Is a Liverpool victory in the UEFA Champions League written in the stars?
While defeating AS Roma is no easy task, Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds avoided Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in Friday’s semifinal draw.
A potential 90-minute battle with Real Madrid or Bayern Munich for a sixth UCL title is drastically better than two legs, and don’t sleep on the idea that a final would occur after Liverpool has decided its Premier League standing.
Roma is no pushover, knocking out Barcelona after winning a group with Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, but it’s working way too hard to claim this draw was anything but the best case scenario for the Reds.
Liverpool’s last round defeat of Manchester City was by far the toughest ask of a relatively straight-forward path to the semis, though it started with admittedly the toughest route out of the playoff round with Bundesliga side Hoffenehim.
The Reds drew Porto in the Round of 16, waltzing to a 5-0 aggregate win after facing one of, if not the easiest draws in the group stage (Sevilla, Spartak Moscow, Maribor).
To boot: While Roma was very good over two legs and unlucky in the first, surely Liverpool wasn’t counting on Barcelona blowing a 4-1 first leg advantage to i Lupi.
Even the league fixtures benefit Liverpool’s odds against Roma, with the Reds traveling to West Brom before the first leg and hosting Stoke City before the second.
While Roma’s fixture list isn’t especially tough, it features a pile up. I Lupi have a three-match week ending with a visit to SPAL before the first leg, and hosts Chievo Verona before Liverpool hits Rome for the second leg.
No team in the semifinal has gotten there by luck, and Liverpool may just be taking strong steps toward reclaiming its status as a world power.
There’s no question the Reds’ attack, paced by the incredible Mohamed Salah, is as exciting as any in the world. Virgil Van Dijk has helped improve the defense, but the Reds are doing it with a midfield missing a key box-to-box piece (That void will be filled by Naby Keita next season).
Klopp deserves plenty of credit for doing this without a real disruptor in the center of the park, although Emre Can may be the most under-appreciated piece of his set-up. And he’s been regularly untested full backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson in what’s turned out to be a masterstroke.
In other words, Klopp’s project probably didn’t expect to be challenging for a Champions League win at this stage of his Anfield revolution. And it’s fair to say they should be playing relatively carefree with the house’s money as the final month of the season approaches Merseyside.
Que Sera, Sera, indeed.