Liverpool knew that, after a dominant first leg victory over AS Roma a week ago, they could take the foot off the gas as they traveled to Italy for the second leg. Still, Wednesday’s second leg got very, very interesting.
Jurgen Klopp’s men grabbed a pair of early goals but had to hold on for a place in the UEFA Champions League final after a 7-6 aggregate scoreline. The Reds lost the second leg, 4-2, at the Olimpico, but advanced to their first UCL final since 2005 thanks to the five goals they scored at Anfield.
Sadio Mane’s opener for Liverpool came in the ninth minute, as the winger finished inside of the box. However, a freaky own goal drew Roma level in the match.
A ricocheted cross by Dejan Lovren went in off of James Milner for an own-goal in the 15th minute for Roma. The visitors answered back in the 25th minute as Georginio Wijnaldum headed home following a corner kick.
Roma had a better go after halftime, scoring three goals in the final 40+ minutes. Edin Dzeko’s right-footed finish in the 52nd minute, made it 2-2 on the evening ahead of a late brace from midfielder Radja Nainggolan.
The Belgian’s long-range strike beat Loris Karius in the 86th minute to make things interesting. Ragnar Klavan’s handball in stoppage time allowed Nainggolan to pulled another back for Roma in the 94th minute from the penalty spot. Despite winning the second leg, Liverpool held on for a 7-6 aggregate win and a date with defending champs Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
Liverpool and Real Madrid will face off on May 26th in Kiev for the title of Europe’s champions for 2017-18.