Football

This could be start of something special for Liverpool: Rio

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand admitted that Liverpool's march to the Champions League final has got him worried.

The Reds booked their spot in European club football's showpiece game in Kiev on May 26 against holders Real Madrid after defeating AS Roma 7-6 on aggregate, despite losing 4-2 in the semi-final, second leg at the Stadio Olimpico yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The result prompted Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard to tell BT Sport: "That man (Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp) and the players deserve so much praise.

"I know what it means to these people, I've lived around them, it's a special club.

"This could be the start of something special under Klopp, he's world class."

His former England teammate Rio Ferdinand agreed, telling BT Sport: "It's great to see, but as a Man United fan, an ex-Man United player, it's frightening because as Stevie said, and rightly so, this could be the start of something special."

Liverpool's attack has been something special this season, with the 40 goals they have scored in Europe the third highest total in Champions League history, bettered only by Barcelona in 1999/2000 and Real Madrid in 2013/14.

Of those 40 goals, 30 have been scored by the Reds' deadly front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

"When they are playing well, their attack is unstoppable but even when they are not, they are still a threat," former Reds defender Mark Lawrenson told the BBC.

However, Liverpool's less impressive defence would have given Real hope, said former Manchester United captain Roy Keane.

He told ITV: "You look at Liverpool tonight, their young right-back (Trent Alexander-Arnold) had a nightmare .

"The goalkeeper (Loris Karius) was poor, so Real Madrid will be rubbing their hands as much as Liverpool will be.

"That's why it's (the Champions League final) such an intriguing game."

Football