Jürgen Klopp assessed Liverpool's Champions League semi-final first leg against AS Roma at length during a pre-match press conference on Monday.
The Reds host the Serie A side in the opening leg of two to decide which of the teams will progress to the European showpiece in Kiev next month.
First, the world’s media gathered at Anfield to quiz Klopp on how the game is likely to play out, what difference the atmosphere could make, Mohamed Salah’s reunion with his former club, and more.
Read on for a summary…
On Salah winning PFA Players’ Player of the Year…
Fantastic. I’m really happy for him. He can be really proud of that, it’s a fantastic achievement. I think if all the other players vote for you that means the most to all players. I didn’t speak to him afterwards because obviously he was in London yesterday. But he will be back today and then I can tell him what I want to tell him face to face. It’s great. But he knows the season is not finished so far. There are a lot of things to come but I’m sure it’s a nice boost for him. And I really have to say, in a season like this when Kevin de Bruyne plays a season like he played, it makes it even more special. If anybody else would have voted, not the players, then I think it’s different. But the players know how difficult it is to score that many goals and to be involved in that many goals. So I really think it’s well deserved.
On what he hopes from Liverpool fans…
I think that’s pretty clear. In the stadium, do it again and better; outside the stadium, please show the respect we have to show. This is such a fantastic football club, an outstanding football family, known for fantastic atmospheres all over the world. If we can do what we did, creating an atmosphere in front of the stadium, let’s do it – I’m a big fan of that. But, please, show the respect they deserve. We are opponents on the pitch, of course, that’s the game. Everybody knows how nice and wonderful Rome is, not all the people know how wonderful Liverpool is. But we can show how wonderful the Liverpool people are, and the city and the spirit of the club. We can show that in 20 minutes before the game and then the whole world knows it. All the people who are with LFC deserve that we show that face.
On whether it will be strange for Salah to face Roma…
I think it’s pretty normal in football, it happens constantly that players change clubs and managers change clubs. I had it with Dortmund about two years ago. It’s actually a normal game but, yes, it feels quite special because you know much more about the other team than you usually know and you are more interested in the other team than you usually are. I’m pretty sure Mo follows the whole season of Roma; he had a fantastic time there, he became the player there which we now have here. Big, big credit to all the staff and players at Roma because they are all part of his development. Yes, it’s strange but in the end we are all professionals. Italian defenders are famous for not having friendly games so I think Mo will feel pretty early in the game that they are not his teammates anymore – and then he can strike back in a football way.
On similarities with Roma coach Eusebio di Francesco and whether he would like to manage in Italy one day…
We both wear glasses and have a bad shave! [We took] a similar way to the big clubs. He started with some smaller clubs and had big success, that’s how we had it actually. But style of play, I don’t want to talk too much about that. He loves football, that’s obvious. He has a football-playing side, build-up and good organisation; I love that too, every manager loves that. Yes, maybe there are a few similarities but that doesn’t make life easier for him or me tomorrow, it only means it will be difficult and I knew that before already. I don’t think it makes sense for an Italian club to work together with me because I can only order spaghetti in the restaurant and that is not enough to be a manager of an Italian club! I don’t think about anything [like that]. I had to talk too often in the last few days or weeks about when I’ll stop working. I don’t even think about stopping working, [it’s] only because people ask me. We will see what happens – que sera, sera! But not in the next four years, for sure.
On the ‘underdog’ status of the two clubs…
I do understand that probably a lot of people thought this semi-final would have been usually Barcelona against Manchester City. But it’s not, because it’s football. Roma made it possible and we did as well, that we are now here – and I think both teams deserve it. It’s really true: I came up the stairs at Manchester City and somebody told me Roma won 3-0. I thought in the first second, ‘not possible’ because the opponent was Barcelona. But I love that game because it is possible. We did something similar at City. They play an outstanding season but in these two games we deserved to win. Now we play against each other; maybe our situation is similar in the league. They have Juventus and Napoli, we have City and United – big challenges and big competitors, of course. But that’s not important.
