Liverpool FC can confirm Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's 2017-18 season is over for both club and country due to a knee ligament injury sustained against AS Roma on Tuesday evening.
The midfielder was forced from the field after 18 minutes of the Reds’ 5-2 victory in the Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield after picking up the issue during an attempted challenge.
The extent of the injury means Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to miss the remainder of the campaign for Liverpool, as well as the World Cup finals in Russia with England.
The 24-year-old was assessed by the club’s medical team at Melwood on Wednesday morning and no specific timescale is being placed upon his return to action at this stage.
However, Oxlade-Chamberlain will now begin a rehabilitation programme to enable him to reach full fitness again as soon as possible, returning to action next season.
Liverpool Football Club will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities to establish an understanding of the facts, following a serious and disturbing incident at Anfield last night which has left a 53-year-old supporter in a critical condition in hospital.
The club’s first priority is the safety of all fans attending matches.
Supporters attending a game should never be subjected to an environment of violence or attack.
Liverpool would like to thank the emergency services and members of its own supporter base who offered care and treatment to the stricken victim in the immediate aftermath.
The club would again remind anyone who has relevant information that will assist Merseyside Police to make contact via the channels identified by the constabulary. Click here for more information.
Liverpool coasted to a famous 5-2 victory against Roma in the Champions League semi final first leg, and BT Sport’s behind-the-scenes footage of the game has expertly captured the night.
It was another famous European evening for the Reds, as they made themselves firm favourites to reach the Champions League final in Kiev on May 26.
Two late goals for the visitors were an undoubted blow, but it was still a special performance, and one that should be talked about for years to come.
The above BT Sport ‘No Filter UCL’, gives a great look at what went on throughout the night at Anfield, with behind-the-scenes shots galore.
Beginning with stunning scenes outside the ground, the supporters are in great voice, with “Allez! Allez! Allez!” being sung with great passion.
Steven Gerrard, on punditry duties, jokes with Frank Lampard about Luis Garcia’s infamous ‘Ghost Goal’ from the 2005 semi-final against Chelsea, saying, “well over the line that, in my opinion”.
Jurgen Klopp conducts his pre-match media duties, before a stirring rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” takes place before kick-off.
Mohamed Salah‘s stunning first goal sees Gerrard celebrating wildly in the studio, with co-commentator Steve McManaman also raising his arms in disbelief.
The ‘Egyptian King’s’ second of the night is equally delightful, leading to scenes of unbridled joy in the stands, with supporters embracing with one another.
After the game, Gerrard admits concern about the two conceded goals, but calls Salah, “the best player on the planet right now”.
Meanwhile, Klopp rues some of his side’s missed chances in his post-match interview, although the German is quick to label the performance as “brilliant”.
It is a great watch for any Reds fan, as this unforgettable season continues.
A scintillating Liverpool sealed a 5-2 win over Roma in their Champions League semi-final first leg, but there is still room for improvement.
After it was stressed that the hosts should not take their Serie A opposition lightly, Jurgen Klopp‘s side blew Roma out of the water with a fierce display of attacking quality.
But with Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti striking late to give Roma hope for the second leg, it was far from perfect for Liverpool, with Dejan Lovren‘s late collapse particularly worrying.
So what did journalists and statisticians make of Liverpool’s 5-2 victory?
It would be remiss to not laud Salah for his faultless performance, and this outing was reflected in a phenomenal rating (9.8) boosted by seven 10-out-of-10 marks.
Only the Echo and Sky Sports failed to award the Egyptian King a perfect score, with The Anfield Wrap’s Ben Johnson describing him as “genuinely stunning.”
Firmino is deservedly not far behind (9.3), for it was the Brazilian’s industry, strength and creativity that allowed Liverpool to carve open Roma throughout.
In the biggest night of his career as captain, Henderson (8.4) produced an excellent, mature display, with no publication rating the 27-year-old as lower than an eight out of 10.
