Player ratings: Roma 4-2 Liverpool

Klopp-and-Salah-celebrate-at-end-of-game
Well we did it folks. 2018 Champions League final here we come. Kiev, May 26th - Liverpool vs Real Madrid. Sounds pretty darn good doesn’t it?

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In true Liverpool style though, we don’t half make life difficult for ourselves although I do think the scoreline slightly flattered Roma. That own goal from Milner was desperately unlucky and that was another ridiculous penalty they got. The thing is, they should have had two penalties over the tie but not the two they got and we should have had a couple too. Poor standard of officiating at this level and it will only strengthen the argument for VAR. Whether that’s a good thing or not remains to be seen.

Mane coming up with the goods in Europe again. That’s nine goals in ten European games, not too shabby considering he’s not meant to be having the best of seasons. It highlights the power and importance of our front three though. Salah and Firmino weren’t quite at it last night but there’s rarely a game where at least one of them doesn’t pop up with a game changing moment. Real Madrid better believe they’re going to have their hands full in Kiev.

What a way for Gini to end his away goals hoodoo. He doesn’t score many but he likes an important one. It was his goal against Middlesbrough on the last game of last season that confirmed our place in this season’s Champions League so it’s somehow fitting that his goal secured our place in the final. He divides opinion amongst the fan base but I like Gini and feel there’s a place for him in our squad.

We were lucky that two of our three fit midfielders were our Duracell bunnies - Hendo and Milner. Those two can run all day and their undervalued athleticism has been very important at this late stage of the season where others are tiring. I have to say though, if it wasn’t for bad luck, Milner wouldn’t have any luck at all.

Robbo was sensational again. Some of his driving runs forward were simply superb and Roma couldn’t cope with him at times. It’s staggering to think we got Salah AND Robbo for less than half what United paid for Pogba... Unbelievably good transfer business and a Champions League final only makes us more appealing to players as we approach the summer window.

More defensive frailties however and it’s the usual suspects - Lovren and Karius under most scrutiny. As always with these two, they do some things well and start to win you over and then out of nowhere, something mental and the ball is in the back of our net. Karius dealt with crosses well for the most part and his distribution was decent but then he parries a speculative shot straight to Dzeko who summarily does the rest. Also, if not for a wrong offside decision, he would have conceded an earlier penalty and got himself sent off and then we would really have been under the cosh. He can’t be relied upon and desperately needs upgraded if we seriously want to challenge City next season. Same goes for Lovren. Don’t get me wrong, he was unlucky in what happened with the Milner own goal but it just had to be him didn’t it? Once again, no imminent danger, just a simple clearance and then two seconds later the ball is in the back of his own net. We’ve consistently seen teams target that side of our defence as the weak spot and they are consistently proved right. Trent will develop massively on the back of this season but Lovren is just Lovren. He always has a mistake in him and everybody knows it.

Anyway, in true Liverpool style, we got there the hard way just as we’re now going to have to do in the league as attention now switches to Chelsea. For now however, let’s just enjoy the fact we’ve reached our first Champions League final in eleven years! A fantastic achievement from the lads who have made us dream all season.

In Kiev, we won it 6 times... I like the sound of that.
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