AS Roma vs Liverpool - Klopp's 'old fairy tales' no use to Liverpool players

Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2018 by PA

AS Roma vs Liverpool - Klopp's 'old fairy tales' no use to Liverpool players

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists Roma’s Stadio Olimpico is no place to regale his players with “old fairy tales” about past achievements as they try to secure a place in the Champions League final.

The venue has huge significance for the Reds as it is where, in 1984, they won a penalty shoot-out against the Italian club, playing at their home ground, to lift their fourth European Cup.

While his players are entering uncharted territory heading into the semi-final second leg with a 5-2 lead Klopp, himself, has a previous successful experience to fall back on as his Borussia Dortmund side went to the Bernabeu in 2013 with a 4-1 advantage over Real Madrid.

The Spanish side launched a late comeback with two goals in the last 10 minutes but Klopp’s team held on to reach the final, which they eventually lost to Bayern Munich.

“I cannot tell the boys old fairy tales that you have a manager that came through at Madrid, that does not help,” said the German.

“Yes, I would take the result if I wanted to have the same trip again but I don’t think anyone wants that.

“But we are not Borussia Dortmund, they are not Real Madrid, we are another team, it’s in a another stadium so we don’t have to think too much about that.

“We go there actually to try to win the game, not to only lose 2-0. You cannot come to a semi-final and play average football.”

Klopp admits their progress to the last four of the competition is somewhat unexpected.

But now they have one foot in next month’s final in Kiev he is adamant they cannot pass up the opportunity of a first Champions League final in 11 years.

“I don’t think that people are interested in semi-final losers, same as final losers. I could write a book about that, we all know that,” added the Reds boss, who has lost his last five final appearances.

“But the only way to win something is to go the whole way so if this team goes to the final it would be an outstanding – outstanding – achievement already.”

Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco admits he is looking for a miracle in the Champions League semi-final second leg.

Having stunned Barcelona, who arrived with a 4-1 lead in the last round but exited the competition on away goals after the hosts’ 3-0 win, Di Francesco hopes lightning strikes twice as they try to overcome a 5-2 deficit.

“I would do a copy and paste (of the Barca game),” he said.

“It is in the mind of the players. In order to compete against a rival such as Liverpool, we need to raise the bar in terms of physical effort, then comes the attitude, approach to the game and trying to score an early goal to have the fans behind us even more.

“We have conceded very little to our rivals at home (Roma have not let in a Champions League goal at the Stadio Olimpico this season).

“It won’t be easy, but it is our duty to believe it. Thanks to the passion of our fans, we have our fans behind us so we all have the desire to complete one more miracle, if I may use the word.”

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