AS Roma produced one of the finest comebacks in Champions League history as they ran out 3-0 victors against Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.
Barcelona went into the tie with their tails up following a comprehensive 4-1 victory in the first leg.
The home side started the brighter of the two teams and were rewarded for their early attacking intensity when Eden Dzeko showed great composure by controlling a ball over the top and slotting it past the goalkeeper.
Roma showed no signs of letting up on their intensity as they continued to carve out chances, with Dzeko, in particular, proving to be a nuisance.
Barcelona barely threatened, as the central-midfield pairing of Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan worked overtime to nullify the threats of Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.
Roma should have doubled their lead in the 29th minute after Federico Fazio picked out Patrik Schick, but the forward’s effort failed to hit the target.
There was no goalmouth action to speak of for Barcelona in the first stanza, while Roma proved wasteful towards the latter stages through efforts from Dzeko.
Roma came out guns blazing in the second half and were awarded a penalty in the 56th minute which captain Daniele De Rossi duly slotted away.
It was one-way traffic as Roma continued to launch numbers forward. The Serie A outfit came agonisingly close to levelling the aggregate score.
Roma completed the comeback in the 82nd minute when Kostas Manolas got the run on defender Nelson Semedo before guiding the ball towards the far post.
Barcelona made two late substitutions in a bid to save the game by bringing on Ousmane Dembele and Paco Alcacer for Semedo and Sergio Busquets.
In the end, it proved too little too late as Roma produced one of the finest performances in history to secure a memorable victory which knocked out favourites Barcelona.
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Umtiti, Nelsinho, Piqué, Alba, Iniesta, Rakitic, Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Messi, Suárez
Roma XI: Alisson, Juan Jesus, Fazio, Manolas, Florenzi, De Rossi, Nainggolan, Kolarov, Strootman, Schick, Dzeko
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