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2018/2019 Season

1 Liverpool 18 3 1 57
2 Man City 17 2 3 53
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 By PA Sport

Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp: Roma semi 'not a once-in-the-lifetime chance'

ESPN's Alison Bender previews the Champions League semi-final matches where Liverpool take on AS Roma and Real Madrid face Bayern Munich.

Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool's chance to reach a Champions League final should not be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The Reds face Roma in their first semifinal in Europe's elite club competition for a decade but their manager stressed he will not be building it up to be all-or-nothing for his players.

Klopp said: "I make the pressure higher? I tell them it's the only chance you ever have in your life so use it. Would you love to hear that before a game?

"[It's] not a once-in-the-lifetime chance. I am already for the second time in the semifinals and if I go, I will be the second time in the final. That's pretty rare.''

The two clubs have significant history, with Liverpool having beaten the Serie A club at their own Stadio Olimpico ground in the 1984 European Cup final.

Their most recent meeting, back in 2002, saw the Merseysiders progress to the quarterfinals of the competition.

Prior to that, the Reds were also victorious in the knockout stages of the 2001 UEFA Cup, on their way to winning the trophy, but Klopp admits that will not have any bearing on this tie.

"When was the final -- '84? Most of the players were not born then. Was Milly [James Milner]? Maybe Milly, I am not sure,'' added Klopp. "Maybe he just looks older [Milner was actually born in 1986].

"I really like it but these things happened as the stories of those boys. I love that we go to Rome, a fantastic city and a beautiful stadium, the Stadio Olimpico.

"If it helps we will use it but I think the boys need real things, not the good old stories -- even though they were brilliant. We only talk about it because we hope it helps. The spirit of Rome.''

Klopp's sides have developed a habit of blowing teams away in concentrated spells, highlighted by their three goals in 19 first-half minutes to take the quarterfinal tie away from Manchester City.

The German likened it to the manner in which the great Manchester United side of the 1990s and 2000s operated.

He said: "Is there something with Alex Ferguson, Man United. At a specific time, they scored always twice?

"Score, score? That is the opportunity. Score once, do it again. Use the momentum in the game. Of course we talk about it, of course we want to use that, but you still have to score.

"The team is a really enthusiastic team. In a good moment, they jump and that's really good to see.

"On the other hand, that's why the two Man City games were really special. We dealt with the very difficult circumstances in the two halves here and there on a high level.

"That brought us to the semis, not that we can score one, two, three in a row.

"In the moments when we are not in charge of the game, we are still in the game, that's a very important thing and that helped us massively.''

Meanwhile, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said he will appreciate the biggest match of his career to date, considering his up-and-down career at Anfield.

"This is what you play football for, to play in games like this against top European sides,'' he said.

"You dream about playing in the Champions League and playing in huge games like this.

"You have to give everything you have got, always have belief that no matter what state the game is in, how well or how poor you might be doing, that you believe you can come through and get through to the final or through to the next leg in the best shape possible.

"As a footballer, moments like this you dream about playing in and when it comes everything before it, every struggle, every test that you have had will put you in good stead for a game like this.''

One of the key factors in deciding whether they make it to Kiev next month will be the form of 41-goal forward Mohamed Salah, the newly-crowned Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year.

Henderson believes Liverpool can keep the Egypt international out of the clutches of European rivals by creating their own history with him.

"He's up there with the world's best so obviously there will be other clubs who want to take him away,'' said Henderson, who revealed he voted for Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne - Salah's main rival - for the PFA award.

"But I feel like he's in a great place with a great set of lads and a great manager going in the right direction.

"We want to create our own history here and I'm sure that Mo wants to be part of that. He's a big part of that now and I'm sure he will be for many years to come.

"He's been fantastic throughout the season. His record and his stats speaks for themselves.

"He's been a massive player for us this season and hopefully he can continue that form over the next few weeks.''


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