• 2nd Half
  • AS Roma
  • Liverpool
  • Nainggolan (P)
  • Alexander-ArnoldClyne
  • Solanke
  • FirminoSolanke
  • Nainggolan
  • Robertson
  • Manolas
  • ManéKlavan
  • Florenzi
  • El ShaarawyAntonucci
  • De RossiGonalons
  • PellegriniÜnder
  • Dzeko
  • 1st Half
  • AS Roma
  • Liverpool
  • Lovren
  • Wijnaldum
  • Milner (o.g.)
  • Mané

AS Roma - Liverpool
Champions League - 2 May 2018

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Anyway, that's us - night night!


It's worth noting the quality of the job Jurgen Klopp has done. He's found his best XI, he's stuck to it, and he could no be wringing a drop more out these players. Madrid will know they're in for a fight.


I guess it's true that they've only played one decent team to get there, but they've got there nonetheless, and in thrilling memorable style. The final, featuring two teams who attack brilliantly but can't defend, is going to be a belter.




GOAL! Roma 4-2 Liverpool (nainggolan pen) agg 6-7 Nainggolan smashes the penalty high and left; Karius dives the other way.


PENALTY TO ROMA! A long ball picks out Cengiz, who clips it back inside to himself on the half-volley. The ball hits Klavan's hand, and for some reason the ref deems it a penalty when there was nothing he could do to get out of the way,.


Final change for Liverpool: Clyne replaces Alexander-Arnold.


There'll be three minutes of injury-time...


Solanke kicks the ball away and is booked.


Never before have 12 goals been scored in a Champions League semi-final; "It's a competition that just gets better and better and better," says "Fletch", who doesn't appear to understand football.


The wya Liverpool defend, it's very hard to see them beating Madrid, but then the way Madrid defend, it's very hard to see them not conceding a couple.


Off goes Firmino, on comes Solanke.


GOAL! Roma 3-2 Liverpool (Nainggolan) agg 5-7 Roma move the ball well and it ends up with Kolarov on the left. With everyone expecting a cross, he squares for Nainggolan who allows the ball across his body - almost away from him - before spanking a glorious low shot in off the far post! Roma have four minutes and injury-time to score twice!


Manolas has lost the head. Robertson fouls Florenzi and Manolas charges thirty yards to impart a punitive shove. Oooooh. Both are booked.


Has Jordan Henderson touched the ball?


Jurgen Klopp makes a change: off goes Mane, Liverpool's best player, and on comes Klavan to make a third centre-back. .


Gonalons lifts a ball over the top from centre to left, and Dzeko is in behind Alexander Arnold! But he can't get requisite power into his shot, allowing Karius to smother and Lovren to hump away.


Lovely pass from Dzeko, on the turn and straight into the box to meet the run of Cengiz who's left Robertson. But he misses with his sweep-finish and Karius collects.


Kolarov finds space on the left and curls in, but in jumping into it, Antonucci manages to clear the ball out of the box.


Florenzi scythes into a scissors, crunching Mane from behind. He does well to escape with a yellow card.


El Shaarawy has played pretty well - I wonder if he's now being saved for the league, as Roma still have work to do if they're to play in this competition next season.


Final shy for Roma: off goes El Shaarawym on comes Antonucci.


Roma have blown themselves out here. Liverpool are finding it easier to retain possession, and haven't had to clear their box for a few minutes.


Mane goes on another sortie down the left but is crowded out. He's had a really good game tonight, a far better one than his more vaunted pal. Both of them will fancy a look at Real Madrid's defence, though I daresay Ronaldo, Isco and Asensio will feel the same about the Liverpool's.


De Rossi is did; Gonalons replaces him.


But here they come, Mane finding Salah who makes to curl with his left foot then slides a pass the other way for Firmino. The angle is tight, but he forces a shot, and Alisson does well to kick it away.


Nainggolan picks up possession and has bare time to pick a cross into Dzeko who, unmarked, should do better than turn it over the top. If Roma get one, you never know, because Liverpool aren't doing the basics well.


It's all Roma now! Kolarov finds De Rossi who lifts a lovely disguised pass over the top. But as Liverpool appeal for offside,Dzeko's first touch forces him to shoot from behind his arse, and the effort goes wide.


