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Liverpool players to face Real “with confidence”

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Jordan Henderson says Liverpool will head to the UEFA Champions League Final in Ukraine as a team brimming with fight.

[ MORE: Roma 4-2 (6-7 agg.) Liverpool ]

Liverpool held off Roma 7-6 over two legs following Wednesday’s 4-2 loss in Italy, and will now meet holders Real Madrid on May 26 in Kiev.

The Reds scored early through Sadio Mane and led 2-1 before conceding thrice late at the Stadio Olimpico.

“We knew it was important to score and get one early on,” said Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson. “We were unlucky with their first goal but overall we have to be happy with what we have done over the two legs. We could have done better in this game but we’ve made it through to the final.

“We have another important game on the weekend against Chelsea and then we have Real Madrid in the final. We will go there with confidence.”

Real has won its last six UCL finals, though its last loss came to the Reds in 1981. Georginio Wijnaldum scored in Rome and is hopeful of earning Liverpool its first UCL crown since 2005.

“It will be a nice game,” Wijnaldum said. “If you want to win the Champions League you have to beat any team. They have lots of good players but so do we. So it will be a good match.”

Then there’s Andy Robertson, who could’ve been sent off for a dangerous late shove but has been a revelation since arriving from Hull City following the Tigers relegation campaign.

“What a thing to be involved in,” Robertson said. “Credit to all the lads, we’ve come through every challenge we’ve been set. We’ll have a great day in Kiev whatever the result. … Last season we were fighting for our lives at Hull, now I feel like I’m at home. I’ll certainly enjoy Kiev.”

Liverpool mashes Bournemouth in 4-0 win

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  • Coutinho, Salah score beauties (video)
  • Cherries winless in six
  • Reds unbeaten in nine
  • Robertson key on left side

Liverpool ran a red-hot first half to an easy 4-0 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday.

Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho scored highlight reel goals, with Dejan Lovren and Roberto Firmino pitching in flying headers, as the Reds moved into the Top Four with 34 points.

Bournemouth sits 16th, a point ahead of the relegation zone, and witnessed a match much different than last season’s 4-3 win over Liverpool at the same venue.

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Joe Gomez curled a shot wide of the goal in the fourth minute. A Nathan Ake foul six minutes later gave Liverpool a free kick just outside the 18, and Philippe Coutinho struck a sweet effort off the inside of the post… and out.

Coutinho nearly put a chance home moments later, so it was not surprise when he scored the match’s first goal. A mazy dribbled past two Cherries ended with a shot across his body and inside the near post. Wonderful stuff. 1-0.

Lovren had 2-0 within six minutes, hitting the deck with a diving header goal after Roberto Firmino saved a corner kick on the line at the back post.

Jermain Defoe timed his run well for a 1v1 with Simon Mignolet, but his shot caromed off the far post.

It would’ve been 3-0 were it not for an outstanding reaction save from Asmir Begovic as Mohamed Salah attempted to cap off a terrific team play in the 43rd minute.

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Salah got his goal in stunning fashion, bodying off a defender before dribbling past two more to finish with an off-balance belt past Begovic.

Substitute Ryan Fraser had a chance to pull one back in the 56th minute, but rang it wide of the near post.

The Reds raised their advantage to four on another Robertson started move, with Firmino heading a Coutinho cross beyond Begovic.