First of all, it’s important that we can really enjoy our own football. At the end of the season there’s only one team who can win it. But it’s a long season and our job is to show the best we can. Even if it’s not the best of the league, we still have to show it. And that’s what we try constantly. Now we don’t play the league, we play the Champions League. We still know we had to win the last game of last season against Middlesbrough; which is not a nice feeling, it’s a final. Then we were qualified. We celebrated like we were already qualified but we weren’t – we had to play against Hoffenheim, which was quite uncomfortable. We won that as well and we started the journey. Now we are here, exactly the same as Roma. We both have the chance to go to the final and that’s all I need, I don’t need anything else. People talk about pressure or a ‘once-in-a-lifetime chance’, I heard before. It’s not like that. If I go to the final, it’s the second time in my life – nobody would have thought that. It’s possible and that’s nice. If it’s possible, let’s try everything to do it.
I like the way Roma did it. Obviously they brought in quite a good sporting director last year and they again did a fantastic job. Losing Emerson and Mo Salah is really difficult. We lost Phil Coutinho – that’s not a hobby, it doesn’t feel like fun. It’s quite difficult to find players like this, you have them on a specific level and you lose them. We really had a similar situation. But we continued believing in ourselves, and Roma obviously the same. They changed manager, we didn’t have to do that at least. He is doing a brilliant job. They have all my respect and if anybody thinks we two are the underdogs, who cares? We are in the semi-final and we can go to the final, that’s all I care about.
On whether his view of Roma changed after their win against Barcelona…
No. I watch quite a lot of Italian football, to be honest, it’s always really interesting. I saw a few Roma games. I know Edin Dzeko from Germany, I liked him as a player. I like watching him, to be honest. I’m not surprised. I was surprised after the first result that they had that kind of comeback against Barcelona because it’s pretty rare. But I love that it’s possible. The quality in the team and the quality in the squad, they could make seven or eight changes for the last [league] game and were quite comfortable winning. That’s a fact. That’s a big advantage for Roma, to be honest. I don’t care about advantages; we play at home, that’s a big advantage as well.
But they have pretty much a full squad available. That’s good, and all of them are good. They have different options in offence; of course Dzeko, clear, Schick, Under, El Shaarawy, other players. Nainggolan, De Rossi, experienced. Defence strong, wing-backs strong, Peres. It all looked settled, looked fit and looked experienced. And obviously for Roma it is a big thing the semi-final, like it is for us. We are not used to that. That’s good. We don’t have experience, that’s not good, but we are not used to it – that means you will see the excitement of both teams in a positive way. That’s how football should be.
On the role the fans can play at Anfield…
I don’t have to tell people what I want to see because they know it already, they are much more experienced in these moments than we are. They created a few of the most special atmospheres in world football. In the stadium, I don’t know exactly if the atmosphere can be better than it was against Manchester City, but if it’s possible let’s try. These are the very special moments; if you cannot enjoy that moment then something is really wrong with you! For the boys on the pitch it is hard work but it’s no problem, we knew that before. But it’s much more fun when you do it at Anfield. So I don’t have to say anything – I know they will be perfect.
On what it would mean to reach the Champions League final…
I don’t like to talk about things like that before we play it. It would be very special, everybody can imagine – very, very special. But it’s nothing to talk about. We have to talk about the game against Roma and not what it would mean if we go through. We have to deserve that, not to talk about it. That’s what we try to do with all we have.
Last Updated: 23/04/18 4:00pmMohamed Salah can expect a hard time from his former Roma team-mates, according to Jurgen Klopp Mohamed Salah can expect a hard time from his former Roma team-mates, according to Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has warned Mohamed Salah to expect no favours from his former Roma team-mates when the two sides meet in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Salah enjoyed two successful seasons at the Stadio Olimpico before leaving to join Liverpool for £34.3m last summer.
The Egypt international has admitted he will find it emotional facing his former team but Klopp insists there will be no quarter given from either side once the game is underway.Jurgen Klopp has warned the Egyptian to expect no favours from his former team-mates
"It feels quite special because you know a lot more about the other team than you would usually know," said Klopp.
