The clock ticked slowly, the time almost suspended. In the Eternal City, it seemed eternal but Liverpool got from Roma what they will believe is their hour of destiny: they are in the Champions League final where they will face Real Madrid.

13-goal Champions League Thriller

The semifinal was over after little more than an hour of the first leg: when Liverpool was flying, 5-0 up, sweeping into the final, an unstoppable force. And yet, somehow, it was also a contest that, with just a few seconds remaining before Skomina finally blew his whistle.

That says something about Roma, of course: how Eusebio Di Francesco’s team managed to salvage something from the ruins of Anfield last week, scrambling two late goals to restore some pride and ignite some hope.

But it says something about Liverpool, too; its addiction to drama, its compulsion to live life on the edge, its determination to crest and fall with the waves of its own emotion: the strengths that make it such a force at its best and the weaknesses that make it so vulnerable when it is not.

This is a team that can win 5-2 and feels like it has been beaten, and a team that can lose 4-2 and feels like it has triumphed.

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