Liverpool’s ‘Road to Kiev’ and Rise of English Teams in Europe
It was the biggest game of the career for most of the Liverpool players when they faced AS Roma
away from home on Wednesday. Albeit a comfortable first leg lead of 3 goals for Liverpool, there
was so much to look forward to in the game as Roma had not conceded a single goal at Stadio
Olimpico in this year’s UCL campaign, also beating potential contenders Barcelona 3-0 in the quarter final.
In a nerve wracking 90 minutes for both sides of the supporters, Roma beat Liverpool 4-2 yet not
enough to take them to the final losing 6-7 on aggregate. Liverpool supporters went home singing
YNWA as they reached their first ever UCL final, 13 years after the dramatic 2 nd half comeback at
Istanbul in 2005 against Milan to clinch the title in penalties.
Let’s have a look at Liverpool’s dream journey in this year’s UCL campaign.
Playoffs and Group Stage:
It all started for Liverpool with Playoffs against Hoffenheim in August last year to fix a spot in UCL
group stage. Nobody in their dreams, except fellow scousers would have thought Liverpool could go
on to reach the Final in Kiev. Not only have they reached the final, they have done it in the most
convincing way possible with some staggering stats.
In a fairly easy group, Liverpool topped Group E with 12 points of 6 games. Not convincing enough?
Well, they scored total 23 goals in 6 games in group stage only second to PSG. This includes two 7-0
victories over Spartak and Maribor. That’s convincing much!
Round of 16:
Liverpool had a cake walk in RO16 where they beat Porto 5-0 on their home ground, reaching the
quarter finals with a 5-0 aggregate win.
This was the time when everyone thought Liverpool’s UCL campaign will get over when they faced
perhaps the best European team of this season, Guardiola’s Manchester City.
But Jurgen Klopp had other things in mind. Liverpool beat Man City 3-0 at Anfield in the first leg. 3-0!
Manchester city was a team to trash Liverpool 5-0 at Etihad few months ago in league campaign.
It all came down to second leg at Etihad. Everyone knew what City can do on their home turf and by
now, everyone had seen what Mohamed Salah and his teammates are capable of!
t might have been portrayed like Mohamed Salah has been a one-man army for Liverpool carrying
the entire team on his own, but that is hardly true. The Salah-Mane- Firmino trio is unstoppable on
their good days. January signing Van Dijk has made a huge change in the struggling defence line with Karius also proving his point in front of the net. Teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold has been one of the most promising aspects of English football. Robertson has been equally good on the opposite wing.
With a 2-1 away win over Manchester City, Liverpool announced themselves as this year’s serious
contenders for UCL campaign. People started dreaming about possibility of a similar ‘Night in
Out of AS Roma, Bayern and Real Madrid, Liverpool drew against perhaps the easiest opponents for
Semi-Final, AS Roma.
Roma were certainly not the underdogs as they did the undoable by knocking out Barcelona with the help of ‘Greek God in Rome’- Kostas Manolas’ late goal in second leg. But Liverpool were an
unstoppable force. Roma certainly weren’t an immovable object. As expected by many, Liverpool
beat AS Roma 7-6 on aggregate to reach UCL Final.
UEFA Champions League Final, 2018 (May 27, Kiev, Ukraine):
With UCL trophy at stake for both the clubs, there’s a battle within the war in the UCL final.
Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo will be eyeing the Ballon d’Or 2018 as they face each other in Kiev. Whoever wins the UCL trophy is almost certain of getting the Ballon d’Or 2018 irrespective of what Egypt or Portugal do in World Cup.
Will Real Madrid be that immovable object on 27 th of May in Kiev?
Will Salah be the one to win UCL for Liverpool?
Will Ronaldo make it 6-5 over Messi?
Only time will tell.
Rise of English Teams in Europe
With five English teams in group stage and now Liverpool into the finals, this year’s UCL campaign
has certainly given glimpses of what could be called as the ‘Rise of English teams in Europe’. Who
knows, had City not drew against Liverpool in the quarter finals, we might have been preparing
ourselves for a ‘Fully English UCL Final’.
With winter break in EPL almost approved and teams like Liverpool, Man City, Man United and
Tottenham getting better every year, are we entering an era of English Domination in European
Written by Atharva Desai
A sports enthusiaist