(Photo credit: Reuters/Carl Recine)
Liverpool go into their Champions League semi-final return leg with a three-goal advantage. Reds fans are not resting easy though.
As of the 80th minute of play in Anfield last week, Liverpool looked to be cruising to a 5-0 victory against Roma.
However, a lofted ball from Radja Nainggolan evaded the back-pedalling Dejan Lovren and allowed Edin Dzeko to grab what would be more than just a consolation goal.
Diego Perotti’s penalty less than five minutes later now means that Roma are dreaming of a repeat of their 3-0 home victory against Barcelona, to knock out another European giant.
Liverpool’s defence has long been their biggest question mark. Jurgen Klopp finally made a significant move to remedy the backline with his club record signing of Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January.
Since his arrival, Van Dijk has been one of Liverpool’s best performers, often going under the radar as his attacking peers have stolen the limelight.
A 5-2 win against Roma gives the Reds some comfort before their trip to the Stadio Olimpico, but their defensive frailty also leaves doubt.
As well as van Dijk has performed since his arrival on Merseyside, his partners in central defence have not been as reliable.
First, Joel Matip made his case to Jurgen Klopp as to why he should start alongside the Dutchman next season. After some average performances, he sustained a season-ending injury, leaving Lovren to step back into the first team.
While Lovren is capable of brilliant performances, you never know when his next game losing error will come and he has once again proven that he cannot cut it at the top.
Roma will hope that he is unsettled ahead of Wednesday’s fixture to exploit this weak spot.
Klopp shows unwavering faith in his players to the media, but inside, he must know the Croatian is not good enough for a team who want to challenge for the Premier League title.
His search for a replacement needs to begin immediately. Here are five suggestions: