Liverpool booked their place in the final of the Champions League for the first time in 11 years despite falling to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Roma at the Stadio Olimpico this evening.
The Reds went into the interval with a 2-1 lead after Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum had scored either side of a freak James Milner own goal, and that looked to be enough to confirm their place in the final following their 5-2 first-leg triumph.
Roma fought back in the second half with a goal from Edin Dzeko and two late strikes from Radja Nainggolan, but their comeback came too late and Liverpool held on for a 7-6 aggregate win.
Find out how all of the action unfolded on a record-breaking night in the Italian capital courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.
This match has been overshadowed by safety concerns after Liverpool fan Sean Cox was left in a critical condition having been attacked before the first leg, but hopefully it will be matters on the field which make the headlines tonight. Liverpool are very much in the driving seat courtesy of their 5-2 lead, but this season in the Champions League has been peppered with strange results and remarkable comebacks, so all is not lost for Roma just yet.
Let's start with a look at the team news...
Well, we will have a look at the hosts in a short while, but let's start with Liverpool, who are able to welcome Sadio Mane back to the starting lineup after he missed the Stoke game at the weekend with a minor injury.
Mane missed a number of chances in the first leg but did eventually join the rest of the front three on the scoresheet, and while his form has not quite been at the level of the two alongside him, he is still a key element of that trio. The Senegalese winger has eight goals in the Champions League this season, which is not something to be sniffed at.
Salah now has 43 goals across all competitions this season - including 22 in his last 20 outings for the club - which is the highest tally since Ian Rush netted a club-record 47 in the 1980s.
He has also scored in each of his past five Champions League starts for the club - a feat only previously achieved by Steven Gerrard - and has looked utterly unstoppable at times. With Roma having little choice but to throw caution to the wind tonight, he could get yet more space to do damage.
Firmino scored twice in the first leg and has matched Salah's Champions League tally of 10 goals this season which, coupled with Mane's eight, means that the front three have scored 28 goals just between them in this year's competition. Indeed, Liverpool are the first team in Champions League history to have three players score eight or more goals in a single campaign.
Also in that midfield trio is James Milner, whose tally of eight assists in the competition proper is the joint-best ever in a single Champions League season since the new format was introduced in 2003-04. Indeed, including qualifiers he has already surpassed Neymar's tally from 2016-17, so he can already claim to be the unlikely holder of that record.
Juan Jesus - who was sent off at the weekend - is the central defender to make way for the new system, while Manolas, who scored the dramatic goal which sent them through against Barcelona in similar circumstances to those they find themselves in now, and Federico Fazio retain their places.
The man they will look to more than any other for the goals is Edin Dzeko, who has found the back of the net in his last four Champions League appearances - including in the first leg at Anfield as he kick-started Roma's mini-comeback. Dzeko scored three goals in 11 games against Liverpool during his time with Manchester City, but none of those goals came in wins.
Under - who has proven himself to be prolific in his short Roma career so far - also drops out alongside Jesus as Pellegrini, Schick and El Shaarawy come into the team. Schick, El Shaarawy and Dzeko were all on the scoresheet for roma at the weekend.
Kolarov is a player Liverpool will know very well from his time with Manchester City, and the tie could be in a very different place right now had his thunderbolt in the first leg been an inch or two lower rather than cannoning off the crossbar with the score still at 0-0.
It is still a very tall order for Roma, who not only have to score three times but also have to stop this Liverpool team from scoring, but they have gone through on away goals in the past two rounds so those two at Anfield could yet prove important.
Indeed, this is their first European semi-final of any kind since then faced Brondy in the last four of the 1990-91 UEFA Cup, and it is only their second semi-final in this competition. The previous one came back in 1984 when they beat Dundee United 3-2 on aggregate to progress to the final, where they lost to... Liverpool. On home turf too.
That run began with their rousing comeback against Barcelona too, when they produced the joint second-largest comeback in Champions League history to progress against all the odds. Eusebio has asked for a carbon copy of that performance tonight, but if anything Barcelona may have done Liverpool a favour by showing them how not to approach the game.
The Italian outfit have not won back-to-back matches at any stage of this campaign, losing four Champions League games already this term. Indeed, looking as far back as 2010, Roma have won just seven of their last 30 Champions League outings, while losing 14.
Indeed, on the road Roma have won just one of their last 16 Champions games and incredibly have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 28 stretching back to 2007, yet here at the Stadio Olimpico they are yet to concede a single goal in this season's competition, keeping five clean sheets in a row.
In all competitions, though, Roma have been beaten seven times at home this season and have only kept 10 clean sheets in their 24 outings at the Stadio Olimpico - half of which have come in the Champions League. It isn't exactly a fortress, except seemingly when European nights arrive.
However, despite that they have still lost 14 of the 22 European ties in which they have lost the first game, and unsurprisingly no team in Champions League history have ever overturned a 5-2 first-leg deficit. The last time that was a score, Valencia lost 1-0 to Roma's city rivals Lazio but still went through 5-3 on aggregate.
Questions remain over Liverpool's defence - and the final 10 minutes of the first leg offered a glimpse of exactly why - but they have shown already this season that they can protect - even build on - a first-leg lead.
However, despite conceding an early goal Liverpool went on to win that second leg 2-1 and pull off a hugely impressive 5-1 aggregate triumph over a team many had made favourites to lift their trophy. A repeat performance of that for Liverpool tonight - perhaps without the nerves of an early goal against - would suit Jurgen Klopp just fine.