"You are more interested in the other team than you are usually. I'm pretty sure Mo has followed the whole of Roma's season.
"He had a fantastic time there and became the player we have now, big credit to the staff and players at Roma because they were all part of his development.
"We are all professionals though. I am sure Italian defenders are famous for not having friendly games. Mo will feel pretty early in the game that they are not his team-mates anymore."Liverpool beat Manchester City to reach the last four
Salah has enjoyed a remarkable debut season with the Reds and is on course to win the European Golden Boot after scoring 41 goals in 46 games in all competitions.
The 25-year-old was named PFA Player of the Year on Friday night and Klopp believes the Egyptian fully deserves the accolade.
"It is fantastic, I'm really happy for him," said Klopp. "He can be really proud of that, it is a fantastic achievement. If all the players vote for you, that means the most to players.
"I didn't speak to him after because he was in London yesterday but I will speak to him today to tell him what I want to tell him.Here’s a look at the superb season enjoyed by Liverpool’s mercurial Mohamed Salah, after the Egyptian was named PFA Players’ Player of the Season. Here’s a look at the superb season enjoyed by Liverpool’s mercurial Mohamed Salah, after the Egyptian was named PFA Players’ Player of the Season.
"It is great but he knows the season is not finished. There are a lot of things to come. I'm sure it is a nice boost for him.
"I have to say, in a season like this when Kevin De Bruyne has played the season like he played, that makes it even more special.
"The players know how difficult it is to score that many goals, and be involved in that many goals, so I really think that it is deserved."Play Super 6 for £250k
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Back in December, Liverpoolfc.com first published 'The Mohamed Salah story: In his own words' as our No.11 talked through his rise from making the breakthrough at his first club Arab Contractors to becoming the Kop's 'Egyptian King' in an exclusive interview.
It was the first - and so far only - time Salah had discussed in detail the moments that have enabled him to become the person and player he is today – from his early days outsmarting defenders on the streets of Negreeg in Egypt to becoming a formidable force domestically and on the continent.
On Sunday night, the Reds forward was crowned as the PFA's Players' Player of the Year - voted for by his fellow professionals - after an incredible season to date that has seen him net 41 goals in just 46 appearances until now.
So why not discover Salah's journey to this point in his career by revisiting his story, as told by the man himself?
This year will see the sixth memorial golf day and fundraiser in memory of Anne Williams, who passed away from cancer in 2013.
Anne lost her 15-year-old son Kevin at Hillsborough and she fought tirelessly right up until her last days to seek the truth about his death at the disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans in 1989.
The Anne Williams Memorial Golf Day will take place at Huyton and Prescot Golf Club on Friday July 6, and is another successful sell-out event. There are 70 golfers taking part this year and over 20 people are registered on the waiting list.
Since this event began, various charities have benefited from the funds raised - and this year’s main charity is An Hour for Others, based in Anfield.
Over the past four years the charity has achieved so much including:
This has all been achieved by kind hearted men and women stepping forward and offering what they can to build a stronger and caring community.
The charity is proud to have LFC player Trent Alexander-Arnold as their very first ambassador.
Also, this year Autism Adventures Liverpool will receive a donation for the great work that they do.
The Anne Williams Memorial Golf Day is looking for items to be donated that can be raffled or auctioned to raise funds. If you would like to help, please contact Sean Doyle via SeanDoyle1966@hotmail.com.
There is also a fundraising page where you can donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/l96x2o.
Steven Gerrard expects Liverpool’s game plan at Anfield on Tuesday to be based on taking AS Roma ‘out of their comfort zone’.
The Reds entertain the Serie A club in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie this week, with Stadio Olimpico the venue for next Wednesday’s second meeting.
Anfield also hosted the first leg of Liverpool’s last-eight encounter with Manchester City when, amid an ear-splitting atmosphere created by the home fans, a display of ferocious intensity saw Jürgen Klopp’s side race into a three-goal lead before half-time.
And Gerrard believes Klopp’s team will look to replicate that type of performance against Roma.
