History was created on May 3 when the Premier League team Liverpool beat Serie A gargantuan AS Roma in the UCL semi-final 7-6 in aggregate to reach the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League Final, after losing the 2nd leg 4-2 in an intense thriller at the Stadio Olimpico. Liverpool had won the 1st leg against AS Roma, i.e Liverpool vs AS Roma 5-2 at Anfield on 24 April, setting up an extremely tough challenge for the Serie A team to achieve in the 2nd leg, i.e. AS Roma vs Liverpool. And in what turned out to be an exhilarating matchup, AS Roma did defeat Liverpool in the 2nd leg on 3 May, but ran just a little short, as the Premier League team qualified on 7-6 aggregate to reach the 2017/18 Champions League Final, i.e Liverpool vs Real Madrid. Let’s take a recap of the historic UCL semi-final that took place between AS Roma and Liverpool.
AS Roma had a formidable challenge to overcome 5-2 deficit against Liverpool in the 2nd leg
The AS Roma vs Liverpool, i.e. 2nd leg of the UCL semi-final, kicked off on 3 May at the Stadio Olimpico, which is the home-ground of AS Roma. AS Roma had started off the challenge with a formidable target to achieve, that was, to overcome the 5-2 defeat that the Reds had slammed on the Serie A team in the 1st leg at Anfield on 24 May.
Anyone would have guessed that the challenge was an extremely tough one, given that there was not much room for error for Roma. However, AS Roma did step up as one would have expected them to do, and overpowered Liverpool with higher shots, higher shots on target, higher ball possession, and more corner kicks. It all didn’t start in the perfect way, however, for AS Roma as the first goal of the night was scored by Liverpool, when Sadio Mane netted a brilliant through-ball by Firmino in the 9th minute to go one-up in the AS Roma vs Liverpool clash.
Own Goal by James Milner to even things out for AS Roma
The second goal of the night equalised the scoreline 1-1, but interestingly, was again scored by Liverpool, when a clearance shot by Lovren hit James Milner in the head and ricocheted right back into the Reds’ own goal. It was now that things started to pick up and the temperature started to rise in the AS Roma vs Liverpool.
It was just 10 minutes after Liverpool’s own goal, that Georginio Wijnaldum pushed Liverpool to take the lead again, when he scored a goal at the 25th minute. The first half saw these three goals, and the scoreline at halftime was favouring Liverpool by 2-1.
2nd half was loaded by three goals by AS Roma
Coming back into the play at 2nd half, AS Roma knew what was at stake, i.e. 2017/18 UEFA Champions League Final qualification, and so they fought hard, literally till the last minute. While the 1st half saw thee goals by Liverpool (one own-goal by Milner, and two goals by Sadio Mane & Wijnaldum), the 2nd half was marked by three screamers by AS Roma, which would take the scoreline to 4-2, but would remain just short for the Serie A giants, leading to their failure to qualify for the 2017/18 Champions League Final.
Liverpool win Semi-final 7-6 in aggregate, qualify to 2017/18 Champions League Final against Real Madrid
Edin Dzeko scored a brilliant goal for Roma in the 52nd minute, which was followed by two goals by Radja Nainggolan, first one at the 86th minute, and another one in extra time, which was a penalty awarded to Roma in the 4th minute of extra-time. The scoreline at the final whistle was leading in favour of AS Roma 4-2, but Liverpool’s excellent performance in the 1st leg which had seen a 5-2 battering of Roma, ended up being the winning factor for the Reds as they qualified to the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League Final on 7-6 aggregate, and will now feature in Liverpool vs Real Madrid, which will take place on May 27 in Ukraine.
After the match was over, Liverpool own-goal scorer James Milner tweeted about his incident, and it went viral in a flash.
— James Milner (@JamesMilner) May 2, 2018