Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Deserve to Be in the Final, SAYSANFIELD Chief

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Deserve to Be in the Final, SAYSANFIELD Chief

Article excerpt

LIVERPOOL chairman Tom Werner has spoken of the joy of securing a "truly deserved" Champions League final place.

The 7-6 aggregate win over Roma, achieved despite a first European loss this season with a 4-2 reverse in the Stadio Olimpico, has set up a repeat of the club's 1981 final triumph against Real Madrid.

It will be their first appearance in 11 years, which precedes the ownership of Fenway Sports Group, and Werner - a key figure in the American set-up - revelled in the moment.

"It was thrilling to beat Roma, and our play in the Champions League was such that we truly deserve to be going to Kiev," said Werner.

"What a joy to experience this moment with our away supporters."

Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum admits they face their most significant challenge tackling the defending champions and 12-time winners who have lifted the trophy in three of the last four seasons.

"Probably the biggest test we could have had, the biggest I've had as a player," said the Holland international. "We have to be aware of their quality, but they have to be aware of ours.

"The Champions League is the biggest competition you can play at club level, so if you can go in your first season to the final it's a great feeling but then you want to win the final now, so you can't relax."

Former Newcastle United midfielder Wijnaldum's first away goal for a club in three years put Liverpool 2-1 ahead on the night and was ultimately crucial in sending them through.

But the Dutchman played down ending his 1,081-day wait, saying: "It's great, but people make it bigger than it is. There are players who never score!" After heading in he raced to embrace head of fitness and conditioning Andreas Kornmayer, who had been predicting Wijnaldum would end his poor run away from home.

"We already had an agreement a few games ago that I would run to him if I scored but it didn't happen," he said. …

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