“I think Liverpool will come out with a high tempo at Anfield and really try to play at a speed to take Roma out of their comfort zone,” the legendary former Reds captain told Roma TV.
“I think Roma’s style and the Italian style is more technical and more at a different pace, whereas Liverpool’s main strength is speed and movement and a high-tempo, pressing game with the fans behind them.
“I think the big challenge for Roma is can they control that? Have they got the players to control that?”
Gerrard is no stranger to huge European ties involving Liverpool, of course, and the man who skippered the club to glory in the 2005 Champions League feels Tuesday’s first leg will define the outcome of the tie.
“I think they [Liverpool and Roma] have different styles, the leagues have different styles, but I think games at this level and of this magnitude come down to the small details,” he continued.
“You need little bits of luck over the two games. I think the big, important game is actually the first leg… when they [Liverpool] get in front, they’re quite good. I think Roma have to stay in the game for the second leg.”
A place in next month’s final, where either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich will await, is at stake, and Gerrard regards all four remaining competitors as serious challengers to lift the trophy in Kiev.
However, the manner of the Reds’ convincing 5-1 aggregate victory over City in the quarter-finals will have been recognised by their three rivals, he thinks.
“I think the reality is that the four teams deserve to be where they are, and I think there’s not one standout team which is a big favourite,” Gerrard said.
“I think, realistically, the four teams all have a really good chance of winning the Champions League, and I think Liverpool have earned the right now to be feared.
“Out of the four teams, Liverpool were the team that none of the other three teams wanted to face because they’re a very difficult team to stop.”
Liverpool FC will face Italian side Napoli in a pre-season friendly at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday August 4.
The Reds are set to return to the venue for a second successive year after beating Athletic Club 3-1 in front of a sold-out crowd in their final warm-up match ahead of the current campaign.
Tickets for the game will go on sale to the general public at 11am BST on Friday April 27 – and can be purchased via Ticketmaster by clicking here.
Prices range from €10 for children through to €125 for a family package (which includes two adults and two children).
A pre-sale will take place from 10.30am on Thursday April 26 for LFC Members, season ticket holders, hospitality season ticket holders and official supporters’ clubs members only.
LFC ambassador Ian Rush visited the Aviva Stadium today to announce the fixture, and said: “As a club, we have tremendous support in Ireland, so it’s always a pleasure to come to Dublin and play in front of our Irish fans.
“There’s certain to be a fantastic atmosphere in the Aviva Stadium when LFC and our Italian opponents arrive in August, and we thank the Football Association of Ireland for their support in hosting the game.”
The borrowed Reds were back in top form enjoying a productive week of goals and impressive performances.
But those who did play made up for the lack of action, and here’s the full lowdown.Wilson just can’t stop scoring…
— harry wilson (@harrywilson_) April 22, 2018
The Wales international’s stunning form at Hull continued as he scored a magnificent brace in an incredible 5-5 draw against a Ryan Kent-less Bristol City.
Wilson opened the scoring on a crazy afternoon with a classy goal—starting the move with driving run and neat one-two before finishing it with a brilliant left-footed curler from outside the box.
And after Hull fell 4-2 behind, Wilson stepped up to deliver the key moment which provided the inspiration for the fightback, with an effort of great ingenuity.
Wilson looked certain to cross a free-kick but instead surprised everyone as he whipped a Fabio Aurelio-vs-Chelsea-esque curler into the near-post top corner brilliantly catching out Frank Fielding.
It was a goal that showed everything about Wilson’s confidence in his superb form, which has seen him score seven goals and lay on four assists in 12 appearances.Markovic was also among the goals…
It was less expected but just as pleasing to see the forgotten Serbian on the scoresheet as he netted his first goal for Anderlecht just a day shy of exactly a year on from his last.
Markovic added to his growing case for a regular starting role by grabbing his side’s equaliser in an eventual 2-1 loss to Genk on his return.
Playing on the left of a three-man attack the 24-year-old levelled with a superb finish—showing great composure and accuracy when one-on-one to fire into the top corner.
