Liverpool are Champions League team to beat and would terrify Real Madrid, says Le Saux

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Despite the presence of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Roma, the former England defender believes the Reds are the "team to beat" in the competition

The Champions League title is Liverpool's "for the taking" after they "blew away" Manchester City in the quarter finals, Graeme Le Saux says.

The Reds eased past City with a 5-1 aggregate win to set up a last-four tie with Roma, who overturned a 4-1 first-leg deficit against Barcelona with a 3-0 home victory on Tuesday.

Although Le Saux feels Roma pose a threat to the Anfield club, the former England and Chelsea defender is confident Jurgen Klopp's side can get through and will terrify fellow semi-finalists Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the final.

"I think Liverpool are the team to beat. The fact Liverpool blew City away in the first leg, playing with such style and then when under a lot of pressure this week, stayed so composed for the win means they are the form team in my eyes," he said.

"They were magnificent and their campaign was summed up by that Mohamed Salah goal. They showed composure and so much self-belief and I think they will go into the semis feeling very confident of going through to the final.

"However, while they’ve got the draw they probably wanted and you feel Bayern Munich or Real Madrid may have presented a tougher challenge.

"Roma are by no means easy-beats and what they did to Barcelona shows that they can’t be written off and have the ability to come back as well if they are down. 

"Perhaps the only thing to be wary of for Liverpool is how big this is for the club and for Klopp. They have to make sure they don’t get spooked by the size of the reward and lose the attitude they’ve had the whole way through.

"However, they are the in-form team of the four. Bayern Munich didn’t pull up any trees in the second half of their quarter-final, while Real Madrid were taken right to full time by Juventus. Liverpool were the most convincing by far."

Madrid are aiming for a fourth consecutive Champions League title after a close call against Juventus, and Le Saux feels the presence of star man Ronaldo could be the only thing that stops the Premier League side from taking the crown.

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"I think if we get a Liverpool vs Real Madrid final then Real will be very scared and I have no doubt Liverpool could do it," he said.

"The only caveat of course is Cristiano Ronaldo - obviously he can do seemingly impossible things and he is capable of being a one man team if needs be.

"But Liverpool are playing better as a team and I think the trophy is theirs for the taking."

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