Nainggolan attacks down the right and crosses; at the near post, Dzeko's delicate flick takes the ball across the face of goal and Shick tries to bundle home. He can't, which allows El Shaarawy monster a shot ... but Alexander-Arnold is there to palm it away, with hands so close to his face that no one notices he's pulled off a blinder.


Roma are playing faster now, and keep getting at Alexander-Arnold. Do Real Madrid have anyone useful to play on the left?


What a pass from De Rossi, flighted over the for Cengiz, who's run from out to in and stolen a march on Robertson ... think Mahrez for Vardy at West Brom. And Cengiz does a really good job of watcing the ball onto his toe, but the angle of his body means the shot goes close to Karius, who only just saves it and only just holds on.


This is getting a bit frantic - you almost forget Roma need three unanswered goals to force extra-time, but they do. Roma, though, are doing better and Kolarov crosses but the ball is just behind Shick.


Vicky Christina Barcelona


...and Kolarov curls towards Dzeko at the far post. He's up above Wijnaldum, but gets underneath the ball, which therefore flies well over the bar.


The ground is noisy again, and Alexander-Arnold barges into Dzeko when beaten on the outside. Free-kick just outside the box, close to the left corner...


Roma are going for it. Cengiz Under replaces Pellegrini.


GOAL! Roma 2-2 Liverpool (Dzeko) agg 4-7 Liverpool comes forward with three and look dangerous, but Roma repel them and break, El Shaarawy finding space behind Alexander-Arnold. He curs inside, crosses, and Karius contrives to push out not behind. still, Dzeko does really well to control, compose, and sweep a rising finish over the desperate dive. Game not quite on, but one more and you never know.


A ball from De Rossi sends Dzeko through and the flag goes up ... Karius hasn't noticed, so charges out to dive at his feet, cleaning him out when the ball is moved sideways. And he's lucky, because a replay reveals that wasn't offside.


Robertson is playing really well, and he barrels forward around one tackle and through another, over halfway. But when he finds Salah, he learns that his pal has wandered offside.


Roma give it away in midfield and immediately Firmino and Salah are on them, the former finding the latter whose shot is blocked and the ball ends up with Alisson.


Nice from Roma, Kolarov sticking a ball into space down the line and Nainggolan charging after it. His cross is decent too, but on the back post, Pellegrini gets excited and allows it under his studs.


Off we go again!


Back come the teams. Roma look haunted.


One way of putting it.


Liverpool haven't been great, but they're winning comfortably. Roma aren't good enough going forward to wear how bad they are at the back, and Liverpool are better than them in both areas. This is over, butp[erhaps we'll get some decent second-half violence as Roman tempers fray.


Half-time: Roma 1-2 Liverpool (agg 3-7)


There'll be one additional minute.


Oh wow! I'm not sure what Pellegrini was trying there, but the ball flies off the toe of his boot and miles away from everywhere, even Selhurst Park.


A ball out to the left see El Shaarawy skirting around the outside of Lovren, who shoves him over. Booking and a free-kick in a dangerous position...


Firmino gets the ball outside the box and is given phenomenal time to control, look up and shoot. He scuffs the effort against Manolas, but still.


Ball into Dzeko, who turns around the corner for Nainggolan to nod into the space in front of Florenzi. He lashes a first-time shot, but hits across it and the ball flies wide of the near post.


We see that dive again - Alexander-Arnold properly took his leg away before El Shaarawy collapsed. Graham Poll revelates that there was slight and "natural" contact, hence no booking. I don't know what that means or why it matters.


Roma break, and El Shaarawy runs at Alexander-Arnold, cutting across him and vaulting over his thigh. No penalty says the ref, who for some reason keeps his yellow card to himself.


Manolas stands off Firmino; one straight ball and Salah is one on one with Fazio! Dear oh dear. But Fazio stands up well and gets a block in.


I'd go Schalke in 2011. But yes, they are awful.


Roma hit the post! El Shaarawy cuts inside and across the face of goal, hitting a shot which deflects off Milner, looking for a brace, and the ball loops onto the far post.


