Roma upset Barcelona in Champions League

Roma upset Barcelona in Champions League

Roma upset Barcelona in Champions League

But Edin Dzeko's late goal in the first leg in Barcelona gave Roma hope for the second leg back at home and turned out to be the away goal that put the Giallorossi into the final four.

In the intervening three decades they have won just one league title and four Italian Cups, but after seeing off what winning goalscorer Manolas called "the best team on the planet", coach Eusebio Di Francesco wants his team to aim for May's final in the Ukrainian capital. "They could've scored two or three goals in the first half but it was 100 percent clear that if we win the ball we'd have an opportunity".

De Rossi took positives from the first game at Camp Nou as Roma anxious Barcelona, noting that Ernesto Valverde's side are no longer the all-conquering outfit they once were.

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The runaway La Liga leaders had not lost in the Champions League this term until visiting Rome but slumped out at the quarter-final stage for the third year in a row after being eliminated by Juventus last season and Atletico Madrid in 2016. But [the game] went badly, Roma were superior in every way. "But they were really, really strong", Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said through a translator. "You analyze things", Valverde said when asked if would take the blame for the loss. The Bosnia global ran onto a simple ball over the top and recovered from a poor first touch to poke past goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Roma doubled their tally in the 58th minute when Dzeko was chopped down by Gerard Pique and De Rossi slotted home the spot-kick. Midfielder De Rossi emphatically planted the penalty past Ter Stegen. Substitutes: Cengiz Under (for Schick, 72) 7, Stephan El Shaarawy (for Nainggolan, 72) 7.

"We knew it would be hard, but we had that little bit of belief", he said.

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. The first leg showed us Barcelona had a lot of quality, but not as much as a few years ago. "If you come all this way and get to the semi-finals, why shouldn't you believe in getting to the final in Kiev", he asked reporters after the historic win.

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