Barcelona At Full Strength As They Look To Finish Off Roma

11 April, 2018, 12:47 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Roma pulls off remarkable comeback to knock out Barcelona; Liverpool beats Manchester City

The Giallorossi overturned a 4-1 first-leg deficit with a deserved 3-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico as Edin Dzeko, captain De Rossi and Kostas Manolas found the net to dump Barca out via the away goals rule.

Roma capitalized on its aerial threat through Dzeko and Patrik Schick and its stifling defense forced Barcelona into a series of uncharacteristic misplaced passes.

Roma last reached the last four of Europe's premier club competition in 1983-84 when they lost to Liverpool in the final, and they will now fancy their chances against anyone - including the Reds and former star Mohamed Salah, who defeated Manchester City in Tuesday's other quarter-final.

Eusebio Di Francesco's side smelled blood, and with the raucous crowd urging their team they tore into wobbling Barca.

"We came here to try to win the match".

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"We had a long way to go after the first leg but all credit to the coach because he invented this formation two days ago, he drilled it into our heads and it worked wonders", de Rossi told reporters after Roma went through on away goals.

They haven't conceded a goal at home in the whole competition and on Tuesday restricted Barcelona to just three shots on target despite the potent attacking firepower boasted by Ernesto Valverde's side.

Speaking to UEFA, Dzeko could not find the words to explain his satisfaction in helping the Serie A club to a historic first Champions League semifinal.

The referee didn't immediately point to the spot but then showed a yellow to Pique and awarded the penalty.

Radja Nainggolan's volley was held by Ter Stegen as Barcelona failed to stem the flow of chances, with De Rossi heading wide shortly afterwards.

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However with just 7 minutes left, Manolas met another fizzing Aleksandar Kolarov corner with an unsaveable header, sparking wild celebrations on and off the pitch.

Valverde waited until the final 10 minutes to use all three of his substitutions.

"I have never seen Barcelona struggle so much, we pressed them throughout the game from the first minute", said Dzeko. Of course we regret it for us, but especially for our fans, the people that we represent.

"It's hard [to keep calm] when you score the third goal, and the third goal obviously brings you the semifinal, but [Di Francesco] was clever, there were still 10 minutes to play, with added time nearly 15 minutes to play and we know what Barcelona can do, not just in 15 minutes but in one minute", Dzeko said. "It's going to be a tough blow".

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