Sat | Jul 11, 2020

Roma knock Barcelona out of CL, Liverpool cruise

Published:Tuesday | April 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Roma's Edin Dzeko runs with the ball after scoring his side's first goal during the Champions League quarterfinal second leg match against Barcelona, at Rome's Olympic Stadium yesterday.


Roma pulled off an extraordinary comeback to knock Barcelona out of the Champions League yesterday, winning 3-0 at home to reach the semifinals by overturning a three-goal deficit from the first leg.

Roma advanced on away goals despite losing 4-1 in the first leg of the quarterfinals.

Centre back Kostas Manolas scored the decisive goal with a header from a corner 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 after six minutes and poked in his sixth goal in this season's competition.

Then near the hour mark, Dzeko earned a penalty that Daniele De Rossi converted to set the stage for Manolas' late header.

Barcelona forwards Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez hardly threatened as Roma dominated possession for long stretches and stifled the Catalan club with high pressure.

Roma capitalised on their aerial threat through Dzeko and Patrik Schick and their stifling defence forced Barcelona into a series of uncharacteristic misplaced passes.

Meanwhile in Manchester Liverpool defeated Man City 2-1 to take their place in the last four, 5-1 on aggregate.

Liverpool recovered from conceding a goal inside two minutes, thanks to second-half strikes by Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

Gabriel Jesus' early goal raised belief inside Etihad Stadium that one of the most unlikely Champions League comebacks was on, with Liverpool having won the first leg 3-0 at Anfield last week.