Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged fans to respect Roma and be on their best behaviour to avoid a repeat of the ugly scenes that marred their Champions League win over Manchester City.
Once again thousands of fans are expected to line the approach to Anfield for the arrival of the team coaches for tonight’s semi-final first leg, but on the last occasion that happened City’s bus had windows smashed after bottles and cans were thrown.
It led to a UEFA charge, which is likely to result in a financial punishment, and Klopp has warned supporters the eye of the world will be on them once more.
“In the stadium, do it again; outside the stadium, please show the respect we have to show,” he said.
“This is such a fantastic club, an outstanding football family, known for a fantastic atmosphere all over the world, so we don’t need to throw whatever at the bus of the opponent team.
“If we can do what we did creating an atmosphere in front of the stadium then let’s do it, but show the respect they deserve. We are opponents on the pitch.
“Everyone knows what a wonderful city Rome is; not everyone knows how wonderful Liverpool is and, if we can show how wonderful Liverpool people are and the city and the spirit of the club, we can show it in 20 minutes before the game and then the whole world knows it.
“I really think all the people who are with LFC deserve that, that we show that face.”
Asked what difference fans could make inside the ground, Klopp said: “I don’t have to tell the people what I want to see because they know it already. They are more experienced in these moments than we are.
“They have created a few of the most special atmospheres in world football. I don’t know if we can do better than Man City inside the stadium but, if it’s possible, let’s try.
“These are the very special moments and if you cannot enjoy that moment something is really wrong for you.
“For the boys on the pitch it is hard work, but it is still much more fun when you do it at Anfield. I don’t have to say anything, I know they will be perfect.”
Klopp says he is expecting newly crowned Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year Mohamed Salah to get a rough ride from his former Roma team-mates.
The 41-goal forward faces his old club for the first time since his £38m move last summer.
Italian defenders have a reputation for their uncompromising approach and Klopp alluded to that when discussing Salah’s situation. But he also thanked the Serie A club for their help in making the Egypt international the star he has grown into since arriving in England.
“Players change clubs, managers change clubs – I had it with Dortmund two years ago already,” Klopp said.
“It is a normal game, but it feels quite special because you know much more about the team than you usually know, and you are more interested in the other team than you usually are.
“I am pretty sure Mo follows the whole season of Roma as he had a fantastic time there and he became the player there which we have now here, so big credit to all the staff and the players at Roma because they are all part of his development.
“Italian defenders are famous for not having friendly games so I think Mo will feel pretty early in the game they are not his team-mates any more and then he can strike back in a football way.”
Klopp said it was already a special campaign for record-breaking Salah after his individual award, but wanted him to achieve something with the team.
“It’s great, but the season is not finished and there are a lot of things to come, but I am sure it is a nice boost for him,” the German added.
“In this season when Kevin De Bruyne played the season he played it makes it even more special.
“The players know how difficult it is to score that many goals and be involved in that many goals so I think it is well deserved.”
This is a semi-final which few predicted at the quarter-final stage.
Liverpool overcame runaway Premier League champions Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate while Roma sprang an even greater surprise by overturning a 4-1 deficit to eliminate Barcelona on away goals with a 3-0 second-leg victory. Not that Klopp entertains the underdogs tag.
“We both have the chance to go the final and that is all I need,” he commented. “If anyone thinks we two are underdogs, who cares? We are in the semi-final and we can go to the final. That is all I care about.”