Liverpool are 90 minutes away from a Champions League final and we’re dreaming of Kiev, but Roma have come back from behind before.
“Hoffenheim haven’t lost at home in over a year”, they warned us. Then the Reds came knocking.
“Porto haven’t lost at home this season”, they said. Then the Reds came knocking.
“Manchester City haven’t lost a game all season”, they reminded us. Then the Reds came knocking.
“Roma haven’t conceded at home in the Champions League”, they say. We will see about that.
The warnings mean f-all to the mighty boys in red. The mad bastards up front, the ever-young seniors in the middle, the quartet at the back shaping up like Trump’s dream wall. That Instagram model between the posts.
A disappointing performance against Stoke on the weekend isn’t going to keep anyone up at night. In 10 years, in 20 years, 30, 40, you’re not going to be thinking about a goalless draw against Stoke. I bet even today you find it hard to remember what happened on Saturday. I’m questioning it myself. Was I there? Did I go? I remember having a piping hot pie at half time. It burnt my tongue, warmed the palm of my hand. I got the balance wrong, there was too much dry pastry left when all the meat was devoured. My mate had a glass of red wine, impeccable apparently.
But what happened on the pitch? No clue. Gomez was rubbish though.
No, it’s all about the European Reds this season. The European Reds, second favourites to win the whole freaking thing, to be the best in Europe, to win Old Big Ears for the sixth time. Miles ahead of the rest of the country. Miles ahead of the Mancs. The European Reds, scoring 38 times, eight more than the second highest scoring team, Real Madrid (and we have a game in hand!). James Milner with the most assists in the whole competition, proving his value and influence in this Liverpool side. Milner to score at any time is currently 11/2 with RedsBet.
It’s all about the European Reds. I remember almost every single second of Roma at Anfield, of City, of Porto (not the dull draw like), of Sevilla, Maribor, Spartak, Hoffenheim.
Little did we know when the competition kicked off against Hoffenheim in August, that all roads from Rome lead to Ukraine. That the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps are all on the Ukrainian border. I need to have words with my geography teacher Mrs Ellingbo.
And here we are, at the final hurdle. Roma at Stadio Olimpico. 90 minutes away from a Champions League final in the beautiful European city of Kiev. Where the two rooms left on hotels.com are yours for a charming £1,000 a night. I’ve Googled Kiev and it looks boss. I thought it was a war zone but the revolution was a five-day affair, done and dusted eight years ago. Instead the city is characterised by unreal, majestic churches and statues. The Motherland monument stands 200 ft tall, proud, and controversial – a reminder of the country’s Soviet past. Let’s swap the hammer and sickle for the Liver bird, the steel Mother for Mo. Mo Salah to score in the first half is currently 16/5 with RedsBet.
We have a 5-2 advantage but it would be perfectly Liverpoolesque to mess this one up. A three-goal lead has proven remarkably difficult to defend over the years. But please, Redmen. Score a goal in Rome for us, get their clean Champions League-at-home sheet right messy.
Take us to Kiev:
The gateway to Chernobyl but also the gateway to European glory. The gateway to number 6.