Liverpool 5 Roma 2
Salah 35 Salah 45 Mane 56 Firmino 61 Firmino 68 Dzeko 81 Perotti pen 85
A great footballer produces consistently.
And Salah is a really great footballer this season.
The Egyptian diamond dazzled in this Champions League semi-final on one of Anfield’s most thrilling European nights
But Roma dominated in the first 20 minutes and looked an accomplished team, as they did when thrashing Barcelona 3-0 in the second leg in Rome.
Then one of their former players ripped them apart with two world class goals and two assists.
FIRST GOAL : As four Liverpool players attacked six defenders, Firmino’s forward pass found Salah in the right corner of the penalty area. After two tiny touches, he fired a left foot shot into the postage stamp on the far side of the goal and the ball went in off the underside of the crossbar. No goalkeeper in football history could have saved that shot.
Klopp’s gegenpressing puts Mo Salah nearer the penalty area and Firmino & Mane are the perfect partners for him. So combative!
Gegenpressing is the best playmaker, insists Klopp. Be proactive, win the ball early, support your mate with sprints forward.
While the most exciting moment in football is the goal, the second most exciting moment is when one team loses the ball and the other gets it.
That moment is an opportunity and gegenpressing makes a style out of it. That style is fun to watch and suits Anfield, where the atmosphere propels the team on big nights like this.
But you need the right players to make it work.
An all-action style obviously needs a calm intelligence and an all-seeing eye within that storm of energy and Mo Salah provides those qualities.
Liverpool took to their new manager immediately because he is such a messiah. He was Kevin Keegan with qualifications. Klopp and Anfield has been a productive partnership so far.
I’d love to write more but needed to start work at 9 today, although 8 would have been better. My wife Jan made a remark last night but I can’t remember exactly what she said. It was something like, “You’ve been a nervous wreck all day.” And that was true.
I still love football and it was good to see Liverpool win this game 5-2.
But there’s still some work to do in Rome.