Liverpool’s Champions League opponents Roma sealed a 4-1 victory over Chievo in Serie A on Saturday evening, ahead of next week’s second leg.
Roma 4-1 Chievo
Serie A, Stadio Olimpico
April 28, 2018
Goals: Schick 9′, Dzeko 40′, 67′, El Shaarawy 65′
Eusebio Di Francesco named a full-strength side for their home clash at Stadio Olimpico, which will also play host to the Reds on Wednesday night.
Rumoured Liverpool target Alisson started between the sticks, with Kostas Manolas the notable absentee due to a shift to a more conventional 4-3-3 formation.
Bruno Peres came in at right-back, replacing Alessandro Florenzi, and Lorenzo Pellegrini took over from Kevin Strootman in midfield alongside Daniele De Rossi and Radja Nainggolan.
Stephan El Shaarawy replaced Cengiz Under to join Edin Dzeko in attack, with Patrik Schick, a second-half substitute at Anfield, also coming into the fold.
They got off to the perfect start in Rome, with Schick turning home Nainggolan’s cross from the left to open the scoring.
Dzeko then doubled Roma’s lead, this time benefiting from Aleksandar Kolarov’s delivery from the same flank, drilling past Stefano Sorrentino from close range to ensure a 2-0 lead at half-time.
Di Francesco’s side were dealt a major blow after the break, however, as Roberto Inglese was brought down in the box by Juan Jesus, who was promptly shown a red card.
But with Inglese dusting himself off to take the resulting spot-kick, Alisson was the hero as he dived the right way to make the save.
Roma then sealed the win with a three-minute flurry that saw El Shaarawy score a sumptuous solo goal and Dzeko take advantage of a brilliant long-range throw from Alisson to double his tally.
Inglese scored late on to deny Alisson a deserved clean sheet, but by that time Roma were already home and dry.
Liverpool, meanwhile, were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Stoke City earlier on Saturday, as Klopp’s five changes saw a disjointed display lacking in genuine quality.
The hope will be that the decision to rest the likes of Dejan Lovren and James Milner, while preserving the fragile Sadio Mane, will pay off, and Roma’s full-throttle approach won’t provide momentum ahead of the midweek decider.
Roma: Alisson; Peres, Fazio, Jesus, Kolarov; Pellegrini (Gonalons 79′), De Rossi, Nainggolan; Schick (Manolas 60′), Dzeko (Gerson 84′), El Shaarawy
Subs not used: Skorupski, Lobont, Pellegrini, Capradossi, Cengiz, Florenzi , J. Silva