Youths-digest

Liverpool booked their place to face holders Real Madrid in the Champions League final despite losing 4-2 to Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.

Jurgen Klopp’s side headed to the Italian capital with a commanding 5-2 advantage from last week’s first leg, where their Serie A opponents snatched faint hopes of a comeback by netting a pair of late away goals.

Still, Roma had no margin for error – certainly not to the magnitude of the woeful blind pass midfielder Radja Nainggolan played in the ninth minute that resulted in Sadio Mane opening the scoring.

An incredibly unfortunate James Milner own goal did not knock Liverpool off their stride, with Georginio Wijnaldum restoring their ample cushion in the 25th minute.

First-leg goalscorer Edin Dzeko got in on the act seven minutes into the second half and frantic Roma pressure followed.

The mountain proved too steep for Eusebio Di Francesco’s side to climb and the chances of a comeback to match their quarter-final heroics against Barcelona had all but evaporated by the time Nainggolan clattered in off the post four minutes from the end and dispatched a penalty deep into stoppage time.

It means only Liverpool’s pursuit of a sixth European title stands between Madrid making it three in succession.