Jurgen Klopp warns Liverpool not to take Roma lightly despite avoiding Real Madrid and Bayern
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted he is not relieved to have avoided Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the draw for the Champions League semi-finals.
Klopp’s side will face Roma over two legs for a place in the Kiev final, with Klopp insisting his side have not landed the easiest draw as they were paired with the side currently sitting fourth in Italy’s Serie A.
“Because I knew I’d have to say something after it, I tried to think about what I feel, but it was not that I thought ‘Thank God not Bayern, thank God not Real Madrid, yippee Roma’ or the other way around,” Klopp told the Liverpool website.
“It is just the draw and I know it is very exciting, but it is good because the most important news is we are still in the competition. Whichever opponent we would have got, I would have said there is a chance because it is football, so there is a chance against Roma.
“But if anybody think this is the easiest draw then I cannot help this person; they obviously didn’t see both games against Barcelona. In the first result, the 4-1, it was not like the game was – it was (Lionel) Messi genius against a good side of Roma. The second leg was outstanding, it was outstanding what they did. They should have probably won four or five-nil – I was really impressed.
“It is work and no problem with that and now we are looking forward of course to the first game.”
Klopp suggested Roma will have an advantage to play the second leg at home, but he pointed out it was not significant in his side’s quarter-final win against Manchester City.
“The atmosphere is always important, of course,” he continued. “In our tie it was not too important, in Real Madrid – Juventus it wasn’t too important, but for Rome it obviously was important.
“I think they will think it is an advantage, but it all depends on the first result. Of course, whatever happens, as long as you are in the race there is always a chance wherever it is, so I am fine with it. You cannot change it. It didn’t create reaction at all. First leg at home, I am really looking forward to it because it will be a special atmosphere. It’ll be great.”
“I have never been to Rome before, not even as a tourist, so it will be completely new for me. I’ve played against Bayern a few times, obviously, and I’ve come up really often against Real Madrid.
“From an excitement point of view, it’s really cool because I’ve never played in Rome. It’s a beautiful city for sure, but we are not there for sightseeing.”
Independent News Service