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Are you not entertained?! Get ready for a Champions League final epic in Kiev

5:06 AM GMT+8 03/05/2018
Liverpool celebrate
Jurgen Klopp's free-flowing Reds vs the two-time defending champions should produce plenty of magic in the final

In one of the world’s most beautiful cities, one of the world’s great romances continues.

There are some things that just go together. Lennon and McCartney, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Rush and Dalglish.

Liverpool and the European Cup. The love affair is as strong as ever. Next stop Kiev.

“Fight for your dream,” Jurgen Klopp told his players before this game. He spoke of courage, of history, of belief, of hope. He spoke of the occasion, the spotlight, the big stage. How would his players, his boys, handle it all?

The answer; quite nicely, thank you very much. The cup with the big ears already has a permanent residence at Anfield, but Klopp’s men reckon they can get their hands on it later this month. Real Madrid stand in their way. It promises to be something very special indeed.

They don’t do dull, Liverpool. They put their supporters through hell at times. What they must do to their manager’s heart rate is anyone’s guess.

Even here, in a tie they led 5-0, 6-2 and 7-3, relaxation was off the agenda. Reds fans sung their hearts out all night, but boy did they suffer too. As one female supporter put it “it’s a good job my nails are fake, because I’ve done nothing but chew them!”

That’s the price of supporting this side. How can a team be so brilliant and yet at the same time so flawed? Lord knows what will happen in the final.

This was the highest scoring Champions League semi-final ever, a ridiculous, remarkable tie which featured 13 goals over the two legs. Liverpool were never behind in it, but never comfortable either. They scored seven and could have had 20. They conceded six and might have shipped 20.

The easy assumption is that Cristiano Ronaldo and co will be licking their lips, salivating at the prospect of getting at Dejan Lovren and Trent Alexander-Arnold and Loris Karius. Real’s players wore T-shirts referring to ‘No.13’ when beating Bayern Munich in their own madcap semi-final on Tuesday night. Zinedine Zidane’s side will be favourites, make no mistake.

Do you think Liverpool will fear them, though? Do you think Klopp and his players will bow to reputations and to names? The Reds are going to Kiev with hope in their heart. They’ve come too far to worry now. Football is to be enjoyed, don’t ever forget that.

There will be some heavy heads and croaky voices on the early-morning flights out of Fiumicino airport, that’s for sure. How Liverpool’s supporters loved this, how they celebrated it. How they deserve it.

For Roma, there was nobility in defeat. The Italians are a strange side, one which at times looked out of place at this level yet still found ways to worry and to punish their rivals. They were one goal away from another rescue act.

It is Liverpool, though, who march on. Thrilling, breathless, nervous, terrifying, but they’re off to the Ukraine. One more push, one more rabbit from the hat, Klopp will demand.

What a job the German has done, what a wonderful fit he is for this club. A manager who understands passion, excitement, emotion and entertainment. Boy does he ‘get it’.

In 24 days, he will lead his side out on the biggest club stage of all. What an occasion it will be, what a night for Kopites.

And judging by what we’ve seen from Liverpool and from Real Madrid this season, what a game it will be. Don't bother trying to pick a winner. With these two teams, it could be anything.