The semi-finals are upon us, and this week saw Liverpool, Roma, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich go to battle for a place in the Champions League final.
- Bayern Munich are in an injury crisis and things got worse against Real Madrid last night. Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez, and Arjen Robben all left the field with injuries in the first leg, which no doubt hindered Munich.
- The Germans will also be disappointed to be 2-1 down in the first leg. Real were poor by their own standards and the Bavarians failed to take advantage.
- For Madrid, Zidane will be pleased that they go into the second leg with two away goals despite being nowhere near their best.
- Roma’s trip to Anfield was marred by a section of their fans’ actions prior to the match. A Liverpool fan is in hospital and a Roma fan has been arrested for attempted murder as a result.
- On the pitch, the Romans didn’t perform much better. While Liverpool were emphatic, Di Francesco’s side were all over the shop.
- The manager needs to hold his hands up and take responsibility. Playing with three at the back against Liverpool is suicidal, and the Reds took full advantage.
- One man who came out with his head held high was keeper Alisson Becker, who may have been auditioning for the number 1 shirt at Anfield next season.
There is a sense of belief sweeping around Anfield, with Liverpool’s 5-2 win giving them one foot in the final. Jurgen Klopp won’t let you believe it – and for good reason – but it’s hard to see Roma progressing now, despite their heroic comeback against Barcelona in the last round.
While Roma’s two away goals were important, the key will be whether Liverpool can score at the Stadio Olympico. If they can – and it’s hard to imagine that Roma will be able to stop them – then it will be key in seeing them through to the final.
Goal of the Round
There were plenty to choose from. Marcelo’s strike last night was delicious, as was Mo Salah’s first, a curling effort into the far corner after he’d cut in on his left-foot.
For me, the goal of the round, though, came from the Egyptian, but it was his second goal that was even more impressive. His double movement to pull the defender out and then penetrate the space was top class, while the audacity to dink the ball over the on-rushing Alisson showed a player on top of his game.
Salah! Again! Wow!
This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! 😎
Goal number 43 of the season 😳 pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018