A Mohamed Salah masterclass guided Liverpool to a 5-2 home victory over Roma on Tuesday evening
Liverpool, who last reached the final in 2007, repeatedly breached the visitors’ naively high defensive line and scored five times in the opening 68 minutes at a raucous Anfield.
Mohamed Salah scored two goals and dished out two assists against his former club, while Roberto Firmino netted a brace and Sadio Mane put one behind the back of the net.
With his side leading 5-0, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp took off Salah – and Roma gave themselves a chance for next week’s return leg at the Stadio Olimpico.
First Edin Dzeko lashed home from Radja Nainggolan’s pass, then Diego Perotti put a penalty into the top right corner after Milner handled Nainggolan’s shot.
Dzeko almost scored an improbable third as an extraordinary game neared its end when his long-range strike whistled over.
It was a dominant, shocking performance where Roma’s defense was non-existent. They were slow to react to Liverpool’s speed, gave the hosts too much space in the final third and were rightfully punished.
In the quarterfinals, Roma managed a 3-0 win in the second leg at home to go through. It’d take another 3-0 win (or 4-1) at this point–which would require another attacking onslaught and what few teams have been able to accomplish all season: silencing Salah & Co. over the course of 90 minutes.
LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain (Wijnaldum 18′), Henderson, Milner; Salah (Ings 75′), Firmino (Klavan 93′), Mane
ROMA (3-4-2-1): Becker; Fazio, Manolas, Jesus (Perotti 67′); Florenzi, De Rossi (Gonalons 67′), Strootman, Kolarov; Under (Schick 46′), Nainggolan; Dzeko
Alongside Adriano, Roberto Firmino is now the fastest player to 10 Champions League goals, taking just 11 appearances.
Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have combined for six Champions League goals this season, twice as much as the next highest pairing.