Roma dump Barcelona out of Champions League with stunning win


Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco has opted for a front two as his side look to overturn a 4-1 first-leg deficit, giving club-record signing Patrik Schick his first Champions League start alongside leading scorer Edin Dzeko. "They ran a lot of risks and we were unable to overcome their pressure".

In England, Liverpool completed the job against Manchester City, as they picked up another win at the Etihad Stadium to seal a spot in the last four of the Champions League.

His header from a corner in the 82nd minute Tuesday put Roma into the Champions League semifinals and knocked out five-time champion Barcelona following one of the most extraordinary comebacks in the competition's history.

Di Francesco abandoned the 4-5-1 shape he used in the 4-1 first-leg defeat by Barca at the Nou Camp, instead engineering a 3-5-2 formation which saw his side overwhelm the Liga leaders with relentless high pressing and long balls behind the defence. When you lose and the opposition are better then the analysis is often extreme.

The Serie A side lost their prized asset Salah to Liverpool in the summer, with the Egypt global moving to Anfield in a £34 million deal, and he has since gone on to score 39 goals in 44 appearances this season.

"We all believed, we didn't think about the first leg and unfortunate episodes". Striker Edin Dzeko had opened the scoring, after a attractive defence spliting pass 6 minute from Danielle De Rossi, who himself had bagged the second with a neatly taken penalty.

Barcelona had little opportunity in the run of play, but it was granted a free kick in a unsafe spot in the 41st minute, only for Lionel Messi to fire it well over the bar.

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This was yet another performance that showed exactly why he has been attracting admiring glances from around Europe. What we have done in this decade is tremendous, Atletico fans should be proud of how their team is competing.

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.

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.

Roma substitute Stephan El Shaarawy had a chance at Roma's third in the 79th but Ter Stegen produced a brilliant save to deny the striker from close range.

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

"I thought that when the game was equal, with them needing one more goal, there was enough experience in the team to see the game out", he said. "We really do regret the fact that we lost but that's part of football". The message is that we're sorry for all the Barca fans around the world. "This is the toughest blow I've received in the whole time I've been at Barca because of how it happened".