Sunday, November 18, 2018

Can anybody stop Liverpool in the Champions League?

David Nugent in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 25 Apr 2018

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Watching Liverpool dismantle Roma in the Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield on Tuesday night was like watching a horror film. The 5-2 mauling against an inept Roma defence was awful to watch as an Everton fan.

However, it was hard to not feel impressed by the Reds attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, even if that is said through gritted teeth.

Salah was once again unplayable and Roma had no clue how to defend against their former forward. It was like lambs to the slaughter. It may have been the worse defensive display from an Italian team I have ever seen in Europe.

Liverpool just unstoppable at times

It would be remiss to put this result down to terrible defending, as Liverpool destroy every defence they come up against these days. The fact that Jurgen Klopp’s side has scored at least two goals in seven of their last eight outings in all competitions illustrates that perfectly.

The only blip in that run was when Klopp rested some of his star players against Everton at Goodison Park in the Merseyside derby that ended goalless.

In Salah, Mane and Firmino they just have so much pace that most defences struggle to stop the Reds from finding their attacking stride. Defences have to be alert at all times against the trio. Unfortunately, the Roma defence were like rabbits caught in the headlights. Liverpool’s juggernaut just drove right over them, leaving just a slight semblance of a corpse.

True European giants clash on Wednesday night

The other semi-final first leg takes place in Munich this evening, as Bayern Munich host European champions Real Madrid. Both teams are old hands at appearing in the latter stages of this competition.

These teams have proper European pedigree, true giants of the European game and the Champions League. It would have been interesting to see how either team would have coped with playing Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League.

The Bayern and Madrid players are ones who have played in the biggest club and international tournaments. You wonder would they have frozen in the semi-finals or like City did in the quarter-finals at Liverpool.

We will never know the answer. However, it looks like one of these giants will be facing the dangerous Reds in the Champions League final in Kiev at the end of the month. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid should pose Jurgen Klopp’s side more problems than their previous Champions League opponents have.

Liverpool should record easy passage into the final

For much of last night’s clash, it seemed that Liverpool were coasting through into the second leg with a massive lead. However, those two-way goals have given the Giallorossi a slight lifeline.

In addition, the fact that Roma recorded a 3-0 victory over Barcelona in the last round to knock out the Catalan giants is also something for every non-Liverpool fan to cling to. However, the fact that both Liverpool and Roma are odds of 6/4 to win the second leg, suggests that the Reds will fancy their chances of winning at the Stadio Olimpico as well.

Liverpool only know one way of playing under Klopp. The Reds will go for the win in the eternal city because they know that attack is the best form of defence for them.

The Merseysiders defence has not been the most solid this season. However, unfortunately for the rest of us, their attacking play is good enough to negate any defensive deficiencies, in a quite frightening manner. I am sure that Liverpool will negotiate the second leg with ease. That will mean a first Champions League final appearance since 2007.

I can guarantee that Bayern Munich or Real Madrid will not lay down so easily as Roma or City for that matter. Whether either side can stop the Reds will remain to be seen, though.

Can anybody stop Liverpool in the Champions League?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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