Alexander-Arnold (7.7) and Andy Robertson (7.9) also impressed, while it was a mixed night for Mane (7.3), who missed two golden opportunities in the first half but then scored after the break.
Lovren (6.9) received varied ratings across publications, from six-out-of-10s from Sky Sports and Anfield Index to eight-out-of-10s from The Anfield Wrap and The Redmen TV.
This proved a rare occasion that statistical ratings were as emphatic as those of journalists as WhoScored awarded both Salah and Firmino a 10 out of 10.
Interestingly, however, Mane was the only other player to been deemed higher than a seven out of 10, with Loris Karius the closest despite having the lowest average rating of any player (6.4).
Alexander-Arnold’s numbers clearly didn’t match up to the eye test as the 19-year-old has endured a big swing in his ratings from WhoScored and his overall average.
In this case, given the magnitude of the result, it is safe to say that the stats don’t paint an accurate picture.
Liverpool still have a job to do in Rome, but their 5-2 first-leg win in the Champions League semi-finals should provide focus for next Wednesday.
You can see for miles from the upper tier of the new Main Stand.
From my seat, to the right I get to see a good chunk of the Liverpool skyline, inclusive of the two cathedrals. In the opposite direction to the left I get to peer into Stanley Park, where you get a close view of the matchday car park.
On days when Liverpool labour, you can even people-watch as they take their dogs for a walk through the park.
Against Roma, you could make out the flashing lights of countless cars as their alarms went off, each and every time Liverpool scored, due to the noise created inside Anfield.
It was an impressive sight to see, as you bounced up and down, locked in a bear-hug with somebody you’ve never met before.Two Late Away Goals & The Loss of Oxlade-Chamberlain
Let’s get the downside out of the way: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be a huge loss.
He’s been a phenomenal surprise since he signed to the sound of a collective sigh from the Liverpool congregation back in August.
Early noises are he won’t return until next season. We could have done without that.
Thankfully, Gini Wijnaldum rose magnificently to the challenge of replacing Oxlade-Chamberlain.
We can’t be losing any more players from hereon in.
The two away goals were massively careless, but they can provide the focus we’ll need to display in Rome next week.
I know which stat I’d back to be broken of the two at Stadio Olimpico. We own Roma. We always have and we always will.A Cavalry Charge Down Walton Breck Road
Unsavory scenes before the game and a Liverpool fan left in a very bad way.
Liverpool’s troubles with Roma fans go back to 1984.
A week from now the team need to come back with a place in the Champions League final, while the fans who travel need to make it home safely.Bobby Firmino the Invisible Man
Bobby Firmino edges toward the 30-goal mark, and yet the wider community of football still fails to notice him. Long may that continue.
The more he is underestimated the more dangerous he becomes, while those who do realise the threat he poses can do little about it.
Imagine Naby Keita supplying this Liverpool front line? It won’t be long until you need imagine it no longer.
Firmino could win Brazil the World Cup this summer if the CBF woke up to themselves.
Mane had a mixed night. Missing good opportunities, but still finding the net eventually.
Salah got the party rolling. 5-0 up when he departed the scene, 5-2 in his absence.
We might well have conceded those goals had he been on the pitch or not, but Roma’s players were petrified of him. I doubt they would have got as brave as they did towards the end if they had still needed to keep an eye on Salah.The 2nd Leg
What to expect?
Those of a nervous disposition will point to the way Roma overturned Barcelona in the quarter-finals and, yes, they are a threat going forward. They might just score goals next week.
After a hardworking first 27 minutes, where they were definitely proving to be troublesome, Roma went ‘rabbit in the headlights’. At times the Roma players struck the images of road cones to be passed around.
At stages of the second leg Roma will undoubtedly strike the image of startled road cones once again, and it will be down to us to punish them when they do.
Score one goal and Roma will need to score four. Score two goals and Roma will need five.
The lightning which struck against Barcelona won’t strike a second time.
