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'Underdogs' give Champions League much-needed shake-up

(Ah Fat Talk Ball) - Liverpool and AS Roma are not exactly small clubs yet their Champions League quarter-final wins are being hailed as a triumph for the underdog in a competition which is generally very low on surprises.

The English Premier League club reached the semi-finals for the first time since 2008 after winning 2-1 at Manchester City to complete a 5-1 aggregate win inspired by Mohamed Salah -- sold to them by Roma in the close season.

Roma, meanwhile, are in the last four for the first time since 1984, the days of the old European Cup, thanks to their rousing comeback against Barcelona. They hit back from 4-1 down after the first leg to win 3-0 at home and qualify on away goals.

They have also become the first Italian club, apart from Juventus, to reach the last four since Inter Milan in 2010.

Liverpool were ninth in Europe in terms of revenue after they raked in 407 million euros ($504 million) in the 2016 financial year, according to a UEFA report published in January, while AS Roma were 16th with 219 million euros.

Yet, such is the concentration of power in European football that both teams were regarded as rank outsiders when drawn to face the financial might of their respective opponents.

With their remarkable wins on Tuesday, Roma and Liverpool are effectively gate-crashing a private members' club which has grown even more exclusive over the last few years.

Only nine different teams have reached the semi-finals in the previous six editions of the tournament - Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and AS Monaco.

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