Dzeko rolls it off to Strootman just outside the box. His side-footer is saved by Karius.
And we're off!
COME ON YOU REDS!
Anfield is bouncing...
...You'll Never Walk Alone is booming around the stadium.
It's almost time...
Behind closed doors...
The boys are here...
And here's how the visitors line up...
TEAM NEWS - FIVE CHANGES FOR REDS
There are five changes for Liverpool against Roma, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Andy Robertson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino returning for the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.
Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Milner, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Substitutes: Mignolet, Clyne, Wijnaldum, Klavan, Moreno, Ings, Solanke.
If you're in the unfortunate position of not being able to watch tonight's match, enjoy our live audio commentary from Anfield for free by clicking here ahead of kick-off.
The last time
It is just over 16 years since these two sides met in a competitive match, on an emotionally-charged night under the Anfield floodlights. Gerard Houllier returned to the dugout and the Reds rose to the challenge they faced in the Champions League...
Consider it set.
Allez from Andy
You’ll hear it from start to finish tonight and the ‘Allez, Allez, Allez’ chant that has soundtracked the second half of Liverpool’s season is a big bit with the players too.
We’ll let Andy Robertson explain…
“It’s one of those songs that has a catchy wee tune and I think everyone is getting onto it. It’s incredible when all the fans are singing along to it, clapping their hands and twirling their scarves – another example of how our fans create special atmospheres,” the Scot says in the matchday programme.
“They did that against Man City in the quarter-final and I think the fans maybe had something to do with how we played in the first half. The atmosphere helped us a lot and I hope they can create that same atmosphere against Roma tonight.
“If they can, then hopefully we can give them something to cheer about.”
What are the odds?
Here is how BetVictor price tonight's game...
Liverpool - 1/2
Draw - 18/5
Roma - 6/1
Click here for more details.
Mixed emotions for Mo
It feels like fate that these sides were drawn together, given that the man of the season - Mohamed Salah - swapped Roma for Liverpool last summer.
The No.11, who bagged his 41st goal of the campaign at the weekend, is expecting an emotional reunion with his old club, but will put allegiances to one side on the pitch.
He said: "I played for Roma for two years, I had a great time with the club, with the fans, I fought for the club and now I have to play against them. I hope we are going to win but also I wish them good luck."
Roma pay Hillsborough respects
Shortly after arriving in Liverpool on Monday, the entire Roma travelling party visited the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield to lay a wreath and pause in remembrance of the 96 fans who lost their lives in the 1989 tragedy, as you can see below.
There's surely no way your appetite needs any further whetting but there's no reason why you shouldn't still treat yourself to the video below - all 39 goals from Liverpool's 12-game unbeaten run in the Champions League so far this season...
A big game requires a big weather update, and if there's one thing our matchday blogs guarantee it is concise, factually accurate weather updates.
It is a drizzly afternoon in Liverpool with persistent rain falling around Anfield in the hours ahead of kick-off. Wrap up if you're heading down to the stadium later.
Remind yourself just how Liverpool sealed their place in the semi-finals with a look back to the second leg of the last-eight victory over Manchester City on YouTube below.
Feel the buzz
Trent Alexander-Arnold is relishing the palpable excitement around the city of Liverpool as the season nears a thrilling climax for those of a red persuasion.
"It means everything. I think the fans and the club as a whole have been really patient," he told UEFA.
"We’re happy to be back in the semi-finals, it’s where a club like this belongs, and hopefully we’ll be here many more times in the next few years, and we’ll push on to reach the final and challenge to win it.
"[There's] excitement, just pure excitement in the city, I’d say. It’s been 10 years since we’ve been in the semi-finals, so a lot of people have been waiting 10 long years to be back in this type of situation and to be challenging for silverware going into the last couple of weeks of the season."
'Roma have risen from their ruins!'
Tonight's opponents reached this stage of the competition in circumstances worth revisiting no matter who you support.
Check out Roma's dramatic comeback victory over Barcelona, complete with incredible Peter Drury commentary, below.
Lucas eyeing Stadio Olimpico away end
We've been speaking to former Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva - now of Lazio - ahead of the Reds taking on his current team's city rivals.
And the Brazilian revealed he is keen on getting out to support Jürgen Klopp's team next week in the return leg.
“I’m still thinking about it, but I’m hoping I can go to the Liverpool end and watch the game - and maybe take some of my friends and my son,” he said.
“We still follow Liverpool a lot, we watch every game and I hope they can get to the final.”
A tale of two cities
If you want to get excited for tonight, you need to watch this. Go on!
Roma's Walton warm-up
Liverpool's opponents this evening are currently taking part in a light training session at Walton Hall Park, just around the corner from Anfield.
The Italians have taken to pitches usually reserved for Sunday league football to warm up for the big game.
'We owe it to everyone to give everything'
Jordan Henderson has used his programme notes to insist that Liverpool's illustrious past serves as inspiration to him and his teammates, rather than as a burden.
He wrote in 'This Is Anfield': "We owe it to everyone – the supporters who back us with an intensity that goes well beyond the call of duty, the legends of the past who make this club what it is, and most of all ourselves – to give everything we can to take Liverpool to another final.
"I’m led to believe that some of the players from the 1984 team will be in attendance as guests of the club and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to captain a Liverpool team which does them proud. I know history can sometimes be seen as a burden but what those lads achieved is an inspiration to all of us."
Some brilliant pre-match facts here courtesy of club statistician Ged Rea.
- The previous time the last four of the European Cup was represented by a team from each of England, Germany, Italy and Spain was 1981. That year Liverpool lifted the trophy, beating Real Madrid in the final thanks to Alan Kennedy's goal in Paris.
- In England, Roma have played 19 times, winning only once - at Anfield in the 2001 UEFA Cup (1-0).
- Since that victory they have not kept a clean sheet in 11 visits to the country.
- The Reds have failed to score in only four of their last 35 games played at Anfield in all competitions, while they have lost only one of the last 27 home fixtures.
'It's about showing our very best'
Jürgen Klopp has issued a special message to Liverpool supporters attending tonight's game - watch it for free below.
Time to take a quick look at who may or may not be lining up for the two sides at Anfield this evening.
Emre Can (back)
Adam Lallana (hamstring)
Joel Matip (thigh)
Nathaniel Clyne returned to training yesterday.
AS Roma absentees
Rick Karsdorp (knee)
Gregoire Defrel (ankle)
Get with the programme
If you wish to purchase tonight's matchday programme, featuring more from Jürgen Klopp and captain Jordan Henderson, this is what you're looking for.
A warm welcome - except on the pitch
Jürgen Klopp is keen for Liverpool to be gracious hosts for AS Roma this evening, apart from when that whistle blows.
The Reds boss writes in 'This Is Anfield': "All true Liverpool supporters will want our guests to enjoy every single aspect of coming here except one – the match itself, the 90 minutes.
"As someone who has come here myself as a guest, I can tell our Italian friends this is one of the most welcoming places you could ever wish to come to, and I trust we can all embrace this feeling of friendship and make sure both matches are remembered for all the right reasons."
Allez, allez, allez...
Here we go, then. Liverpool's first Champions League semi-final in 10 years gets under way this evening as AS Roma visit Anfield.
If you want the best build-up, team news as soon as it lands, all the action and reaction from Anfield and much, much more then you're in the right place.
The game starts here!