See how Barcelona themselves failed to replicate their stunning fightback against Paris Saint-Germain last season, when they tumbled out of the tournament in the very next round under similar first-leg circumstances against Juventus.
This isn’t arrogance, this isn’t being blase, this is about having enough belief in the capabilities of this Liverpool team to cope with a hostile and testing environment a week from now.
It won’t be easy, but this Liverpool can finish the job. Put your trust in it.In the Meantime
Stoke City come to Anfield on Saturday.
Fast running out of players, it could be a very strange lineup which takes to the field.
Maybe Trent Alexander-Arnold could be worth a go in midfield.
How about a couple of debuts for those promising, up-and-coming kids who get to warm the bench now and again?
Either way, given what’s to come, it’s going to be hard to take it one game at a time over the course of the next few days.
The Italian press believe Roma are capable of pulling off yet another “extraordinary” comeback to overturn a three-goal deficit and knock Liverpool out of the Champions League semi-finals.
Braces from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, and a goal from Sadio Mane, meant Roma were 5-0 down at Anfield before Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti struck late on to give the Giallorossi a glimmer of hope.
In the quarter-finals unfancied Roma reversed a 4-1 defeat to Barcelona to shock the Catalans at the Stadio Olimpico with an historic 3-0 win.
And the consensus in the Italian sport dailies is that Eusebio Di Francesco’s men have every chance of subjecting Liverpool to the same treatment when the clubs reunite next week.
“Roma: three reasons to believe,” read a headline in La Gazzetta dello Sport, with the paper first noting that the capital club have already pulled off comebacks against Shakhtar Donetsk and Barca.
“‘It can be done’ is the mantra to be repeated between now and May 2.”
#BuongiornoATutti! Your front pages for Wednesday's Italian sports papers in English: https://t.co/Y9mpQvrYzl #LiverpoolRoma #LFC #ASRoma #LFCASR #LIVROM #UCL #Juventus #FCIM #SerieA #Udinese #Torino #Ancelotti #ACMilan #Napoli pic.twitter.com/q9RKFPWdSh
— footballitalia (@footballitalia) April 25, 2018
Secondly, it claimed that Roma’s tactical approach was right – “the road to follow is that of the first 20 minutes at Anfield, when we saw a tight, attentive and rather aggressive approach in midfield.”
“To overturn the result will require that same intensity during the whole 90 minutes.”
Gazzetta concluded by identifying Liverpool’s relative fragility in defence. The third point read: “The Giallorossi goals came after Salah was taken off and Liverpool relaxed a bit, but if there is a weak point in (Jurgen) Klopp’s team it is hidden behind them – it is their defensive lapses.”
Il Corriere dello Sport called for a “push” at the Olimpico, simultaneously blaming “referee errors” in citing an early unpunished foul on Kevin Strootman and a possible offside for Liverpool’s third goal.
An editorial piece read: “It will certainly not be easy to repeat that display against Barcelona, because the English side have legs, brains and an ability to get the ball forward which can be deadly even when they are playing away from home.
“But Roma have the right and the duty to dream that they can produce a fantastic double of comebacks in the Champions League.
“The 70,000 who will gather in the Olimpico will be the first to believe and they know that doing it against this Liverpool team would be even more extraordinary.
“If they could be there already, those 70,000 fans, they would be. To fire up Roma.”
Steven Gerrard labelled Mohamed Salah 'the best player on the planet right now' after the Liverpool forward inspired a 5-2 win against AS Roma.
The Egyptian was the architect of his former club’s downfall in Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield, opening up a two-goal lead before the interval with a trademark curled finish and a calm dink.
Salah – who now has 43 for the season, four short of Ian Rush’s club-record 47 – then set up strikes for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as the Reds took control of the tie ahead of next week’s return in Rome.
And Gerrard, who was Liverpool’s talisman in the run to European Cup glory in 2005, was impressed enough to argue that nobody in world football can currently match the No.11.
“He is in the form of his life,” said the Reds icon and U18s manager.
