It was billed as the biggest match for Liverpool in 10 years by club legend Steven Gerrard, the stage was set, the Kop rose to the occasion, and my word the Reds did not disappoint.
Anfield was a sea of red and white as far as the eye could see, some turned up outside The Arkles public house as early as 5:30pm to watch the coach drive into the ground. The wall of noise, animation and flares was a spectacle which replicated the welcome which occurred the round before against Manchester City. Critics have mocked Liverpool supporters for living in the past but they really proved themselves to be the 12th man. The Kop as a whole screamed “handball” during a phase of the game which was something I have never seen. Doubters have been turned into believers and Jurgen Klopp has put Liverpool back onto the European map, as they mount a serious challenge for the biggest prize in club football and for a potential sixth European crown, as the fans have been given a reason to be proud of being part of Liverpool Football Club once more.
One of the greatest nights in Anfield’s long and illustrious history ended on a slightly damp note. The scouse steamroller gave up the goose with 20 minutes to go which let the Italians give themselves a fighting chance going back to the Stadio Olimpico with two goals in four minutes towards the end of the game.
Five goals from Liverpool was not what I expected, especially in the early stages of the game as the visitors made themselves a nuisance and showed their assertiveness in the midfield through the likes of Strootman and Nainggolan. The Reds didn’t spark into life until Sadio Mane found himself through on goal only for him fire over of Allison’s net.
Despite the late Roma surge, the door has been left slightly open for the Italians to provide another astonishing comeback similar to their 3-0 victory against Barcelona. The goal scoring threat that Liverpool provide is so strong that a lot of supporters are predicting for the Reds to get the job done in the Italian capital.
If Mohamed Salah had not announced himself to the world as the Egyptian king already, he did just that after his individual performance last night. Two fantastic goals which were nothing short of Lionel Messi like, and has seen him throw his hedjet in the Ballan d’Or mix.
The ability of Roberto Firmino is endless, he continues to show his underrated status as one of the most in form footballers in European football at present as he scored another two goals last night to put himself into double figures for goals in the Champions League this season.
Even Jordan Henderson, I’m not his biggest fan by any means but he did not step out of line at any point during the game, one of his best in Liverpool shirt.
So, can Liverpool do it? Can they go all the way and win the Champions League for the sixth time? As much as I want to say yes, an element of doubt still lingers like a bad smell, the thought of heart-break is creating large amounts of anxiety, but this squad is capable of anything this season and they deserve to be where they are. It seems like a lifetime ago since Rafa Benitez’s Anfield reign. There are too many similarities between his first season and this one.
After the devastating almosts and nearlys of recent years, it’s time for the Reds to take that next step.
Can Liverpool do it? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
featured image credit ESPN