Liverpool and Roma relish semi-final opportunity
Liverpool FC and AS Roma will revive memories of the 1984 European Cup final when they meet in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield.
• While this is Liverpool’s tenth appearance in the last four of the European Cup, it is the first time the English club have got this far since 2007/08, when they suffered only their second semi-final defeat.
• Roma have featured in only one previous European Cup semi-final, and were victorious – only to lose to Liverpool in the final at their own Stadio Olimpico.
• The most significant of the teams’ five previous meetings was the first, the 1984 European Cup final in Rome. Phil Neal gave Liverpool a 14th-minute lead, only for Roberto Pruzzo to level two minutes before half-time. With no further goals in the second half or extra time, the game became the first European Cup final to go to penalties and, though Steve Nicol missed with Liverpool’s first kick, Bruno Conti and Francesco Graziani failed for Roma, leaving Alan Kennedy to convert the decisive kick in a 4-2 shoot-out success and seal Liverpool’s fourth European Cup triumph in eight years.
• The teams at the Stadio Olimpico on 30 May 1984 were:
Roma: Tancredi, Nappi, Nela, Righetti, Bonetti, Toninho Cerezo (Strukelj 55), Di Bartolomei, Falcão, Conti, Pruzzo (Chierico 63), Graziani.
Liverpool: Grobbelaar, Neal, Lawrenson, Hansen, Kennedy, Johnston (Nicol 69), Lee, Souness, Whelan, Dalglish (Robinson 93), Rush.
• Liverpool were also victorious in the sides’ only previous two-legged knockout tie. Michael Owen scored twice in the second half (46, 72) in a 2-0 first-leg win at the Stadio Olimpico in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup fourth round, and Liverpool held on despite losing the home second leg to Gianni Guigou’s 69th-minute strike, Roma ending with nine men after Damiano Tommasi and Guigou were both sent off late on. The English club went on to win the competition.
• The teams in that second leg at Anfield on 22 February 2001 were:
Liverpool: Westerveld, Babbel, Henchoz, Hyypiä, Carragher, Hamann, McAllister, Ziege, Barmby (Fowler 80), Owen (Šmicer 67), Heskey.
Roma: Antonioli, Candela, Samuel, Zebina, Zago, Marcos Assunção, Tommasi, Rinaldi (Guigou 58), Nakata, Montella (Balbo 78), Delvecchio (Batistuta 58).
• In the teams’ most recent contests, in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League second group stage, a goalless draw in Rome preceded a 2-0 Liverpool win on Merseyside thanks to goals from Jari Litmanen (7 penalty) and Emile Heskey (64). That took Liverpool into the quarter-finals at Roma’s expense.
• The teams at Anfield on 19 March 2002 were:
Liverpool: Dudek, Xavier, Henchoz, Hyypiä, Carragher, Šmicer (McAllister 90+1), Murphy, Gerrard, Riise, Litmanen (Bišćan 88), Heskey.
Roma: Antonioli, Panucci, Samuel, Aldair, Tommasi, Marcos Assunção (Cassano 69), Emerson, Francisco Lima (Montella 46), Candela, Totti, Batistuta (Delvecchio 46).
• Edin Džeko and Mohamed Salah scored for Roma in a 2-1 friendly win against Liverpool in St Louis in August 2016. The Italian side had also been victorious 1-0 when the teams met in Boston two years earlier, while in 2004 Liverpool were 2-1 victors in another US friendly in East Rutherford.
• The Reds’ record in European Cup semi-finals is W7 L2:
1964/65: L 3-4 FC Internazionale Milano (3-1 h, 0-3 a)
1976/77: W 6-1 FC Zürich (3-1 a, 3-0 h)
1977/78: W 4-2 VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach (1-2 a, 3-0 h)
1980/81: W 1-1 FC Bayern München, away goals (0-0 h, 1-1 a)
1983/84: W 3-1 FC Dinamo Bucureşti (1-0 h, 2-1 a)
1984/85: W 5-0 Panathinaikos FC (4-0 h, 1-0 a)
2004/05: W 1-0 Chelsea FC (0-0 a, 1-0 h)
2006/07: W 1-1 Chelsea FC, 4-1 on pens (0-1 a, 1-0 h)
2007/08: L 3-4 aet Chelsea FC (1-1 h, 2-3 a)
• Liverpool’s 2008 defeat by Chelsea ended a run of seven successive semi-final wins. Their last three semi-finals have all been against Chelsea; this is the first time they have played a semi-final against non-English opposition since 1985.
• Liverpool’s overall record in two-legged knockout ties against Italian clubs in UEFA competition is won four, lost two. They have won the last two, most recently against FC Internazionale Milano in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League round of 16 (2-0 home, 1-0 away).