“It’s difficult to compare him to [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi because they have done it for so long and they have been consistent year in, year out. But without a shadow of a doubt he’s the best player on the planet right now.”
Dejan Lovren believes Liverpool produced a statement performance in beating AS Roma 5-2 in the first leg of the teams' Champions League semi-final tie last night.
The Reds will take a commanding aggregate lead into next week's return leg in Rome after Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all netted in a thrilling Anfield victory.
Eusebio Di Francesco's team retain some hope of reaching the tournament's final thanks to late away goals from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti.
But, speaking at full-time, Lovren was still largely delighted with a result he feels will send reverberations across the football world.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: "It was fabulous to play a game like that. [It was] a fantastic atmosphere from the beginning and we showed our quality again.
"We created so many chances. It was enjoyable to play in – and to watch for football fans. We showed the world what we can do.
"In the last 10 or 15 minutes we struggled a little bit with controlling the game, it’s hard to explain. But I’m pretty confident we can get a good result there."
Roma must score at least three goals without reply at the Stadio Olimpico next Wednesday to book their place in the tournament's showpiece fixture in Kiev.
The Italians did just that in the last round, bouncing back from a 4-1 defeat to Barcelona at Camp Nou to secure progression on away goals courtesy of a 3-0 home win.
Lovren acknowledged that an intelligent approach will be required from Jürgen Klopp's side in Rome, though he is comforted by the fact that the hosts will need to come forward.
"They are a team who like to play football, they are not scared to play against teams like us," he added.
"Maybe they will approach the next game differently but if they want to score they should attack.
"We will have chances there again. We will go there like it is 0-0. We need to be clever."
The Croatian defender also paid tribute to Mohamed Salah, who scored two incredible goals and laid on another two in one of the great individual Champions League performances.
"It’s just a pleasure to play with him, such a brilliant man on the pitch and off the pitch," Lovren said.
"Hopefully he can stay injury-free and we can make history with him."
Liverpool's unstoppable front three spread the confidence that carried their teammates to a scintillating 5-2 victory over AS Roma in the Champions League.
The Reds established a promising advantage against the Italian club in the first leg of the European semi-final courtesy of another exhibition of world-class attacking football.
Mohamed Salah was at the heart of everything, curling and dinking the opening two goals before setting up Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – who later headed home from a corner, too – in the second half.
The trio have now notched 88 goals between them this term and while Trent Alexander-Arnold’s career remains in its infancy, the full-back has yet to witness anything to match Firmino, Mane and Salah.
“I’ve never played with a front three like that before. I’m not sure if any of the other lads have,” the No.66 told Liverpoolfc.com at Anfield.
“We all step out onto the pitch confident that at least one of them – if not all of them – are going to score. We have confidence and they have that confidence within themselves.
“If you look at their numbers this season, it’s incredible and a credit to them because they’ve worked hard for it. The confidence flows throughout the whole team.
“It has been like that a few times now, in the Champions League especially. We’re running away with the result quite early; once we get the first one, it’s quite hard to stop the flow of the goals. That’s credit to the whole team.
“Maybe in the last 10 or 15 minutes our concentration let us down a little bit.”
The period the defender references saw Roma strike back and claim a lifeline in the tie.
Edin Dzeko snuck in behind Dejan Lovren to control Radja Nainggolan’s long pass and knock a finish past Loris Karius before Diego Perotti converted a penalty given for a James Milner handball.
“The five goals were good but at the end we’ve come away disappointed. We’ve conceded two and given them a bit of a chance,” said Alexander-Arnold.
“We should have been more ruthless and put the tie to bed with the five goals effectively. But we can’t be too disappointed – we’ve got to bounce back next week. We’re still ahead in the tie and we’ve got to look to get into the final.
“They haven’t conceded at home in the Champions League so obviously it’s going to be tough. But we’ll go there and try to finish the job off and hopefully get to Kiev.”