It's absolutely absurd how poor defending is at the top level. I'm not sure I can think of one in the same league as Terry, Carvalho, Vidic and Ferdinand, and those four were playing in the same league.


Roma have a bit of possession. They must know the jig is up, but they're putting a brace face on things, finding Florenzi down the right whose cross is helped on by Nainggolan, but Alexander-Arnold hacks away.


Roma have cleared their heads and are pushing forward again. A lot of good it's going to do them.


The Liverpool fans are absolutely having it - of course they are. They're going to Kiev in three weeks, and are one game away from being the most surprising Champions League since the last time they won it.


So if Liverpool get another - and they will - Roma will need 7 [seven].


GOAL! Roma 1-2 Liverpool (Wijnaldum) agg 3-7 Now this is over! The corner isn't properly cleared and when it comes back, Dzeko can't get his huge noggin behind it, sending the ball behind him and playing Wijnaldum on. All he has to do is get the ball past Alisson, which he does by way or simple header, and Roma are absolutely cooked!


Brilliant from Robertson who charges down the left. Shick can't be arsed chasing and a change of pace does for Florenzi. Robertson is now at the by-line, and he clips back for Mane, who turns towards the near post .. but Alisson, going the wrong way, makes the save anyway when the ball hits his leg.


Alexander-Arnold wins a tackle, but has to wear Kolarov's studs on his instep. In commentary, Glenn Hoddle notes that Salah isn't coming back to help Alexander-Arnold - presumably he's been told to stay on Fazio - in which case Milner should be sitting in front.


Roma haven't shown much in the way of interplay so far - they're just getting the ball wide and sticking it in the box - indiscriminately so. I don't think that'll be enough for them.


El Shaarawy comes down the left again - Roma are definitely targeting that area - and crosses well enough, but Karius is on hand to claim.


Ah! So this is what happened!


Dzeko gets himself some time on the ball, inside the box, and wins a corner. The delivery isn't bad, but Mane eventually clears; back it comes, but Shick shoves Lovren, though he's quite capable of making his own errors.


Er, who scored?


If Roma get another one before half-time, we'll have waselves a ball-game. The problem is that there doesn't seem any way they'll avoid conceding again because even though Liverpool have barely attacked, they've looked like scoring each time they have.


GOAL! Roma 1-1 Liverpool (Milner own goal) 3-6 agg Well! A long, searching ball from the right finds El Shaarawy pulling off Alexander-Arnold on the left side of the box. He's not threatening much but has far too much space, so nods powerfully across to no one, whereupon Lovren humps a clearance into Milner's humungous coupon, from which it rebounds into the net. Not gonna lie, that was pretty funny.


Wijnaldum breezes thorugh midfield unmolested and finds Salah on the edge of the box. He moves inside to shoot with his left foot, but doesn't get hold of it Alisson saves.


In a way this doesn't change Roma's task, because Liverpool were always going to score...


This is rather a generous description of what happened.


Roma did find themselves struggling after that misplaced pass, but really, a serious defence puts up greater resistance there. One pass was all it took, and there was no challenges. What were they all doing?


GOAL! Roma 0-1 Liverpool (Mane) agg 2-6 Liverpool are nearly there! Nainggolan plays a terrible square ball on the right touchline and Firmino seizes upon it, moving forward to slide a pass for Mane outside him. He takes a touch to steady himself, then sweeps a low finish into the far corner!


A ball down the inside-right channel sees Manolas with hands on Mane, who goes down inside the box. No penalty reckon the officials, but that challenge was asking for trouble nonetheless.


Roma have started well - Liverpool have barely had a kick in their half.


Dzeko gets down the right and breezes by Robertson chasing a pass over the top/. But as he looks to cross the bouncing ball, he sees that there's no one in the middle and does it anyway. Nothing comes of it, but Roma push again and Florenzi smashes a shot not too far wide


Roma seems to have watched Liverpool's game with Man United - they're looking to play on Alexander-Arnold, and in the space behind him, whenever possible. Dzeko can do a good Lukaku, but can El Shaarawy be Rashford?


In it comes and Manolas and Fazio are there ... the ball bounces, but not especially near anyone looking to score and Liverpool try to break. Pellegrini, the 21-year-old midfielder, cleans up.


