Mark Lawrenson: Klopp only knows one way to play – so why change on Wednesday?

Mark Lawrenson, who played for the Reds in the 1984 European Cup final, thinks Liverpool should attack from the off against Roma...


This Liverpool side have only got a Plan A. If that doesn’t work, they just restart Plan A, because they can’t play any other way. They’re not a team that sits back, because the best part of the side is the front three players.

And why would you ask those three to sit in and make it difficult for your opponents? Why wouldn’t you say “come on, let’s go out and attack”? Because that’s what frightens every opponent when they play Liverpool.

Additionally, on Wednesday Liverpool know that if they score one goal in this game, the tie is finished.

When you look at the game from Roma’s point of view, how do you set a team up to win 3-0? People will say “they did it against Barcelona.” Yes, they did, but Barcelona were very poor that night, and, at the moment, Liverpool’s front three is probably the best attack in European football.

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Why would you say to Firmino, Mane and Salah, “just take it easy lads”? I’d say “go for them”, because if you get that goal in the first 20 minutes the whole place will go flat and Roma’s players will wonder what they’re supposed to do next.

This is Klopp’s natural way to set his team up anyway.

He hates to have his teams sit in. He doesn’t believe they have to set up that way, he says “let’s go and play”, because he knows that nine times out of ten, Liverpool will go and score.

It’s natural for supporters, and even for managers and players, to feel a twinge of disappointment for allowing the two late goals, but, if you’d said to Klopp at 7:45 last Tuesday “would you take 5-2?” he’d have snapped your hand off.

If Liverpool were down 2-0 and had won 5-2, the emotions around those two goals would’ve been very different. It’s just a matter of perception really, because, at the moment, Liverpool are going into this game 3-0 up with 90 minutes to play. And I know Roma have got the away goals, but you would only seriously start worrying about that if they get 2-0 up.

Roma fell to pieces because three lethal forwards were flying at them, and they’re not used to playing teams who attack like that.They don’t play against this kind of attack every week.

And it wasn’t as though it was one or two of the Roma players letting the side down, it was the whole team.

It was everywhere. You could see the way the players looked. They were looking to the bench as if to say “What the hell is this?!” They were completely overwhelmed.

Should Liverpool get to the final, if they play like they have been playing they won’t be frightened of anyone. Obviously the other semi-final was a very different type of game to Liverpool’s one, and both Madrid and Munich are very good teams, but Liverpool have no reason to scared of either if they meet them in the final.

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