The media were in awe of Liverpool’s attacking display and Mohamed Salah after the Reds took a commanding 5-2 first-leg lead over Roma.
The Reds took a big step towards reaching the Champions League final in Kyiv with a stunning performance and result at Anfield.
But just when it seemed Liverpool would cruise to victory Roma hit two late goals through Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti to earn a glimmer of hope for the second leg.
Despite the late collapse it was an excellent performance and result, and with a three-goal lead the Reds should have full confidence in seeing the job through in Rome next Wednesday.
Before attentions turn to that tie, here’s how the media assessed a crazy but special night at Anfield.
Most of the media felt the performance and result outweighed frustrations with the late goals conceded…
Our man Karl Matchett rightly insisted that the result is far better than it feels:
“It feels worse than it really is: Liverpool have, after all, just won a Champions League semi-final by a 5-2 scoreline.
“They’ve put five past one of the last four sides in Europe. They could have scored eight.”
The Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce labelled the display an “attacking masterclass” and felt it overshadowed disappointment with the defensive sloppiness:
“But this wasn’t a night for regrets after Liverpool produced one of the most sensational performances in the club’s illustrious European history.
“How can you criticise a team who delivered such a spellbinding attacking masterclass when the stakes were so high?”
Summarising the performance, the Mail’s Ian Ladyman felt Roma got lost in the emotion of Anfield and likened their display to a boxer walking onto a combination of knockout punches:
“At Anfield, things can get away from you very quickly indeed. The only sporting analogy that seems anywhere near appropriate is that it must be like walking onto a flurry of heavyweight punches. One moment you are in the fight and the next minute the lights have gone out.”
And Matchett praised Liverpool’s ruthlessness in going for the kill to build a dominant and commanding lead:
“We’ve seen it before, but in a game of such magnitude, it was especially pleasing to see. Liverpool sensed their moment and went for the kill, splitting Roma apart time and time again, hungry for goal after goal after goal.
“The Reds have the players to make the most of such occasions and given the tie is a two-legged affair, it was imperative they made the most of the momentum they gained.”
But some reporters were frustrated with the goals conceded…
For JOE.co.uk, Dion Fanning felt the ease at which the Reds were creating and scoring played a part in the conceding as Klopp’s side chased more goals rather than manage the game:
“Liverpool had closed down the first leg against Manchester City in the second half, but this maybe seemed too easy.
“Maybe Liverpool had failed in game management as some suggested or maybe they had felt supremely confident in their ability to continue scoring.”
The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor thought Klopp made an error substituting Salah as it withdrew the main threat:
“Perhaps the manager made a mistake of his own by withdrawing Mohamed Salah, who had scored two and set up another couple.”
ESPN’s Dave Usher thinks another show of late sloppiness means it must be treated as more than an isolated incident before it becomes something more serious:
“Beyond that, the worrying drop-off after 80 minutes should be a concern as it is not an isolated incident. Everton, Bournemouth and West Brom have all put Liverpool under pressure in the final 10 minutes of recent games too.”
A certain Red was lauded in post-match reports for a breathtaking performance…
James Nalton, for the Sportsman, said Salah’s performance on the night—and in previous games in the competition—will go down in Anfield history:
“Salah’s performances will become part of this history whether Liverpool reach the final or not, but if their No. 11 plays like this in the second leg then they will definitely be going to Kiev at the end of May.”
The Mail’s Dominic King believes the Egyptian King is a genuine contender for the Ballon d’Or:
“Never mind being the PFA Player of the Year, this was a performance that stamped out as a genuine Ballon d’Or contender.”
Pearce says Salah is undoubtedly the best player in the world right now:
“On current form there is no better player on the planet.”
The Telegraph’s Paul Hayward believes Salah is already on the way to becoming a Reds legend and has no limits on how good he can become:
“With Salah’s two first-half goals against a Roma side whose prior knowledge of him was no use whatsoever, you could feel the PFA Player of the Year easing into the company of Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard.