Indeed, that tally is already the third-highest for a Champions League season, with Real Madrid managing 41 in their 13-game 2013-13 campaign and Barcelona 45 in a 16-game 2002-03 campaign. Liverpool's 11-match average of 3.45 goals per game is higher than both of those, so this is a rate of scoring we have never seen before in the Champions League.
The Reds are now unbeaten in their last seven Champions League away games including qualifiers, which is their longest run since 2005 - which began en route to their most recent Champions League success in Istanbul.
Incredibly, their last three appearances in the semi-finals of this competition have all come against Chelsea, which means that this is the first time they have faced a non-English team in the last four since beating Panathinaikos in 1985.
A Champions League place for next season is still in Liverpool's hands, even if they lose at Stamford Bridge, but they could then be required to win on the final day of the season when it looked for some time as if the matter would be wrapped up before then. Should Chelsea win all of their remaining games - including against Liverpool - then Liverpool would need to win their final outing of the season to finish level on points, with their goal difference seeing them over the line.
The Reds have gone through in 30 of the 35 European ties in which they have won the home first leg and have never squandered a three-goal lead in the competition, with their worst slip-up coming in the 1964-65 semi-finals when a 3-0 defeat to Inter Milan saw the Italian side through to the final.
Incidentally, this will be Liverpool's 100th Champions League match excluding qualifiers, becoming the 18th club and fourth from England to reach that landmark.
This is a tough one to call on the night considering Liverpool can still lose and go through, which may affect their tactics in the closing stages. Roma need to make it an open game, which should suit Liverpool too, so it really could go either way on the night. I cannot see Roma pulling off another miracle and progressing, though.
SPORTS MOLE SAYS: Roma 2-2 Liverpool (Liverpool win 7-4 on aggregate)
Phil Neal had broken the deadlock in that match - the most renowned game between these two in the past - before Roberto Pruzzo levelled things up, but it is best remembered for Bruce Grobbelaar's spaghetti legs in the penalty shootout - a ploy Jerzy Dudek would copy in 2005 too.
The most recent meetings between the two sides came in the 2001-02 Champions League group stages, when Liverpool again won 2-0 at Anfield to progress through to the quarter-finals at Roma's expense.
However, Roma have lost their last six two-legged ties against English opposition, while Liverpool have won four and lost two of their previous six two-legged ties against Italian opposition.
ROMA STARTING XI: Alisson; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; Pellegrini, De Rossi, Nainggolan; Schick, El Shaarawy, Dzeko
LIVERPOOL STARTING XI: Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Henderson; Mane, Salah, Firmino
It is a shocking error from Nainggolan which is ruthlessly punished by Liverpool, with Firmino sliding his pass to Mane at the perfect time. Mane missed some very good chances in the first leg, but he makes no such mistake this time around by slotting it past the keeper.
El Shaarawy does well to climb at the back post and nod the ball back into the danger zone, but Lovren gets there in front of Dzeko. However, Lovren's clearance cannons into the head of Milner and bounces in past a helpless Karius. That is terribly unlucky for the visitors.
Roma needed some luck tonight...and that is a HUGE slice!
James Milner with one of the most unfortunate and painful own goals you'll see 😳
Liverpool now lead 6-3 on aggregate. pic.twitter.com/OoD0RClyfu— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 2, 2018
It is a first Liverpool away goal for Wijnaldum, and what a time to get it! A Liverpool corner is not dealt with by Roma and Dzeko is actually the man to nod it back towards his own goal. Wijnaldum is lurking there and just nods it past Alisson to put Liverpool back in complete control.
Both sides have looked dangerous coming forward, but Liverpool have punished Roma's mistakes while Roma's game came via a huge slice of luck. It is very hard to see the hosts coming back into this tie now.
A dreadful pass from Nainggolan gifted possession to Firmino, who timed his pass to Mane perfectly to send the winger through down the left side of the area. Mane then made no mistake with his finish, sweeping the ball past Alisson to leave Roma needing four more goals.
A cross to the far post saw El Shaarawy nod the ball back into a dangerous area, where Dejan Lovren beat Dzeko to it. However, the Liverpool man's clearance cannoned against the head of Milner and bounced past a helpless Karius to level things up again on the night.
Georginio Wijnaldum - who hadn't scored a single away goal for Liverpool before tonight - was the unlikely man to get it as he hung about in the area to nod his finish past Alisson after Dzeko's attempted clearance had taken the ball into his path.
29 - Mo Salah (10), Roberto Firmino (10) and Sadio Mane (9) are now the highest scoring trio for a club in a single #UCL campaign, overtaking Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema at Real Madrid in 2013-14 (28). Ménage.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 2, 2018
First Alexander-Arnold misses the ball when he could cut it out to allow El Shaarawy to race through behind him. The Roma wingers cuts inside and goes for goal, and his effort is parried out by Karius straight to the feet of Dzeko. The striker takes his time, but then finishes with aplomb to spark up that tiny bit of hope once again.
11 - #ROMLIV is the highest ever scoring Champions League semi-final (11 goals over both games). Legs.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 2, 2018
Kolarov was the creator, cutting inside before picking out Nainggolan, who was able to wait for the ball to run across his body before firing his crisp finish past Karius.
Roma launched a valiant fightback in the second half, but ultimately that first-leg defeat proved too much to overcome as Liverpool progressed through 7-6 on aggregate - the highest-scoring Champions League semi-final of all time.
Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's game as Liverpool book their place in the final of the Champions League despite a late scare at the hands of Roma. There was too much action to summarise here, so be sure to check out our match report and stick around for reaction too.
From me, though, it is goodbye for now!