Jürgen Klopp believes Barcelona’s dramatic collapse against Roma at the quarter final stages of the Champions League has alerted Liverpool to the danger that awaits in the Stadio Olimpico this night and strengthens their chances of going through.
The Catalonians, who held a 4-1 lead following victory in the Nou Camp, lost 3-0 in the second leg last month, sending them out of the competition. On Sunday, they were crowned La Liga champions and though Klopp admitted this emphasises Roma’s ability to achieve results that few expect, it only sharpens his own team’s focus ahead of the club’s most significant game in Europe for eleven years.
He did not want to detail where Barcelona went wrong. But he would talk about the message it sends.“Barcelona thought probably that it’s decided,” he said. “Everybody is telling us that it’s possible for Roma to beat us 3-0 or 4-0. Nobody celona. Not that I needed it but, we have the warning.”
As Klopp added, Roma have not conceded a goal at home in the Champions League this season. Yet Liverpool have not lost in the Champions League. Liverpool could end up losing 2-0 and go through – just like Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund team did in 2013.
When they held a 4-1 lead over Real Madrid going into a semi-final second leg. In the end, Dortmund held on and though Klopp would take that here, with Liverpool’s rapid front-three, with Roma’s slow defence as well as their need for goals, it’s hard to see how Liverpool do not score themselves.“I really, really think we deserve to be here,” Klopp insisted. “If we get the result we need then we deserve to be in the final. If not, Rome will deserve it.”
Earlier, Eusebio Di Francesco and Radja Nainggolan, the Roma midfielder, had admitted they found the going tough against Liverpool because they are unlike any opponent they have faced this season.
“It’s difficult to explain why we are the way we are.” Wijnaldum said. “We try to play the game that we want to. It doesn’t change from the Premier League to the Champions League. I think the further you go, the more belief you have every next stage.