Champions League: Salah leads Liverpool to semifinal win vs. Roma

April 24 (UPI) — Mohamed Salah scored two first half goals, leading Liverpool to a 5-2 win against AS Roma Tuesday at Anfield in Liverpool, England.

The win gave the Reds the advantage in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal matchup.

Salah — who previously played for AS Roma — started the scoring in the 36th minute. The Egyptian forward took a pass from Roberto Firmino inside the box, following a Roma turnover. He took a touch from about 18 yards out, pushing the ball to his left. Salah then laced a beautiful shot into the upper left corner of the net, beating Roma’s Alisson Becker.

The PFA Player of the Year returned for his second score 10 minutes later. Salah sent Firmino a pass in transition on that play. Firmino crossed midfield, danced around defenders and fired a through ball back to his teammate. Salah took one tap, before chipping Becker at the top of the box for a 2-0 lead.

Salah then turned his focus toward being the provider in the second half. He received a long pass up the right flank in the 55th minute. He dribbled toward the near post, before passing off to Sadio Mane, who buried another goal past Becker.

His second assist of the second half was even prettier. Salah also dribbled into the box toward the near post on that possession. He juked a defender, before sending a pass between the defense and Becker. The feed found Firmino at the far post for Liverpool’s fourth score of the game.

Firmino added his second goal in the 69th minute, beating Becker on a header from a James Milner corner kick.

Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti added scores for Roma in the 81st and 85th minute, respectively.

Roma and Liverpool meet again for leg two of the semifinal matchup at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 5 at Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy.

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