Liverpool 5-2 Roma: Mohamed Salah destroys former team, but late away goals give Italian club life

Liverpool absolutely obliterated Roma, 5-2, in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal on Tuesday, putting the Reds on the verge of advancing to the final. Mohamed Salah scored two goals and dished out two assists against his former club, while Roberto Firmino netted a brace and Sadio Mane put one behind the back of the net. 

The Reds held a comfortable 5-0 lead before Roma woke up from its 80-minute slumber. Eden Dzeko scored with under 10 minutes to go and Diego Perroti finished a penalty kick shortly after to add some drama to next week's second leg. Roma still has a fighting chance, especially after overcoming a three-goal deficit against Barcelona at home in the previous round. 

It was a dominant, shocking performance where Roma's defense was non-existent. They were slow to react to Liverpool's speed, gave the hosts too much space in the final third and were rightfully punished. 

It all started on 35 minutes when Salah, cooler than the other side of the pillow, went upper-90 to the far post:

The Egyptian star did it again 10 minutes later, chipping the goalkeeper with a slick finish:

Ten minutes into the second half, Salah set up Mane for his strike from inside the box, but it seemed as if Salah was offside. Maybe a lucky break for the Reds. You be the judge:

Salah set up Firmino in the 61st minute to tack on another goal:

Not to be outdone by Salaj, Firmino netted his second goal in the 68th minute:

Dzeko finally capitalized for Roma, finishing from close to pull within four in the 80th minute.

Perotti took advantage of a penalty kick to make it 5-2, giving his team a lifeline. 

When you take this result in its entirety, it couldn't have gone much better for Liverpool in attack. But allowing those two late goals means Roma is still in it. It's was almost safe to say Liverpool has a foot in the door of the Champions League final next month at 5-0, but at 5-2, it's really leaves the a small window open for the Italian club. 

In the end, Liverpool has to be happy with a 5-2 win, though a 3-0 win would have been better. And Roma deserves credit. They held onto the ball more and tried to be more patient in attack, and it played off. 

After 75 minutes, it looked as if Roma would need to travel 15 minutes south to the Vatican, and ask Pope Francis for a prayer. Now, all they need is a repeat performance like against Barcelona, and they'll be the one in the Champions League final when it looked like they wouldn't have a shot.

Relive the match with our live blog below:

How to watch Leg 2 between Roma and Liverpool 

When: Wednesday, May 2 at 2:45 p.m. ET
TV: FS1 (BT Sport 2 in UK; PremierSport HD and Canale 5 in Italy)
Stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Follow: CBS Sports App

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CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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