Liverpool's road to the Champions League final
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 25/05/18 8:45am
Liverpool are into the Champions League final, where they will face Real Madrid. Here we take a look at their route to Saturday's showdown...
Hoffenheim 1-2 Liverpool, Liverpool 4-2 Hoffenheim (6-3 agg win)
Liverpool's road to the Champions League final began on August 15, when, just three days after their first Premier League game, they travelled to Germany to take on Hoffenheim in a play-off for the group stage. The game was lit up by a fine free-kick from Reds teenager Trent Alexander-Arnold, but while Hoffenheim missed a penalty, a late strike from the hosts halved Liverpool's advantage.
Back at Anfield, a three-goal burst inside the opening 21 minutes - two goals from Emre Can and another from Mo Salah - put the tie beyond doubt and, despite conceding twice, Liverpool progressed with a 6-3 aggregate win.
Champions League Group E
Liverpool's group stage campaign got off to a less than ideal start. They conceded inside five minutes at home to Sevilla, saw Roberto Firmino miss a penalty and had Joe Gomez sent off in an eventful 2-2 opener at Anfield. That was followed by a frustrating 1-1 draw at Spartak Moscow, Philippe Coutinho cancelling out the hosts' opener.
Liverpool got their first win of the group phase in emphatic fashion in October, though, hammering Maribor 7-0 in Slovenia, with five different players getting on the scoresheet. Liverpool then won the reverse fixture 3-0 at the start of November.
A second-half collapse at Sevilla - when Liverpool threw away a 3-0 lead - put pressure on their final group game, but a 7-0 thrashing of Spartak Moscow, featuring a Philippe Coutinho hat-trick, saw the Anfield outfit into the knockout phase in style.
ROUND OF 16
Porto 0-5 Liverpool, Liverpool 0-0 Porto (5-0 agg win)
Coutinho may have been sold in January, but Liverpool showed they still have an incredible attack with a 5-0 dismantling of Porto in Portugal. Sadio Mane was the star man, hitting a hat-trick as Liverpool all but confirmed their place in the quarter-finals. A low-key 0-0 in the second leg confirmed a comprehensive aggregate victory.
Liverpool 3-0 Man City, Man City 1-2 Liverpool (5-1 agg win)
Liverpool were pitted against the Premier League's runaway leaders Manchester City in the quarter-finals in a mouth-watering contest between two of England's top attacks. The contest didn't disappoint, with a thrilling first-half blitz from the Reds seeing Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mane scoring inside 31 minutes to take a commanding lead to the Etihad Stadium.
In the second leg, City came out firing, with Gabriel Jesus scoring in two minutes before City had a goal ruled out. But Liverpool weathered the storm and sealed their spot in the semis with second-half goals from Salah and Firmino to win 5-1 on aggregate.
Liverpool 5-2 Roma, Roma 4-2 Liverpool (7-6 agg win)
Liverpool enjoyed a dream semi-final first leg at home to Roma - until the final 10 minutes, at least. A first-half Salah double put them in control, before a 13 minute, three-goal burst from Mane and Firmino put Liverpool in dreamland and 5-0 up. Only late strikes from Edin Dzeko and a Diego Perotti penalty took some gloss off and made for nervy second leg.
The second leg was another topsy-turvy affair, with goals from Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum putting Liverpool in complete control of the tie before Roma mounted an extraordinary comeback. Edin Dzeko made it 2-2 soon after half-time, with Radja Nainggolan adding a late double to make for a nervy finale. Liverpool held on, however, in what was the highest-scoring Champions League semi-final in history.