Recent News







» » » Champions League: Roma Gets Its ‘Miracle’ and Ousts Barcelona

 Champions League:
 ROME — Roma pulled off an extraordinary comeback with a 3-0 win over Barcelona on Tuesday to reach the Champions League semifinals after overturning a three-goal deficit from the first leg.

Roma advanced on away goals despite losing 4-1 in the first leg.
Centerback Kostas Manolas scored the decisive goal with a header from a corner kick in the 82nd minute amid a deafening atmosphere inside the Stadio Olimpico.
Roma Coach Eusebio Di Francesco acknowledged before the match that his team needed a “miracle” to advance, and they got the start they needed when Edin Dzeko controlled an over-the-top pass between two defenders in the sixth minute and poked in his sixth goal in this season’s competition.
Then, near the hour mark, Dzeko drew a penalty that Daniele De Rossi converted, setting the stage for Manolas’s late header.
Barcelona forwards Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez hardly threatened as Roma dominated possession for long stretches and stifled Barcelona with high pressure.
Roma capitalized on its aerial threat through Dzeko and Patrik Schick, and its stifling defense forced Barcelona into a series of uncharacteristic misplaced passes.
It’s the first time that Roma has reached the last four since it lost the 1984 final to Liverpool on penalties in its own stadium — and it’s the third straight year that Barcelona has been eliminated at this stage.
Only two clubs had previously overturned at least a three-goal first-leg deficit in the Champions League — Deportivo La Coruña beat A.C. Milan, 4-0, after losing the opening leg 4-1 in the 2004 quarterfinals, and Barcelona routed Paris Saint-Germain, 6-1, after losing the first game by 4-0 in last season’s round of 16.
De Rossi, Roma’s captain, set up Dzeko’s goal with a straight pass, and the Bosnian striker muscled off defenders to shoot past goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen with his left foot.
Barcelona’s only real chances of the first half came from two free kicks, both of which Messi missed high.
Suárez became frustrated for not receiving enough balls, slamming both hands on the pitch on one occasion.
Shortly after the half-hour mark, Roma fans protested for a perceived hand ball inside the area but it appeared that Samuel Umtiti had actually used his chest to deflect a shot from Schick.
Dzeko was at it again after the break with a show of brute force, shrugging off Gerard Pique and Umtiti to approach the goal. Pique then grabbed Dzeko’s left arm and tugged the striker to the ground.
The referee didn’t immediately point to the spot, but after a delay he showed a yellow to Pique and awarded the penalty.
De Rossi confidently struck the spot kick inside the right post, and even though ter Stegen leapt in the right direction the goalkeeper had no chance.
It was De Rossi’s first Champions League goal since October 2015.
The Roma substitute Stephan El Shaarawy had a chance at Roma’s third in the 79th but ter Stegen produced a brilliant save to deny him from close range.
But three minutes later, the Barcelona goalkeeper had no chance when Manolas headed inside the far post, setting off delirious celebrations in the stadium.

Newer Post
Older Post
Play Pause