Liverpool aren't really pressing Roma's back four in possession - perhaps they're looking to be first when the ball goes into midfield. Anyway, Wijnaldum snaps into a challenge and concedes a corner.


Roma will be fortified by that opening, and Liverpool will be certain that they're in for a ruckus.


Immediately Roma get the ball forward and force Liverpool to scramble it away, then they go down the left when De Rossi turns a ball over the top. As it bounces, two defenders are drawn towards it and El Shaarawy steers it over them, but Dzeko can't get over it and heads high.


And we're off!


Jordan Henderson lifting the one with the big ears. That is unfathomable.


The home fans join in the with the end of Champions League anthem. Fair dinkum, it's a tune.


When did officials get so buff? Oooh yeah. I'm going to pour myself a pint of calming Gazprom, and so should you.


Here they come!


The Liverpool players are in the tunnel. Outside, its jumping.


Neither side has much on the bench here. I wonder if Roma might've kept El Shaarawy back for when Liverpool tire, but I suppose they have to go hard and be done with it.


Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool aren't in Rome to defend a three-goal lead, they're in Rome to win a football match.


Rio Ferdinand is highlighting Roma giving the ball away against Barcelona, in positions that he thinks Liverpool will exploit better - those inside-left and inside-right channels. On the other hand, Roma haven't conceded a home goal in the competition yet, so you never know.


Nainggolan is being interviewed. He says that perhaps Salah has players who make his personal job easier now, and also that he thinks Roma can do it.


I'm trying to think of a way in which Roma can do this. Perhaps they'll keep a midfielder in between their centre-backs, so they can fill in the space to the full-backs which is where Salah and Mane like to play. Otherwise, they'll be looking to overlap down the flanks and put crosses in for Dzeko, or get the ball into him and go from there.


Imagine how good this would be in an oblong ground that didn't have a track around the outside.


They forgot "badly tracksuited".


Steven Gerrard is unbelievably bad at being a pundit. I don't really see how he's going to be a good manager - he was an explosive player who did what came naturally, and you can't teach that. He didn't run games, he settled them with talent and timing, and again, that's not something you can pass on.


It's remarkable, really - a midfield of Henderson, Wijnaldum and Milner looks likely to play in the Champions League final. My guess is that if Liverpool get there they'll look to miss it out again, because Casemiro, Kroos and Modric are a bit better.


John Arne Riise has a terrible back-of-neck tatt that's protruding above his collar. More news as I get it.


It's going to be lively...


Oh, and Roma's subs:


As expected, Roma go to a back four - quite what they thought they were doing going three on three with Liverpool's attack it's impossible to fathom. Juan Jesus, who found himself against Mohamed Salah, drops out. So too does the injured Strootman, and Cengiz Under who did nothing last week. In come Pellegrini - Shick, who made a difference when he came on - and El Shaarawy. Also injured is Diego Perotti, who was instrumental in Roma's minor comeback.


So let's start with the easy one: Liverpool start the same side that finished the first leg. The unfortunate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is injured, so Georginio Wijnaldum, who actually made a huge difference at Anfield and whose coming on changed the game, is in his place.


Right then, shall we have some teams? Ok, you've persuaded me.


Evening. I was just thinking, I think it's one of those déjà vu things Or a dream that's tryin' to tell me somethin' Or will I ever stop thinkin' about it I don't know, I doubt it.

Three weeks ago, here we were: about to watch Roma pretend they could overturn a three-goal deficit and beat Barcelona. Except we weren't. It sounds ridiculous, but Roma had actually played pretty well in losing the first leg of that tie 4-1, and matched up well with the Spanish champions-elect, as they were then. It felt like it was on.

This feels like it's off. Roma defended worse than any side I've ever seen at this stage, and the manner of their collapse was as embarrassing as it was disgraceful. They were entirely incapable of defending the lumped hoof, panicked, and if they'd lost 8-0 could scarcely have complained. It's hard to see how their exceedingly slow defence is containing Liverpool's exceedingly fast attack.

Except Barcelona wilted at the Olimpico and they're a better team than Liverpool, who have an equally suss defence. Roma know it's possible - Liverpool know it's possible - so you never know.