Jurgen Klopp has told his Liverpool players it is important that they do not sit back on their three-goal advantage when they take on Roma in the second leg of their Uefa Champions League semi-final tie in Rome tonight.
Liverpool were convincing 5-2 victors at Anfield in the first leg last week, but the two away goals scored by Roma in the closing minutes mean that a 3-0 victory tonight would be enough to put the Serie A club in the final in Kiev on May 26.
“It’s all about us to be active and be difficult to play,” Klopp told a news conference last night. “It’s just like it is, there’s no perfect plan for it.
“We can cause problems here or there, that’s all we can do and then we play it.
“You have to be brave, we need to play football and use their situation much more than they can use that.
“If you have to win against us, you need to take a risk and if we concentrate, we can make it difficult.”
After beating Premier League champions Manchester City in the quarter-finals and then putting in a superb display at home to Roma in the first leg Klopp believes his side have proved they deserve to be in contention to win the European Cup for the sixth time in the club’s history.
“We deserve to be here. We are here to fight for our dreams, that’s how it is,” he said. “We want to go to the final. We are still 5-2 up and meanwhile people think Roma ‘only’ need to win 3-0, but that’s quite a result.
The German remained pragmatic about the situation and admitted he had been surprised they had been able to put themselves in such a strong position for the second leg at the Stadio Olympico.
“If Rome wins 3-0 or higher than congratulations, go to the final, that’s the sport,” he added. “We’re in a much better situation than I would have thought before the game, that’s the truth. It’s not perfect.”
Roma overturned a three-goal deficit in the quarter-finals against Barcelona as they won 3-0 at home after losing 4-1 at Camp Nou, and Klopp said that result was a reminder, not that he believed he needed it, that the tie is still very much up for grabs.
“I’m not here to say anything about Barcelona. In that game Rome were more ready,” he said.
“Everybody’s telling us that it’s quite difficult and it’s possible - nobody told Barcelona, because nobody imagined it could happen.
“I didn’t need a warning, but if I did there it was.”