For people living outside of Europe, the Champions League draw this afternoon was kinda difficult to follow live because of the time zones, world clock, Greenwich Meridian thingy stuff, so here’s a small update about the team Roma will face in the CL semi-final.
In case you’ve been living under a rock since last week: Yes, AS Roma reached the semi-final after eliminating Barcelona. Also, Apple designed the iPhone, USSR is now called ‘Russia’ and a certain Donald Trump is president of the US and A. Welcome back.
Anyway, who exactly did Roma draw? Drum rolls please...........................
Well, that’s nice. Kinda. Real and Bayern are no pushovers and serious contenders for this trophy and they will always make Roma’s life hard. Liverpool however might have a deadly front line, their midfield, defense and keeper doesn’t scare me. In fact, I’d take Roma’s own mid and defense over Pool’s one eleven times out of ten. Also, in a club I’d make sweet love with Alisson and totally ignore Karius and I’m straight as hell. So yeah, in those departments Roma is not inferior.
Still, there’s one man at Liverpool who can turn into our nightmare. Mo Salah, the Egyptian Messi/Ronaldo/Mido (no wait, the latter WAS Egyptian!). And beware of their trainer, Klopp. He’s been a pain in Guardiola’s ass for quite some time and one of the best there is. His Dortmund team was amazing to watch and now he’s slowly making the same juggernaut at Liverpool.
While taking revenge on Real or Bayern would be nice, the match-up with Liverpool has a bigger meaning if you look at their history. In 1984 both teams played the European Cup Final, ‘Pool won after a 1-1 draw and penalties, so you can imagine the pain and despair of Roma fans felt in those days. They were so damn close to a European prize... Time to settle the score.
It’s Liverpool’s first CL semi-final in 10 years so they, just like Roma, are pretty happy and excited to be here. Better yet, one of these enthusiastic teams will go to the final. Both wanted to avoid Real and Bayern to increase their odds and the draw this afternoon gave them just that: Liverpool-Roma. Two surprise packages who now have a genuine shot at a CL final.
Unlike Barcelona this isn’t a mission impossible for Roma. And unlike Barcelona fans, Liverpool fans are not already sheering, clapping and celebrating for going through. Both fan bases know this will be an even tie that might be decided at the very end. Luckily for Roma, the return leg is at the Olimpico so they can always erase their mistakes from Anfield, when needed. That’s a huge advantage (see: Barcelona).
Bren and co will surely give a closer, more detailed look at Klopp’s Liverpool soon, but don’t be mistaken: That preview will involve around one man, and one man only: Mo Salah. Di Francesco better have his game plan ready by then.
In the meantime: be sure to mark April 24 and May 2 in your calendars, cauz boy, you don’t want to miss these!