It was disappointing the goal didn’t count for more but it will give Markovic another welcome confidence boost.There was also bad news with a season-ending injury for Awoniyi…
When your leading scorer and talisman is nowhere to be seen three games running you know something serious is up—and sadly it appears this is the case for Awoniyi.
After three games out it was reported the Nigerian’s season with Royal Excel Mouscron is over due to an injury which will rule him out for six weeks.
It’s a gutting way for the season to finish for Awoniyi, who has been a revelation and come of age in a sensational campaign in which he posted 10 goals and seven assists in 31 appearances.
Awoniyi will hope his form has caught Jurgen Klopp’s attentions for next season—or those of bigger European clubs should another loan move be preferred.Seven more Reds were in action…
Three more European Reds were in action, but it was a winless week for all.
Pedro Chirivella had a rare outing to forget in Willem II’s midfield in a 5-1 loss to Feyenoord—with the Spaniard at fault for the visitors’ second which prompted his early withdrawal.
Divock Origi was limited to a cameo appearance in Wolfsburg’s 3-0 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach—entering for the last 15 minutes with his side already beaten.
Colombian full-back Anderson Arroyo saw his impressive eight-match winning streak with Real Mallorca B ended as he completed the full game in a 1-1 draw with UD Ibiza.
Four more home-based Reds played, including Connor Randall who was back in action at Hearts after having a rare weekend off last week to recharge.
The defender played the full 90 minutes in a slightly unfamiliar right wing-back role as his side went down 2-1 to Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.
Matty Virtue was in impressive form as Notts County claimed another crucial three points in the push for promotion from League Two with a 4-0 demolition of Corey Whelan-less Yeovil on Saturday.
Finally, Andy Firth continued between the sticks for already relegated National League side Chester City, who went down 3-1 to Maidstone in the penultimate game of a miserable season.Keita Watch
There was only one outing for the soon-to-be Red this week, coming in a 5-2 loss to Hoffenheim which extended RB Leipzig’s winless run to four games.
Keita started on the bench due to his recent back injury but was typically impressive after coming on at half-time—by which time Leipzig already trailed 3-0—as he scored his ninth goal of the season, which you can watch here.
Keita gave his side hope with another superb solo effort to add to the collection—beating two players with slick footwork before rifling a shot which hit the post but went in after deflecting off the ‘keeper.
The luck was deserved after the brilliant initial play but it wasn’t enough to inspire an Istanbul-esque comeback.Liverpool’s Loanees This Week
Despite the frustration on the day, Steven Scragg thinks a draw at the Hawthorns can sharpen the focus for some big nights to come.
It was a side-step taken at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, which could prove to be a useful lesson when it comes to some big nights ahead.
Klopp wasn’t a happy man and he fell into a well-worn trap that some of his predecessors in the manager’s chair at Anfield will see as all-too-familiar.
Being mugged of points by thudding Anglo-Saxon opponents has long been a recognised fault at Liverpool.There is no need to worry
This type of thing happens to us far less than it once did, and in Klopp we have a manager who takes epic umbrage in such circumstances.
Let’s face it, he took the loss of two points on Saturday with a lack of the sort of guarded graciousness we’ve become accustomed to since he arrived at the club.
I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that, though.
Sometimes it is the right and even brave thing to do, to call someone out for being a bit of a bastard.
They’re like that belligerent work colleague who gets drunk on a work’s night out and calls everyone out for a ‘straightener,’ then wakes up the next morning blissfully unaware of their behaviour the previous evening.
They’ve certainly shown more spirit in the last fortnight than they have over the course of the rest of the season.A timely step to the side?
A side-step taken, before a potentially seismic step forward, can be massively useful.
It can heighten the senses, it can focus the mind, it can sharpen the response.
Yes, it was careless of us to allow West Brom back into a game which should have been packaged up and sent home long before the final whistle blew.
Yes, a sizeable number of the starting line-up in this one won’t start at Anfield against Roma on Tuesday evening—I’d expect five of the side which started on Saturday to be sat on the bench on Tuesday—but it is still a momentum issue.
Changes or not, we move forward as a collective, and we stall as a collective.
