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Roberto Firmino expected to miss Liverpool’s U.S. tour

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Liverpool has become a regular in traveling to the United States over the summer, but one of the club’s biggest stars won’t be with the club when the Reds continue that tradition next week.

[ MORE: Lovren believes he is “one of the best in the world”

Brazil international Roberto Firmino will miss the team’s U.S. tour for the International Champions Cup, after playing for his native country at the World Cup, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds will take on PL rivals Manchester City and Manchester United in the ICC, following an opening match on July 22 against Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund.

“Bobby will be in for the second camp,” manager Jurgen Klopp told Liverpool’s website. “Then we have the English guys [and] Simon [Mignolet] and Dejan [Lovren] will come another week later. We’ll already be back from France and will have exactly one week to prepare [for] the game. That’s no problem.”

Klopp also suggested that a number of the team’s players still residing at the World Cup, including Simon Mignolet and Dejan Lovren won’t be back with Liverpool until a week before the Premier League season kicks off.

The Reds will kick off their PL season against West Ham United at Anfield on August 11.

At first blush: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

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The bookmakers say it’s going to be close, but favor Real Madrid to come away with its third-straight UEFA Champions League Final when it meets Liverpool on May 26 in Kiev.

Us? We’re not so sure the two sides are even as far apart as Real’s meager 5:4 odds and Liverpool’s 2:1 underdog status.

[ MORE: Roma-Liverpool recap | Reds react ]

The biggest obstacle in choosing Liverpool to beat Real seems more to be aura than anything; Betting against Real in the Champions League has been a fool’s errand for some time.

Real is allowing better than a goal-per-game in league play this season, and has been a bit worse in Europe despite advancing to the final.

It’s also lost two matches in the UCL, one in the group stage against Spurs and the second leg against Juventus. Liverpool has only lost one match in European play, and has allowed goals at a similar rate to Real.

[ MORE: Roma rages at referee ]

Yeah, this one’s tough to call.

Goalkeeper: No, the keepers don’t play each other, but this is the one of three areas in which we’re looking to put the positions against each other. Loris Karius has been fine, but Keylor Navas gets a slight edge thanks to his wealth big game experience in both UCL Finals and with Costa Rica. Edge: Real Madrid.

Real forwards vs. Liverpool back line: There’s no use big-upping Virgil Van Dijk or defending Dejan Lovren here; This is Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Marco Asensio going up against a back line. Gareth Bale is on the bench (maybe). While Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are strong talents, this isn’t where Jurgen Klopp is hanging his hat. Edge: Real Madrid

Liverpool forwards vs. Real back line: Here’s where it’s a little tighter, but still easy to call. Sergio Ramos is a living legend, Marcelo is close to that status, and Dani Carvajal is pretty darn good. And of Real’s eight top-rated players in the UCL, five of them are defenders (the three mentioned above as well as Raphael Varane and Nacho). Still, the Mohamed SalahRoberto FirminoSadio Mane trident is the strongest in the world (at least until Messi and Suarez find their new running mate). Edge: Liverpool.

Midfield vs. Midfield: Here’s where the tie is going to be decided, barring gaffes at the back end. Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum are fine, and James Milner is underrated, but the Reds injury troubles will cost them dearly here. Liverpool needs that trio to be at their top of the games, and hope that at least two of three of Casemiro, Modric, and Toni Kroos have off days. Even if Robertson and Alexander-Arnold flood the midfield, we wouldn’t bet on it. It gets a bit closer if Emre Can gets over his back trouble, but wouldn’t change our final judgment. Edge: Real Madrid.

Manager vs. Manager: It’s probably about time people stop looking past Zinedine Zidane as a manager. He’s not just a legendary player looming over the touch line. But even without Veljko Buvac helping out, Jurgen Klopp’s tactical acumen will serve Liverpool better over one match than Zidane’s does Real. Edge: Liverpool.

AT HALF: Liverpool bags two away goals, on doorstep of UCL Final

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Roma had control of the first nine minutes of its UEFA Champions League comeback bid.

Then the Italian hosts gave Liverpool one chance, and the Reds punished them. Liverpool is taking a 2-1 second leg lead, 7-3 on aggregate, into halftime in Rome on Wednesday.

Radja Nainngolan’s mistake on the left of midfielder allowed Liverpool a 3v2 break on i Lupi.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Roberto Firmino led the rush, and his pass was in tune with Sadio Mane‘s run. The Senegalese forward buried his chance beyond the reach of Alisson.

Roma got a goal back when Patrik Schick’s pressure forced Dejan Lovren into a clearance that bounded off James Milner‘s face and past Loris Karius.

But Georginio Wijnaldum took the second ball off a Liverpool corner and nodded beyond the reach of Alisson to make it 7-3 on aggregate.

Liverpool bosses Roma, opens door late

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  • Ex-Roma star Salah bags 42nd, 43rd of season
  • Picks up two assists as well
  • Firmino also has two and two

Liverpool’s trident impaled its visitors again and again, as the Premier League side took a 5-2 first leg lead over AS Roma in the UEFA Champions League semifinal at Anfield on Tuesday.

Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino braces bookended a Sadio Mane marker as the front three ran riot on Roma ahead of May 2’s second leg in Italy.

Roma’s only consolation comes in the form of two goals in the final 10 minutes; The first was an Edin Dzeko marker in the final 10 minutes. The second a penalty given for a James Milner handball that Diego Perotti converted for a second away goal.

[ MORE: Full box score and statistics ]

Roma will carry the same hopeful message as it did in the first leg against Barcelona, down three but this time with a pair of away markers.

Salah scored the first two goals, and the opener was a precise finish for the Egyptian wonder.

An offside but uncalled Salah worked a 1-2 with Firmino to add to his total before finding Mane to make it 3-0 with a tap-in.

Trent-Alexander Arnold sent Salah down the right side for the fourth goal, his 62nd minute pass reaching Firmino for an attempt he’ll finish 95 times out of 100.

It was simply calamity off a corner for the fifth goal, a disheartened Roma offering little as Firmino completed his brace.

Liverpool 3-0 Bournemouth: The trident delivers

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  • Salah scores 40th
  • Fourth 40+ goal season from LFC player
  • First African to score 30 PL goals in a season
  • Mane also scores

Mohamed Salah made history sandwiched between Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as Liverpool’s trident delivered a 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday.

According to Opta, Salah is the third Liverpool player to score 40-plus goals in all competitions in a single season after Roger Hunt (1961-62) and Ian Rush (1983-84 and 1986-87).

Sadio Mane also scored for Liverpool, who moves to 70 points. They are three points ahead of Spurs, and have played two more games ahead of Tottenham’s 2:45 p.m. ET match with Man City.

Bournemouth remains 11th with 38 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Mohamed Salah provided two chances for a Liverpool opener in the first five minutes to no avail.

The Reds went up through Mane’s rebound finish after his initial header was saved by Asmir Begovic.

Salah then forced Begovic into an 18th minute save, and his first touch betrayed him when a scooped 39th minute pass from Mane put him 1v1 with the keeper.

He got it in the 69th, heading a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross over the leaping Begovic.

Firmino finishing the scoring in the 90th minute, cutting across his body to beat Begovic inside the near post. It was a finish that was harder than it looked, for sure.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]