Roma vs Liverpool: We bring you the wave of optimism in the build-up to the Champions League semi-final second leg between Roma and Liverpool. Totti, Monchi, Di Francesco… All were agreed on one slogan for the week: Let’s paint the town giallorossi. It’s a call for red and yellow flags and colours to pop up all over the city from now through the week.
There may be some who just want a respectable game from Roma on Wednesday – something I find more than understandable. No one wants to see the team giving up or putting down tools in the middle of a match, like they had for a long spell in last week’s game.
But if you cannot enjoy weeks like this one and set your mind to party mode, I really believe supporting Roma will take away years of your health and life with no return. Not only that but it makes you pretty disagreeable to be around, when it comes to living with your spouse or family.
We were never meant to be in these semis so soon into the Monchi-EdF era, so get your feel-good factor while it’s there to be had this week.
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Monchi: “Yes. Before anything I’d like to talk about Sean Cox, to follow on from what Pallotta has said. Football and life are two different things in this case, I’m a devout Catholic and I pray for him and his family. We’re human beings, and I hope he can get back to a life of supporting his team. Mauro [Baldisson] and Umberto [Gandini], along with the president, are taking care of [speaking with Cox’s family].
Roma must repeat their Barcelona heroics if they are to win their UEFA Champions League semi-final tie with Liverpool.
Mohamed Salah and friends dismantled the Italian side at Anfield last week to come away with a 5-2 advantage.
It could have been even better for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, but for two late goals to keep the Serie A club in with a shout.
Salah broke the deadlock just after half an hour when he executed the perfect shot, from the right-hand corner of the box into the top left-hand corner of the net.
He was set up for the second time by Roberto Firmino on the stroke of half time, this time chipping splendidly over keeper Allison.
The Egyptian star turned provider ten minutes later as he broke free and crossed for Sadio Mane, who did the rest in front of the Kop.
Firmino went on to ensure the Fab Three were all on the score sheet after being played in by, yep, Salah.
And the Brazilian headed in the fifth from a corner as the hosts blew the tie to smithereens. Or so they thought. First, ever-dependable Edin Dzeko drifted free at the far post to drill past Loris Karius.
Then substitute Diego Perotti picked out the top corner with his penalty after the otherwise brilliant James Milner’s handball.
Roma have a slight chance inside the Stadio Olimpico, then. And that three-goal comeback against Barca in the last eight sure will make the dream seem possible.
Put it this way: if they even come close we’re in for another awesome night of European football. The history of this club tells us we’ve only had this chance twice: once in 1984 and now. It’s time to forget anything other than supporting the team. The Curva said everyone has to carry their flags and their voice to the game, and I’m adding one more thing.”
Monchi: “I’d like that the town be painted yellow and red. Starting today. That all the fans in Rome bring out their flags onto their balconies and make the world understand that Rome supports Roma. While others are talking about violence, let’s make them understand Rome isn’t violent.
Beating Liverpool is more difficult than beating Barcelona. There’s no tomorrow, everything ends on Wednesday evening, and we have to give it our all. Every grandfather, grandchild, son, father, mother: they all play on Wednesday. I had the good fortune to win a lot with Sevilla, but I never got the chance to dream of reaching a Champions League final. I was telling my wife the very same thing: the Champions League final was never a picture in my head.
Everyone has to do their part. Alisson a save, Dzeko a goal, Daniele a pass, those on the bench supporting the team on the pitch. We all have to be convinced of getting it done, because that makes it easier to do it.”
In the second part of his interview with Il Romanista, Monchi confirmed the club had reached a position where they do not have to sell any player by a forced June deadline and will be able to negotiate their own price for players sold this summer.
Monchi: “Things are different. Selling depends on us. I don’t know if I’d say things have done a complete 360, but they’ve certainly changed a lot [from last summer].”