T he awe and wonder of a remarkable Anfield night did not decrease the day after. Fifteen minutes to play in a Champions League semi-final, and Jürgen Klopp thinks of Stoke. Nearly 60% remain undecided to determine the elite of the European elite. It is Bruno Martins Indi, Erik Pieters and Mame Biram Diouf who come into the head of the Liverpooler because he pulls Mohamed Salah back to protect himself from injury. What's more, he admits it too. "I do not think about a game," explained Klopp. The thought was justified and another measure of Liverpool's amazing command over Roma. The break from Salah is only temporary.
Uefa ranked Liverpool number one in Europe in February 2009, based on a five-year success and consequence phase under Rafael Benítez. A month later, they celebrated this status with a 4-0 defeat by Real Madrid that led Benítez's side to the Champions League quarter-finals following a semi-final win in 2008, a runner-up title in 2007 and the ultimate triumph in 2005 .
Klopp Liverpool can not compare to this job in his second full season as a coach. His team, however, has in this Champions League season reached an almost intoxicating offensive power that would envy their predecessors. And just like the qualities of Salah's goals, they are improving.
The 5-2 first leg rages over the Roma, who scored 38 goals in the Champions League for Liverpool this season. It's 44 if the qualification against Hoffenheim is included. With 10 goals each, Salah and the deciding Roberto Firmino now share the record for the most goals in a single European campaign by a Liverpool player. Together with Sadio Mané, who should have a hat-trick on Tuesday, they form the most successful line in the competition – 28 goals and more. And Liverpool have met in each of their six away games this season.
The Roma's commitment to attack next Wednesday at the Stadio Olimpico will make Liverpool hungry for more. "I learned tonight that we can win the second leg," Klopp admitted, though he was in no mood to celebrate after losing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to a serious knee injury.
Post-Game Interviews Are Influenced by Emotions Manager's opposite approaches after the first leg are also a good sign of Liverpool's quest for a sixth European Cup.
Eusebio Di Francesco, coach of the Roma, renounces the high defensive line and the three-man rearguard Salah wants to destroy his former club with one of the best individual performances in Europe, the Anfield has experienced.
Di Francesco blamed his players for losing too many individual matches and allowing the Liverpool midfielder to take the "lethal" breaks that Roma had focused on in training. "My Roma players do not have to tell me about Salah," headlined the Guardian interview with Di Francesco this week. Someone should have done that.
"We do not need miracles," was the tenor of the Roma coach's message as he invariably called memories of the quarter-final comeback against Barcelona. As others quickly realized, on Tuesday Liverpool reached the Italians' dominance over the Spanish league leaders, not even in the 4-1 first-leg win at Camp Nou.
With the two late goals following Salah's replacement, the Roma had hope for Anfield. It is unlikely that it is hope, but the great Egyptian who kills her in return.
Klopp took another line to Di Francesco by assuming responsibility for a result that everyone in Liverpool would have accepted before kicking off. "If someone wants to say that it's my fault that he scored two goals because I changed the striker, I have no problem with that," he said, pointing out that it was a defensive and a penalty decision, the Roma would have made it possible to close the gap
The real threat to Salah's exit was to limit Liverpool to five. Only five goals, in the semifinals of the Champions League, and with Oxlade-Chamberlain coming to an ominous injury list, Klopp had every reason to protect the forward line cutting across Europe.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has an increasing influence In the Champions League season, he is not expected to play again this season after hitting Aleksandar Kolarov at Anfield with a knee-jammed knee. Adam Lallana and Emre Can are also long-term failures, although Can will have a chance of getting a back injury before May 26th. His recovery may have been a step higher in Melwood today.
Georginio Wijnaldum was impressive when he replaced the England international against the Roma, while Jordan Henderson and James Milner – whose nine assists are the record for a Champions League season – were again outstanding in Europe as they favored the semi-finals Liverpool's transformed. The last three midfielders, who stand at Anfield, will not be relieved in the coming days. Continue to Stoke.