Liverpool's Champions League final place rests on Anfield tie, says Ryan Mason
By Sky Sports
Last Updated: 13/04/18 2:04pm
Liverpool must take a minimum of two goals to Roma if they have a chance of securing a place in the Champions League final, says former Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason.
Roma beat Barcelona 3-0 in their last-eight tie at the Stadio Olimpico, and Mason says Liverpool face a tough trip to Italy.
He said: "Roma's home form has been fantastic, the atmosphere the other night against Barcelona - it looked an intimidating place to go.
"Liverpool need to make the most of their home crowd and get on top of Roma early on, they'll want a minimum of a two-goal lead when they go to Roma.
"I think Roma are a surprise package," he added. "It proved difficult for Barcelona to progress through, so at this stage of the competition you're coming up against top teams. Roma are a team that will probably eliminate the space behind for Liverpool to run into, but I'm sure Liverpool will be happy with that going forward."
The draw means that Liverpool's top scorer Mohamed Salah will come up against his former side, which he left for £34m last summer.
"He knows the players very well but at the same time those players know him well," Mason said. "The Roma players will be wary of the spacing behind the back four, the performance against Barcelona was brilliant tactically.
"They were spot on, it'll be an interesting game because Roma will try and counter-attack and get goals and defend, as opposed to a Liverpool side that will look to blow Roma away in the first leg and win the tie."
Liverpool have not faced Roma in a competitive match since March 2002, and if they do beat the current fourth-placed Serie A side, they could face either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the final.
Mason is confident the Reds could become champions of Europe for the sixth time
"We've seen this season Liverpool can beat anyone on their day, they beat Man City, and they've beaten the big boys", he said.
"If they get passed this test then they'll be confident going into a final, Real Madrid play open expansive football they give you space and chances. Bayern Munich the other night they scraped through, struggled at times. Liverpool will be confident of either of them."
The Champions League final will be held in Kiev, Ukraine on May 26.
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