Go out there and take the Saturday frustrations out on Tuesday’s opponents.Danny Ings scores a goal, Hallelujah
The feel-good factor on Saturday was provided by Danny Ings, scorer of the most personalised Liverpool goal of the season.
It was a long time in coming, but there had been a few near-misses since he remerged in the Liverpool first team.
Highly likeable and something completely different to what we have in Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, Ings will take massive confidence from his goal against West Brom. This can only be a good thing.
A wildcard from the bench against Roma, should we need one.
There are support roles to be filled at Liverpool and the candidates could already be at the club.
Ings next goal in Liverpool shirt shouldn’t be another 930 days in the making.The Egyptian Messi?
There is a compelling case to rechristen Lionel Messi, ‘the Argentinian Salah.’
Salah, newly crowned PFA Player of the Year, scored another effortless masterpiece.
The superlatives are running low.
I know that it is a repetitive mantra, but he provides smile-inducing football. We are no one-man team, but it is only right and proper to enjoy Salah and to celebrate him.
He has successfully got me looking forward to one of the most controversial World Cups ever, this summer in Russia.
Seeing Salah pick up the Player of the Year award, from what always seems to be a disgruntled Gordon Taylor when he’s forced to hand over his prized piece of silverware to a Liverpool player, was a joy.
There is a bigger and more collective prize to play for, however.First is first and second is nowhere
Some Reds have been eager to see Liverpool overhaul Manchester United for second place in the Premier League.
The old adage that first is first and second is nowhere is a complex one though.
I don’t glean any bragging rights from finishing above a perceived rival, if you don’t win the league within doing so. That’s strictly ‘Everton behaviour.’
If dropping two points to West Brom means no complacency is shown on Tuesday evening then it will have been a worthwhile occurrence.
Second place has long since stopped being nowhere in football, just as third and fourth places have, but I’m looking for the thrill a big prize and I think we can do it.
One step to the side, but one giant leap forward it needs to be then.
Tuesday can’t arrive soon enough.
AS Roma legend Francesco Totti has hailed Liverpool as a 'model to follow' ahead of the two historic clubs locking horns in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
But the former Italy international admits he might have preferred to be drawn against a different opponent given the Reds' record in past meetings between the teams.
Totti first encountered Liverpool as a seven-year-old, when they won a penalty shootout to deny his beloved Roma European Cup success in their own stadium in the tournament's 1984 final.
It was a similar story of disappointment 17 years later as Gerard Houllier's side knocked the Romans out of the UEFA Cup in a two-legged, fourth-round tie from which Totti was omitted with an ultimately successful Serie A title chase prioritised.
When the 2006 World Cup winner finally got to experience Anfield for himself in the second group stage of the 2001-02 Champions League, he and his teammates suffered a decisive 2-0 defeat that saw them crash out of the competition.
Reflecting on his memories of the club, Totti told Liverpoolfc.com: "When I hear the name Liverpool, [I think] respect, a big club, a big team, big fans, and a model to follow.
"Despite the negative result, I have nice memories of that game [at Anfield].
"The atmosphere, the feeling, the passion of the fans - it was very impressive.
"Obviously, if I think back to that European Cup final in 1984, it's a bad memory, so we would have probably have avoided such a draw.
"But we needed to pick one of the best three teams in Europe that were left, and now we are playing Liverpool."
Totti has been paying special attention to the Reds' fortunes this season following the summer acquisition of Roma favourite Mohamed Salah.
And, though the Italian football legend didn't quite expect the 41-goal Egyptian to make such a big impact, he is not completely shocked to see him thrive under Jürgen Klopp.
"This season I've seen a number of games of Liverpool, especially because Mo Salah is now playing there, I've been following it consistently," he added.
"Especially after the draw, over the past few days I've been watching their Champions League games and I really think it's going to be a tough game for both teams.
"To some extent, it surprises me that [Salah] has been doing so well in his first season at Liverpool.
"But, on the other hand, considering the quality of the squad, the coach they have - Klopp, to me, is one of the best coaches in the world - it didn't surprise me.
"They put him in the condition to express himself at his best."