Henderson hails importance of early Mane goal

Sadio Mane's early goal for Liverpool against Roma was key to their qualification for the Champions League final, says Jordan Henderson.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane.   -  Getty Images

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson hailed the importance of Sadio Mane's early goal in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final victory over Roma.

Jurgen Klopp's men raced into a 5-0 lead in the first leg at Anfield, before two late Roma goals gave the Serie A side a glimmer of hope.

And the hosts ran Liverpool close at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday, winning 4-2 to just miss out on forcing extra time.

Mane had opened the scoring for the Reds after nine minutes and Henderson knows how valuable that strike was in sending Liverpool to the final in Kiev.

"We knew it would be tough coming here but I thought first half we did well, scored some good goals and could have been more clinical," he told BT Sport.

"Overall I thought we handled the situation well until the last 10 minutes. We've got to be delighted with being in the final.

"We knew it was important to score and get one early on. We were unfortunate with their first goal [a James Milner own goal].

"Overall, first leg and second leg, I think we've got to be happy. We're just pleased to get through."

Liverpool will face defending champions Real Madrid in the final on May 26.

"We've been entertaining but now we've got to look forward," Henderson added. "We've got another important game at the weekend at home to Chelsea, then Brighton on the last day of the season and then the final.

"It won't be easy, Madrid are a fantastic team but we have to go there with confidence."

Georginio Wijnaldum netted Liverpool's second – his first away goal for the club.

"It was perfect timing, really," he commented. "I was standing in front of their goalkeeper and was lucky that the ball came there.

"Real Madrid are a tough opponent with a lot of good players, but we have them also."