As you are probably more than aware of by now, Liverpool have been drawn
against Roma in the Champions League semis – with the first leg at home. This provides a
similar dynamic to the Manchester City clash, in that we’d wish to have the tie all
but wrapped up with a dominant home performance – relieving pressure on the away leg. Roma
are not the strongest side at home though, losing seven games domestically at the Stadio
Olimpico this season. In fact, Roma’s away form in Europe has been questionable too, picking up just one victory on their travels – a slender 2-1 victory against Qarabag. This does not mean Roma should be taken for granted – a complacent Barcelona side can vouch for that; just ask Philippe Coutinho. With all things considered however, it is worth looking into Liverpool’s history in Rome, and what potential
omens could be in store.
Thanks Oliver Greenwood for this guest post!
Liverpool’s first taste of European Cup glory was in 1977; a 3-1 victory against Borussia
Mönchengladbach, in our soon to be hosts stadium. This wasn’t our only European Cup victory in Rome, with the1984 final also held at the Stadio Olimpico, with Liverpool once
again victorious – this time on penalties (thanks to some Spaghetti-Legged heroics)
after drawing 1-1 with Roma. In fact, Liverpool and Roma have only actually met five times in competitive action, with Liverpool winning three, drawing one and losing one – the loss not impacting us too much as we won 2-1 on aggregate. All things considered, it seems to be a tie that has been more favourable to the red men.
Liverpool actually hold a relatively poor record against Italian clubs in all European competition –
Playing 25, winning 9, drawing 7 and losing 9: a 36.00% win record. This record is worse than every other European country – barring ties against fellow English clubs. This is a statistic Liverpool will want to defy – and we have every faith that they can.
Roma will not be looking forward to playing Liverpool. They know all too well the
strengths our star man Mo Salah possesses. They have a number of key players who could hurt Liverpool; the likes of Kevin Strootman, Edin Džeko (who has had a major career resurgence since joining I Giallorossi), Radja Nainggolan and the linked goalkeeper Alisson.
All in all, these stats offer an insight into the history between the clubs, but whether any of this
would have an impact on the game is anyone’s guess. These are different players, with different
motives in an entirely different world of football. I will however leave with one anecdote: The last
time the four semi-finalists in the Champions League were from England (Liverpool), Italy (Inter
Milan), Germany (Bayern Munich) and Spain (Real Madrid) – the exact same countries and
same teams barring only swapping Roma for Inter, was in 1981. The winners that year? Liverpool.