“He would need to stick around a while and maintain these standards to become true Anfield royalty, but his form this year has been spectacular, and his first-half brace spoke of a player without limits at this level.”
ESPN’s Mark Ogden reckons Salah alone gives Liverpool a chance of winning European Cup No. 6:
“Salah has been in majestic form for months and if he stays fit, Liverpool will have a fantastic chance of winning a sixth European Cup against either Bayern Munich or Real Madrid in Kiev next month if they can see the result out next week.”
The Mirror’s Alex Richards noted how Liverpool have adapted the system to get the best from Salah:
“Gradually the side has developed around Salah as the season has progressed, pushing him closer to goal and with less responsibility defensively. It may just be on the verge of firing them to European glory.”
The collective and individual performances on and off the pitch were praised…
Firstly, the Mirror’s Andy Dunn believes Klopp has proved himself one of the best in the business in this European run, lauding the German’s man-management skills:
“This remarkable Champions League form is showing him to be a coach of many facets, a man-manager supreme. Tactically, think of the job he has done with the remarkable Salah, the way he has deployed him in this fluid three-man attack.”
“He has always been more than people perceive, but the added component of experience has made him indispensible. Having started the season wondering if he would be continuing as a makeshift left-back like last year, he is now arguably the most complete central midfielder at the club.”
Matchett praised Gini Wijnaldum for taking his chance to impress and felt the Dutchman played an “integral” role giving the Reds in control:
“The Dutchman was integral in the Reds’ improved fortunes from the half-hour mark onward, harassing and challenging high upfield and surging down the channels to keep Roma pegged back.”
And discussing the midfield as a collective, Bascombe believes the balance of the Reds’ engine room has been aided by Philippe Coutinho’s departure:
“Since Coutinho’s January sale the structure of Liverpool’s midfield has been altered with positive consequence.”
Richards praised Firmino, and believes the Brazilian is helping to bring the best out of Salah:
“But Firmino continues to mature and grow into one of the very best centre-forwards anywhere.
“The Brazilian’s perpetual motion, intelligence and ability to both score and make goals has made him the perfect focal point to this Reds side. Salah is thriving from playing with him and vice versa.”
Reporters turned attention to the second leg—with most feeling the Reds have enough to complete the job…
Matchett assessed that it is essential Liverpool show “control and a strong mentality” in Rome:
“The Stadio Olimpico should hold no fears for the Reds; control and a strong mentality are a must, but as they showed at the Etihad Stadium, they do have both in abundance.”
Seemingly forgetting the Reds’ resolute second leg at Man City, Ladyman questioned Liverpool’s ability to produce one in Rome:
“Liverpool must go away from home and take the life out of the game. It is not something they are used to, it does not come naturally to them and is not something they are particularly good at. It will present Klopp with a challenge and what will be just as crucial will be the way Roma play.”
The Independent’s Miguel Delaney thinks Roma will have a tougher job trying to stop Salah than they did having to stop Barcelona in the last round:
“It’s going to take more than Roma repeating what they did against Barcelona. It’s going to take preventing Salah doing this.”
And colleague Jack Austin believes Liverpool will reach the final—and thinks the Reds will go into it as favourites because of their attacking prowess:
“Real Madrid or Bayern Munich await in the final, neither of whom have a reputation for an especially strong defence. Liverpool could well go to the final as favourites.”
Liverpool will take a 5-2 aggregate lead to Italy for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final after a thrilling win over AS Roma at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both scored twice, while Sadio Mane was also on the mark for the Reds.
