Thursday 24 May 2018

'They should be worried' - Steven Gerrard issues stark warning to Real Madrid ahead of Champions League final

Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard believes Real Madrid “will be worried” ahead of their date with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in the Champions League final in Kiev.

Klopp’s heroes marched into the final after navigating a route past Roma in a high-scoring semi-final and now Gerrard (pictured) is predicting they will fancy their chances against a Real Madrid side that have reigned supreme as European champions for the last two years.

“They should be worried,” Gerrard said of Zinedine Zidane’s defending champions.

“You look at this Madrid team and they have major problems behind the full-backs. Liverpool will exploit that.

“Liverpool are strong in those areas and they can really hurt this Madrid team.

“Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are two of the best crossers in the Premier League.

“Real Madrid have major problems with crosses, so from what we saw over the two legs of the semi-final, I’d be happier to face them rather than Bayern Munich.

“It’s an incredible achievement for Real Madrid, third year on the spin reaching the final, but it was desperate at times in the second leg against Bayern.

“They were hanging on, they were all over the place at the back.

“This Bayern team are going to be full of regret because, over both legs, they were dominant throughout, created many, many chances and looked the far better team.”

Liverpool great Mark Lawrenson, however,  suggested Liverpool rode their luck in Rome, and he suggested Klopp’s defensive problems are still a concern.

“If we said at the start of the game, Roma would win 4-2, we would have got locked up.

“It was a game that was so open and that’s a slight worry,” said the former Ireland defender.

“Going forward, Liverpool are unstoppable but they do have mad moments defensively.

“If they can cure that moving forward, they will be an excellent team.”

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson admitted his side made hard work of the game.

“We never do it the easy way unfortunately,” stated Henderson. “It was an amazing effort. In the first half we did well and scored some good goals.

“Overall we handled the situation well apart from the last 10 minutes. We need to stop that but I’m delighted we’re in the final.

“We knew it was important to score and get one early on. We were unlucky with their first goal but overall we have to be happy with what we have done over the two legs. We could have done better in this game but we’ve made it through to the final.

“We have another important game on the weekend against Chelsea and then we have Real Madrid in the final. We will go there with confidence.”

Gini Wijnaldum was also looking forward to the final and admitted a win against the side trying to win the trophy for a third successive year would be a glorious achievement.

“It will be a nice game against Real Madrid,” said the midfielder. “If you want to win the Champions League you have to beat any team. They have lots of good players but so do we. So it will be a good match.”

Online Editors

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