Salah returns as Roma face Liverpool
ROME – Following on from Tuesday night’s drama, Roma will square up against Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final. Friday’s draw confirmed the return of in-form striker Mohamed Salah to the Italian capital whilst Real Madrid will collide with Bayern Munich.
Roma may be glad to have avoided the Spanish and German footballing giants, but their route to the final in Kiev will certainly be no pushover.
Captain, Daniele de Rossi, was quick to play down any idea that Roma had been dealt a good hand, pointing out that Liverpool crushed Manchester City, who had been his favourites to win the competition.
“Who we got in the draw mattered little: all the sides at this point are great,” the midfielder said, adding the club’s “huge respect” for Liverpool while remaining optimistic of Roma’s chances to progress.
Roma now carry the hopes of Italian football in Europe as Lazio crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night. On a week of dramatic comebacks, Lazio threw away their seemingly unassailable lead, conceding four goals in 20 minutes as Salzburg completed a remarkable turnaround with a 6-5 aggregate victory.
The tie gives Roma the chance to avenge their 1984 European Cup final defeat to Liverpool, denying the Italians of a first major European trophy. The game was decided on penalties at Roma’s home, the Stadio Olimpico, and up until Tuesday night, the Italians hadn’t passed the quarter finals of Europe’s elite competition since that season.
Despite stressing that Roma would concentrate on their own game, the club’s sporting director, commonly known as Monchi, admitted that the draw was “a great opportunity to chase the joy that we were not able to experience so many years ago.”
The first leg will be played at Anfield on the 24th April with the decisive fixture on the 2nd May at the Stadio Olimpico.