Here is what the media made of another memorable European evening in front of the Kop…
Neil Jones, Goal.com
“'I don’t know what it is but I love it,' read the banner on The Kop. It couldn’t be any more apt. Nobody knows what this is, this incredible, unstoppable train. Mohamed Salah is leading Liverpool’s latest European charge in the most fabulous, thrilling fashion. Whatever this is, Reds fans love it. It’s ironic that the song the Kop serenades its Egyptian king with is to the tune of ‘Sit Down’. Because from the moment he arrived on Merseyside, all Salah has done is get people on their feet. On their feet and applauding. On their feet and applauding. On their feet and believing. There are hot streaks and then there are hot streaks. This shows no sign of slowing down. Salah is threatening to take Liverpool all the way to glory. He’s already got them with a foot-and-a-half in the Champions League final after yet another extraordinary performance on yet another extraordinary Anfield night. Entertainment? You get your money’s worth with Liverpool, that’s for sure.
James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
Jürgen Klopp's side only have one foot rather than two in next month's Champions League final in Kiev after late goals from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti burst Kopites' bubble of delirium. But this wasn't a night for regrets after Liverpool produced one of the most sensational performances in the club's illustrious European history. How can you criticise a team who delivered such a spellbinding attacking masterclass when the stakes were so high? Klopp's 150th match in charge was marked in style. Here was the fruits of his labour. His juggernaut he has assembled steamrollered the shell-shocked Serie A outfit. There were heroes all over the field. Klopp had warned Salah to expect a kicking against his old former club but they couldn't lay a glove on him. His fairytale season enjoyed its finest hour as he struck a majestic first-half double to take his tally to 43 goals – just four short of Ian Rush's club record. On current form there is no better player on the planet. The dazzling Egyptian winger showed no mercy to old friends as he tormented Roma's backline. The hapless Juan Jesus will be seeing him in his nightmares. Salah laid on goals for Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in the second half before the outstanding Firmino headed home his second of the night. The most potent attacking trio in Europe now boast 88 goals between this term. Despite the late twist, this is still a magnificent result for Liverpool, who will fancy their chances of doing some more damage in the Eternal City.
Melissa Reddy, Joe.co.uk
Liverpool, a hurricane of movement and attacking mastery, are 90-odd minutes away from flying to Kyiv for the chance at a sixth European Cup.
Roma had no obstructions, no clue and no say in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final that they were losing 5-0 on Merseyside, before they stopped playing dead to score twice late on. Mohamed Salah, a force that manages to mix the explosive and the elegant with a consistency that bankrupts vocabularies of superlatives. Forty three goals. Three have come against Manchester City, the same figure against Tottenham, two against Arsenal, that number here against his former club Roma and one against Chelsea. On the main stage, when Liverpool most need him, he does the business and spreads his arms out to ask his people if they expected any less. Forty three goals. They do not expect any less. It is about Roberto Firmino, a relentless all-rounder who tackles more than most midfielders and has 27 goals in the campaign - 11 of them in Europe. A player Klopp may as well have concocted in a science lab given his fighting football DNA. It is about Sadio Mane, who tries and grafts and scores and never hides whether things are going his way or not. Whether he is the right forward, on the left, through the middle, or deeper as a playmaker.
Barney Ronay, Guardian
It is no secret this Liverpool team play in surges, moments when the day seems to turn a shade of deep red and when the front three become a whirl of malevolent action. But this was something new. Liverpool and Salah did not just accelerate away from Roma, they eviscerated them, almost but not quite killing a semi-final that remains, somehow, in the balance. Liverpool were relentless in those periods, shaking and ragging Roma in their jaws like a terrier with an old leather slipper. Of five Liverpool goals in the space of 35 minutes Salah scored two and provided three assists for Roberto Firmino, twice, and Sadio Mané. Salah was that rare thing, an athlete at the top of his profession finding new heights, new levels. There may be a more breathtakingly brilliant attacking performance in Europe this season but, given the game and the stage, there has not been one yet. In the event the Salah Spring just keeps rolling, with 22 goals and nine assists in his past 19 starts since Boxing Day. More significant than the numbers is the spectacle, the basic joy in Salah’s free-running interpretation of the inside-forward role, a combination of preternatural quick feet, a computer of a creative brain and the rare ability in modern football simply to make the game up in front of him. Salah was too much for Roma as he has been for so many others this season. Defensive jitters may have let Roma back in towards the end but Liverpool will travel to Rome with confidence. Jürgen Klopp has spoken about the need for everyone to join “the train”, for the whole team to push it along together. The Olympic Stadium will be a moment to yank the throttle hard once again, to keep that machine driving on right to the end.
