Alberto Aquilani favouring Roma over Liverpool

Liverpool

Liverpool FC Liverpool

Roma defender Aleksandar Kolarov insists the Serie A outfit can not focus all their efforts on stopping Liverpool's Mohamed Salah when the two sides meet in the Champions League semi-finals.

Liverpool council is showing its hospitable side too, posting "Benvenuti a Liverpool" signs in Roma colours around the city and hiring a ukulele band to serenade the 1,000 Italians expected through John Lennon Airport on Tuesday morning.

Liverpool's €42 million purchase of Mohamed Salah from Roma last summer was an "unbelievable bargain", the Italian club's owner James Pallotta told ESPN.

When asked about Kevin Strootman's recent suggestions Roma are preparing for Salah like they did Lionel Messi, Di Francesco told reporters: "Strootman has become very smart, but I can assure you we didn't prepare the match based on Salah". They're fast and powerful.

"I think in the stadium, do it again, but outside, show the respect we have to show", the German said.

"Nobody thought after the first result that they can have the kind of comeback against Barcelona because it's not usually possible", he added.

"(Beating City) was just us going out and doing what we are capable of doing.

However, even Klopp's men's 5-1 thrashing of Premier League champions City over two legs in the last eight was upstaged by Roma coming from 4-1 down in the first leg of their quarter-final with Barcelona to progress on away goals thanks to a famous 3-0 second-leg win.

The two sides met back in the 1984 European Cup final which was held at the Stadio Olimpico and it was Liverpool who ended the game as champions following their penalty shoot-out success. "If we do that, hopefully we can get through to the final".

"The decisive thing will be for us to stay compact", said Di Francesco, a former Roma midfielder in his first season as coach of the club.

"We had no choice when we sold Salah and Pjanic".

"This is what you play football for, to play in games like this against top European sides", he said. People talk about pressure or once-in-a-lifetime chance.

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