Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned his team that their Champions League semi-final against AS Roma is far from over, and called on his players to “fight for their dreams” in Wednesday’s second-leg tie in Rome.
Liverpool won the first leg 5-2 at Anfield and Roma need to repeat their quarter-final heroics against Barcelona, where they won 3-0 at home after losing the first leg 4-1, to advance to the final.
Liverpool conceded two late goals at Anfield to give Roma a glimmer of hope, and Klopp said his team needed to do everything in their power to make life difficult for their hosts and finish the job.
“A lot of people think probably Roma needs only need to win 3-0, but that’s still quite a result,” he told a reporters on Tuesday. “We are here to fight for our dreams… and we want to go to the final.”
The German is keenly aware of how quickly the tide can turn in a high-stakes European encounter, but was equally keen to stress that Roma’s need to score would leave spaces for Liverpool’s forward line to exploit.
“If you really want to win, you have to accept beforehand that you could lose,” he added. “We need to… use their situation.
“They have to win against us. And if they have to win against us, they need to take risks. If we are concentrated and if they need to take more risks, there will be moments and we have to use them.”
Liverpool won their fourth European Cup at the Stadio Olimpico in 1984 when they beat Roma on penalties, but Klopp said his side need to focus on football, not history.
“I think nobody here really thinks it helps a lot that our grandfathers won here,” he said. “Creating history happens not because you say it beforehand. It happens and then somebody afterwards will say ‘that’s history’.
“We don’t have to think about it. We don’t have to make it bigger than it is. It’s already big enough. We only have to what our boys are best at, playing football. And then we will see what the score is.”
Defender Joe Gomez has not travelled with the squad due to injury, while midfielder Adam Lallana has returned to training but is not ready for selection.