This has arguably been the foremost fun Champions League campaign in recent memory. As a result, it’s additionally seen of the foremost disorderliness defensive by Europe’s prime groups.
Liverpool vs. Roma within the semi-finals was a tie you simply couldn’t take your eyes off. It all over 7-6 to The Reds within the finish, when primary leg that saw them leading 5-0 at one purpose. Roma force 2 back to require to the second leg last night. Liverpool was all over again within the driver’s seat within the national capital, leading 2-1 at the break. Roma equalized early within the play, however were unable to take advantage of their momentum, till late on, once Raja Angolan bagged a quick-fire brace to form it 4-2. The second of these came within the 94th minute, and there was merely not enough time for them to attain another to require the tie to extra-time.
The most telling incident in the second-half though, came in the 63rd minute. With the score at 2-2, Roma were very much on the front foot and were looking threatening. A goal here would set up a grandstand finish, and the defensively-vulnerable Liverpool were already looking nervous. At this moment, Stephanie El-Sahara volleyed goal wards at the back post, and the ball was deflected behind for a corner. Right-back Alexander-Arnold had dived in, and it looked like the ball had cannoned behind off his chest. The replays though, showed a different story. Even though none of the Roma players or fans had appealed, it was a clear handball. It was quite startling that neither El-Sahara nor any of the players around him even so much as put a hand up in appeal, and accepted the verdict without question.
Had the officials spotted this infringement, it would have not only resulted in a penalty for Roma, but also a direct red card. If the home side could have both reduced the deficit and been a man up with almost half an hour to play, the story could have been very different.
There is no doubt that Liverpool have been good value for their final qualification. No team has scored more than the 40 that The Reds have notched up, and the mesmerizing brilliance of Mohamed Sarah, Roberto Firming and Radio Mane up front has been a sight to behold.
However, there is no taking away the luck that they had in the second leg. A slice of good fortune is always required in times like these, but Roma will feel hard done by the apparent injustice at such a crucial point in the match.
This also brings in the argument for the introduction of the video-assisted referee (VAR) in the competition. The system will be in play in the upcoming World Cup in Russia, and successful showing could see it adopted by both the national leagues, and the Champions League in the near future.
As it stands though, Liverpool have a very special night to look forward to in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on the 27th of May, as they look to stop Real Madrid from winning the title for the third successive season.