Trent: Let’s seal CL final place for injured Ox

Trent Alexander-Arnold has conceded that the loss of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to injury for the remainder of the season comes as ‘a massive blow’ to Liverpool.

But the young defender is keen to use that disappointment as inspiration to finish the job against AS Roma next week and secure a place in the Champions League final.

It was confirmed on Wednesday that Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss the run-in and this summer’s World Cup having sustained knee ligament damage during the Reds’ 5-2 victory over Eusebio Di Francesco’s team.

On the news, Alexander-Arnold told the Liverpool Echo: “It’s a massive blow, he is a huge player for us.

“Obviously we are all gutted for him and we will be looking to secure a place in the final for him and the other injured lads.

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Salah nominated for CL Player of the Week

Mohamed Salah’s outstanding performance during Liverpool’s 5-2 win over AS Roma has earned him a nomination for the Champions League Player of the Week award.

The Egyptian scored twice in the first half at Anfield before laying on goals for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in the second as the Reds secured a three-goal aggregate lead in the first leg of their semi-final tie.

Salah’s contributions to the victory have now been recognised by UEFA in the form of another award nomination, with the winner decided by fans in an online vote.

The 25-year-old is up against Real Madrid full-back Marcelo for the gong after the Brazilian shone in his side’s 2-1 win over Bayern Munich.

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Gini reveals tactical approach to Roma victory

Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed how Liverpool’s pre-match analysis of AS Roma helped lay the tactical foundations for a 5-2 Champions League semi-final first-leg win on Tuesday.

Initially named on the substitutes’ bench, the Dutchman was thrown into the action with just 18 minutes gone at Anfield, replacing the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

And, despite his early introduction coming unexpectedly, Wijnaldum had no doubts about what was required of him thanks to the hosts’ thorough preparations.

As he explained to at full-time: “We analysed them before and we knew they had a lot of space behind their backline.

“It is a strength of mine to come in behind the backline, which is what I tried to do. It worked.

“But it was not only me, it was everyone who made a run behind their line.

“It was dangerous for them and we created a lot of chances with the runs. It went well.”

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Oxlade-Chamberlain posts message after injury setback

25th April 2018

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pledged to ‘give everything’ to recover quickly from the knee ligament injury that has ended his season and ruled him out of the World Cup.

The Liverpool midfielder sustained the issue while attempting a sliding challenge in the early stages of the 5-2 victory over AS Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Having been assessed by the Reds’ medical staff at Melwood, it was confirmed that Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss the remainder of the club campaign and not travel to the World Cup with England this summer.

“Absolutely devastated to have picked up this injury at such a crucial time in the season,” the 24-year-old wrote on his social media accounts.

“Gutted I won’t be able to play any further part now in our Champions League run for Liverpool, and also the World Cup with England.

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain injury latest

25th April 2018

Liverpool FC can confirm Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s 2017-18 season is over for both club and country due to a knee ligament injury sustained against AS Roma on Tuesday evening.

The midfielder was forced from the field after 18 minutes of the Reds’ 5-2 victory in the Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield after picking up the issue during an attempted challenge.

The extent of the injury means Oxlade-Chamberlain is set to miss the remainder of the campaign for Liverpool, as well as the World Cup finals in Russia with England.

The 24-year-old was assessed by the club’s medical team at Melwood on Wednesday morning and no specific timescale is being placed upon his return to action at this stage.

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Observations as Liverpool Deliver Another Strong Message To Europe

Observations as Liverpool Deliver Another Strong Message To Europe

Two late goals for Roma may have taken the gloss off the scoreline, but they shouldn’t take away from what was a truly special performance from Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Mohamed Salah made the biggest statement for Ballon d’Or imaginable, notching two world-class goals in the first-half to make yet another mark on Europe’s elite competition. Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino were also on the score-sheet, acting as a very suitable accompaniment in Liverpool’s 5-2 win.

One big step closer to Kiev and a memorable night for all in red, here are the observations from the match.

Mohamed Salah for Ballon D’or

Just two days after being crowned PFA Player of the Year, Mohamed Salah produced another faultless performance. There are no superlatives in the English language that would do justice to what the Egyptian has achieved in this campaign; goal 42 and 43 for the season were an indication of the skills in his repertoire. First came a stunning curling effort from outside the box, perfectly placed in the top corner to give Alisson no chance in goal.

