Klopp urges Liverpool fans to behave against Roma

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp smiles during a press conference at Anfield, Liverpool, Britain, Monday, April 23, 2018, on the eve of their Champions League semifinal with AS Roma. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)

By STEVE DOUGLAS

AP Sports Writer

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) Juergen Klopp urged Liverpool fans to think about the club's global image when the Roma players arrive at Anfield for the first leg of the Champions League semifinals on Tuesday.

Liverpool supporters pelted Manchester City's bus with cans, bottles and flares as it weaved along the narrow streets outside the stadium before the first leg in the quarterfinals.

Klopp said at the time he was "ashamed" and "embarrassed" by the behavior, and warned against a repeat of those ugly pre-match scenes when Roma arrives.

"This is such a fantastic football club, outstanding football family, known for fantastic atmospheres all over the world," Klopp said on Monday, "so we don't need to throw whatever at the bus. Please show the respect they deserve."

UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Liverpool after the attack on City's team bus, charging the English club with acts of damage and crowd disturbances.

The case will not be heard by UEFA's disciplinary body until May 31 - after the Champions League final - meaning any sanctions would apply only next season. A second bout of violence could lead to stronger punishment and even see UEFA fast-track sanctions ahead of the second leg in Rome next week.

Liverpool released a statement later Tuesday, saying fans who ignited flares and other pyrotechnics faced arrest and prosecution and that crowd trouble could result in "ticket allocations being reduced at future games."

"I really think we can show how wonderful Liverpool people are and the city and the spirit of the club," Klopp said, "and we can show in the 20 minutes before the game and then the whole world knows it.

"I really think all the people who are with Liverpool FC deserve that we show this fact."

The intimidating atmosphere outside and inside Anfield seemed to affect City, which lost 3-0 in the first leg.

"They created the most special atmosphere in world football," Klopp said. "I don't know if it can be better than it was against Man City, but let's try. If you cannot enjoy these moments, then there is something wrong with you."

More AP Champions League soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/ChampionsLeague

Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80

Updated April 23, 2018

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