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Mohamed Salah produced two world-class finishes and set up goals for Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to lead Liverpool to a 5-2 win over former club Roma on Tuesday. It left the English team in sight of the Champions League final although goal in the final nine minutes by Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti gave Roma hope of an unlikely comeback in next week’s second leg.
A Champions League semifinal draw steeped in the competition’s rich history paired Real Madrid with Bayern Munich and then matched Liverpool with Roma. Two-time defending champion Madrid will first play Bayern in Munich on April 25 in a clash of powerhouse clubs with a combined 17 European titles.
Pep Guardiola’s wait for a third Champions League title goes on. He won the European Cup twice with Barcelona but failed at three attempts with Bayern Munich. At Manchester City, he hasn’t even reached the semifinals in his two seasons in charge. The runway Premier League leaders fell short in the quarterfinals this time against northwest England rival Liverpool – losing 2-1 at home to go out 5-2 on aggregate.
Liverpool reached the Champions League semifinals after recovering from conceding a goal inside two minutes against Manchester City to win 2-1 thanks to second-half strikes by Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino on Tuesday. Gabriel Jesus’ early goal raised belief inside Etihad Stadium that one of the most unlikely Champions League comebacks was on, with Liverpool having won the first leg 3-0 at Anfield last week.
Liverpool blew away Manchester City with three goals in the first 31 minutes to secure a 3-0 first-leg win at a rocking Anfield and close in on a first UEFA Champions League semifinal in a decade. Liverpool reduced the best team in England to a rattled wreck as Mohamed Salah – with his 38th goal of the season – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane all scored in front of The Kop. It was another European night that will go down in the Liverpool’s storied history.
Liverpool put one foot in the Champions League quarterfinals with a 5-0 away rout of Porto in the first leg of their last-16 match. Sadio Mane scored a hat trick and Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino provided the other two goals to give the Premier League side a huge advantage ahead of the second leg at Anfield on March 6.
With his eccentricities, his passion on the sidelines and his quirky comments to the media, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has quickly established himself as a cult figure at Anfield and a darling of English soccer in general.
Liverpool soccer fans held up a mosaic spelling out “96 25 years” during a minute’s silence to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. The tribute Sunday came before Liverpool’s English Premier League match against visiting Manchester City. In 1989, 96 Liverpool fans were killed after a crush in an overcrowded standing-only section during an FA Cup semifinal against Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium. Sunday’s Liverpool-Man City match started seven minutes later than scheduled, reflecting when play was called off at Hillsborough. Philippe Coutinho scored in the 78th minute to help Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-2 and become the favorite to win the Premier league. Liverpool, which hasn’t won the EPL since 1990, is seven points ahead of third-placed City, which has two games in hand. – AP