The next was just as majestic; Firmino’s perfectly weighted ball put the 25-year-old through on goal. In a perfect stroke of Messi-esque genius, Salah produced the deftest of touches to loft the ball over the goalkeeper and double Liverpool’s lead before the interval.

On present form, there’s just no stopping Mo Salah. He really could end Messi and Ronaldo’s stranglehold on the Ballon d’Or.

Firmino the talisman to Mo Salah’s show

Salah will take the plaudits and rightly so, but Roberto Firmino’s role shouldn’t be forgotten. Everything Liverpool produced went through him. Showcasing his creative mind, the Brazilian added another two assists to his name as he became the fourth highest player in terms of assists in a Champions League campaign (7) behind Milner (9), Rooney in 13/14 (8) and Neymar in 16/17 (8).

His two goals were the mark of a ruthless striker, too. Salah was the provider for the first, drilling the ball into the danger area where Firmino was on hand to steer home from close-range. An equally well-taken header came through great movement inside the area, wriggling free of the Roma defence to put the hosts 5-0 up.

What he offers this side can’t over overstated; defender, midfielder and attacker rolled into one, Firmino’s creative genius and a stark improvement in terms of final third contribution make him the most complete striker in the Premier League and the perfect fit for Klopp’s energy-driven system.

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Key Stats as Reds Move Into Pole Position – Liverpool 5-2 Roma

Key Stats as Reds Move Into Pole Position - Liverpool 5-2 Roma

Liverpool ran riot at Anfield, putting five past Roma before a couple of late goals for the visitors took the gloss off a brilliant and explosive European night, and gave the Italian side half a chance of reaching Kiev. Here are the key stats.

Magnificent Mo Leads The Charge

In an attacking sense, this was an absolutely perfect Liverpool performance, spearheaded by a majestic Mo Salah, but admirably supported by the brilliant Bobby Firmino. Both players now have ten goals in the Champions League proper, more than everyone except Ronaldo, and both notched five key passes on the night to go with their goals. Mo Salah is now on 41 goals in PL and Europe, ahead of Ronaldo on 39 for the two. Top of the European pile right now.

Mo became the first player ever to score twice and assist twice in a UCL semi-final. A few minutes later, Bobby became the second. Liverpool created an xG of 3.8 on the night, with five big chances, three of which were scored.

But, this isn’t the first time the Reds have run riot at Anfield this season. That now means the Reds have scored 44 goals in 11 games in this season’s UCL (including Hoffenheim). With Mané also on eight, this is the first time in UCL history that a team has had three players score at least eight goals in the UCL. Madness. And here are two more absolutely mad stats to finish on, courtesy of Andrew Beasley.

Can Roma Comeback Again?

I guess this is the big question. What are Roma’s chances of getting back into it? Again, Beasley has the answer: not very likely.


Looking back at Liverpool’s UCL semi-final history, there’s plenty of good news there. Liverpool have won seven of their nine UCL semi-finals, and you have to go back to 1965, Liverpool’s very first European Cup semi-final to see them win the first leg at Anfield (3-1 against Inter Milan), only to lose the tie 4-3, with a 3-0 defeat at the San Siro. Okay so maybe that example wasn’t as helpful as it could have been, but hey: seven UCL wins out of nine, and they’re six out of seven when winning at Anfield. Unfortunately, four of those wins were with Anfield as the second leg.

Win The Battles, Lose The War?

Roma struggled to dominate the game, despite having more possession (51% of the ball), dribbling better (13 dribbles to seven, only Bobby and Mo completed a single dribble for Liverpool), winning more tackles (19 to 15), with a better passing percentage (76% compared to 74%) and winning nearly two-thirds of the aerial battles (64%).

And yet Liverpool dominated where it mattered, registering more shots (21 to 14), more shots on target (11 to 6), a higher xG (3.8 to 1.2 plus a pen) and of course, on the scoresheet, with five of their chances going past Alisson. In many respects, this was a tactical game, but it was a tactical game where Roma for the majority of it simply had no answer.

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