• The Reds’ record in 25 European games against Italian teams is W9 D5 L11. This is their first meeting since being paired with Udinese Calcio in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage, when they lost 3-2 at home before winning 1-0 in Italy thanks to a Jordan Henderson goal.
• Liverpool’s record at home to Serie A visitors is W6 D0 L4; they have lost two of the last three.
• The English club have played five UEFA club competition finals against Italian sides, with the record W0 D2 L3, though the draws – 1-1 against Roma in the 1984 European Cup final, and 3-3 against AC Milan in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final – prompted Liverpool wins on penalties. They lost to Juventus in the 1985 UEFA Super Cup and European Cup final, and to Milan in the UEFA Champions League in 2007.
• Jürgen Klopp’s side are unbeaten at home in this season’s UEFA Champions League, picking up seven points at Anfield in the group stage. They drew 2-2 with Sevilla FC before a 3-0 scalp of NK Maribor and wrapped up first place in Group E with a 7-0 dismantling of FC Spartak Moskva.
• In the round of 16, a 5-0 success at FC Porto preceded a goalless second leg on Merseyside. Manchester City FC were then overcome in the quarter-finals, Liverpool winning 3-0 at Anfield and 2-1 away.
• Before being held by Sevilla, Liverpool’s previous six European games at Anfield had all produced a home win. They are unbeaten in their last 15 European home matches (W10 D5), since a 3-0 loss to Real Madrid on 22 October 2014.
• Roma were victorious in their sole previous European Cup semi-final:
1983/84: W 3-2 Dundee United FC (0-2 a, 3-0 h)
• Roma won their first three two-legged knockout ties against English clubs – but have since lost six out of six. Their last knockout tie against Premier League opposition was a 7-6 loss on penalties to Arsenal FC in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League round of 16 (0-1 away, 1-0 home).
• The Italian side have already visited England this season, recovering from 2-0 down to draw 3-3 at Chelsea FC in the group stage. Roma’s last three trips to England have all ended in draws.
• Roma have nevertheless won only one of their 16 away games in England, losing nine. Before this season, their last trip was a 1-1 draw at Manchester City FC in the 2014/15 group stage, in which Francesco Totti became the oldest goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League.
• The Giallorossi’s sole victory in England was that 1-0 success at Liverpool in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup fourth round second leg.
• Roma reached the last four in dramatic circumstances, overturning a 4-1 first-leg defeat at FC Barcelona with a 3-0 home success to progress on away goals for the second round in succession. It was only the third time a first-leg deficit of three goals or more had been retrieved in the UEFA Champions League era.
• The Italian club are the only team to have won a tie in this season’s UEFA Champions League knockout phase after losing the first leg – and have done so twice.
• Roma have won only six of their last 25 games in the competition (D8 L11), although they have triumphed in five of their last nine.
• The 2-1 victory at Qarabağ FK on matchday two was Roma’s first win in eight UEFA Champions League matches, home and away and including qualifying. It is also their only win in their last six European away matches; they have lost the last three, including at FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 16 first leg (1-2) and Barcelona.
Coach and player links
• Mohamed Salah was a Roma player between 2015 and 2017, when he departed for Liverpool. He scored 29 league goals in his two seasons with the Giallorossi, a total he has already surpassed with his new club.
• Salah was at ACF Fiorentina in 2014/15, but did not play against Roma.
• Edin Džeko scored three goals in 11 games against Liverpool during his four-and-a-half seasons at Manchester City FC, but none of them came in a victory. His overall record against the Reds was three wins, four draws and four defeats.
• Federico Fazio (Tottenham Hotspur FC, 2014–16) and Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City, 2010–17) also have Premier League experience.
• Džeko was in the City team that lost 1-0 away and drew 1-1 at home to Jürgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Džeko scored three goals in five Bundesliga games against Klopp’s Dortmund for VfL Wolfsburg, including two in a 3-0 victory on 12 May 2009.
• Daniele De Rossi’s Italy defeated an England side including James Milner and Jordan Henderson on penalties in the UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-finals.
• De Rossi and Italy also beat England 2-1 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage; Henderson and Adam Lallana featured.
• Henderson, Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain faced Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini as England and Italy shared a 1-1 friendly draw at Wembley on 27 March.
• Džeko was on target in Bosnia-Herzegovina’s 5-0 victory against an Estonia side featuring Ragnar Klavan in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in September 2016.
• International team-mates:
Simon Mignolet & Radja Nainggolan (Belgium)
Roberto Firmino & Allison (Brazil)
Virgil van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum & Kevin Strootman, Rick Karsdorp (Netherlands)
• Have played together:
Georginio Wijnaldum & Kevin Strootman (PSV Eindhoven, 2011–13)
James Milner & Aleksandar Kolarov, Edin Džeko (Manchester City FC, 2010–15)
Alberto Moreno & Federico Fazio, Diego Perotti (Sevilla FC, 2011–14)