Liverpool hold off brave Roma to reach Champions League final

  • Liverpool reach Champions League final 7-6 on aggregate
  • Roma win semi-final second leg 4-2
  • Nainggolan's two late goals not enough for Italian side
  • Liverpool to play Real Madrid in final on May 26 

"The boys deserve it, the character they showed, the football they showed -- it was just crazy. I forgot the score. It was 7-6 right? Unbelievable."

Liverpool's task was seemingly straightforward -- avoid suffering a three-goal defeat and a place in the final in Kiev was theirs.

Their 5-2 first-leg victory at Anfield was a scoreline that had never been overturned in the competition's history, but Barcelona's shock defeat in the same stadium had served as a warning against complacency.

The crowd certainly seemed to believe a repeat result was possible and the noise levels increased as Liverpool were pushed back in the opening moments.


Yet Roma's spirits were dampened when Liverpool took the lead, capitalising on a catastrophic mistake with a typically clinical counter.

Roma midfielder Nainggolan played a suicidal square ball that was pounced on by Roberto Firmino, who drove forward and played it through to Mane who buried his left-footed finish past Roma's Brazilian keeper Alisson.

That was the first goal Roma had conceded at home in the competition this season, but they were only behind for six minutes thanks to a calamitous own goal.

Dejan Lovren tried to clear a ball into the area but smashed his effort straight into the face of Milner and it ricocheted past Karius.

The home fans rediscovered their voice, but their renewed spirits lasted only another 10 minutes before Liverpool retook the lead.

The hosts failed to clear a corner and the ball was headed back by Dzeko into the path of Wijnaldum who nodded past Alisson.

Roma levelled for the second time seven minutes after the break as Stephan El Shaarawy's shot was pushed tamely into the path of Dzeko by Karius and the Bosnian rifled his finish past the German keeper.

It was then backs to the wall for the Premier League side as Roma chances came and went before Nainggolan took aim from the edge of the area and rifled a shot in off the post.

He slammed home a penalty after substitute Ragnar Klavan was adjudged to have handled, but it was not enough to prevent Liverpool reaching the final for the first time since 2007.

"Liverpool did not rob us of anything. They demonstrated they were a great team with some very great players," Roma coach Eusebio di Francesco said.

"The team that won, won on the details where we were not so good."