John Cross, Daily Mirror
There is surely no way back after another deafening, devastating Mo Salah night at Anfield. Salah was the hero, the genius carrying Liverpool towards more European glory after his remarkable virtuoso display put them within touching distance of the final. And yet amid the mayhem and noise, Salah was the only one in the place not celebrating as his team mates mobbed him and the roof came off the place. There can be no greater arena than Anfield on a European night and the all conquering hero is simply unstoppable as his brace takes him to 43 goals in 47 games in all competitions this season. Salah refused to celebrate against his former club while Roma must rue the day they let him go because his £35m move to Liverpool last summer now looks the bargain of the century. Roma’s two late goals at least gives the Italians some hope and Liverpool a degree of doubt but it is also impossible to imagine Salah not scoring in the second leg next week. You could sense the expectation inside Anfield, the buzz and the noise as the goals went in because Klopp’s men believe this is their time. But above everything else, they also have the best player in Europe right now with Salah because his goals, pace and individual brilliance destroys opponents. It was an incredible night because, just when you thought it could not get any louder than against Manchester City in the last round, it was another occasion to savour.
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
James Milner set a new record for Champions League assists in a single season during Liverpool's 5-2 win over AS Roma last night.
The 32-year-old's corner delivery for Roberto Firmino's headed second represented the ninth occasion this term that he has laid on a goal for a colleague in Europe.
That saw him surpass the tournament's previous best assists total of eight, achieved by both Neymar (2016-17) and Wayne Rooney (2013-14) in recent seasons.
Two men from Rome have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a 53-year-old supporter was assaulted ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma at Anfield.
Merseyside Police released a statement confirming the incident had taken place before kick-off and appealing for video footage.
A statement read:
Merseyside Police can confirm that two men, aged 25 and 26 years from Rome, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a 53-year-old man was seriously injured before the Champions League semi-final game this evening (Tuesday, 24 April 2018).
The man was arrested inside the ground after officers carried out a number of proactive inquiries in a bid to identify those involved in the incident.
Officers were called to the Albert public house at about 7.35pm following reports that a man, believed to be 53 years from Ireland, had been seriously assaulted.
Paramedics attended at the scene and the victim, who suffered a head injury, was taken to Walton Neurological Centre where his condition is described as critical.
Officers are particularly keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident and have information which could help them with their inquiries to contact them immediately.
Forensic examinations have been carried out at the scene and CCTV footage from the area will be reviewed in a bid to identify the offender/offenders.
Detective Inspector Paul Speight, said: “We believe the victim, was in Liverpool with his brother, for the Liverpool v Roma semi-final and was assaulted during an altercation between Roma and Liverpool fans near to the Albert pub at about 7.35pm.
“Witnesses report that the victim was hit with a belt and then fell to the ground. Paramedics treated him at the scene and he was taken by ambulance to Walton Neurological Centre, where he is being treated for a head injury. His condition is currently described as critical and his next of kin have been informed.
“The place where this incident occurred is right by the ground and was heaving with fans making their way to the game. I would appeal to anyone who has any information, or mobile phone footage of the incident to contact us urgently, as information they have could be vital to our investigation.”
The two men arrested have been taken to a police station where they will be questioned by detectives.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Merseyside Police social media desk via twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.
The Sunday Times journalist Jonathan Northcroft witnessed the incident pre-match and wrote on Twitter: “Roma fans have just attacked Liverpool supporters with belts, outside the Albert. About 20. One guy down getting treatment.
“The Roma group came out of Venmore St, and attack was sudden. Picked an older Liverpool fan and attacked him. A lot of police around but they were slow on the scene. Poor guy is still down. Horrible stuff.”