Score: A.S Roma 3 Barcelona 0FT (Roma win on Away Goals)
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Following Roma’s 2-0 loss to Fiorentina on Saturday Roma attempt to do the impossible against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter finals. Roma already trailing Barcelona 4-1 on aggregate after two own goals and two penalties not given at the Camp nou Roma find themselves in a difficult predicament. Roma will attempt to shock the world as the Romans currently need a three-goal victory over Barcelona and Leo Messi to advance to the semifinals. However with that being said Roma do have some good luck on their side as a Barcelona has never beaten Roma at home. With everything on the line two great teams here to battle it out in Rome. The heavy favorite Barcelona found themselves down early as Edin Dzeko gave Roma the early lead in the first half. Roma were the better team throughout the first half but only the one goal separated them. Roma would need two more goals to get past Barcelona and do the impossible. In the second half Roma continue to push on as they started one of the greatest comebacks in champions league history. Roma Captain Danielle de Rossi was given a penalty in the second half and the Roma Captain buried it giving Roma the 2-0 lead. Roma continue to dominate but they were playing against the clock they needed one more goal and at The Bitter End of the match Kostas Manolas had a moment of magic as the Greek International scored the winning goal to pull off one of the greatest comebacks in champions league history. On this historic night Roma comeback from a 4-1 deficit against the biggest of Challengers Barcelona are four-time champions Roma who never been past the quarterfinals. But Roma’s hunger and determination helps them pull off the incredible comeback as Roma make their first ever Champions League semi-final in dramatic fashion as history was made in Rome tonight.
Manchester United Legend Sir Alex Shares a moment with Roma legend Francesco Totti before kick off
Eusebio di Francesco made some crazy changes and adjustments ahead of this must-win fixture against Barcelona. For the most part this Roma side operates out of the 4-3-3 formation and has been for most of the season. In this fixture Di Francesco made major changes to that as Roma lineup in the 3-5-2 formation. Knowing what Roman needs to do the Italians line up with an all-out attack. An interesting approach to say the least Roma may not win tonight but if they go down they will go down swinging. In goal for Roma Brazil’s number one Alisson Becker who has developed into one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Roma would line up with three at the back with Juan Jesus at left-back Federico Fazio at Center back and Kostas Manolas at right back. In what is a very interesting defense for Roma who usually play with four Defenders rather than 3. Roma would go really attacking with 5 midfielders really stacking the middle of the park with attacking players. In front of the defense as the left-wing back would be Alex Kolarov who pushes up from his usual left back spot to be in a more attacking role. Beside him would be Roma’s Belgian Superstar Radja Nainggolan who recently returned from injury. Then in the Center Midfield would be Roma’s captain Daniele De Rossi. Next to the captain occupying the right side would be Kevin Strootman then finally to make up a Midfield heavy Roma team at right wing-back would be Alexandro Florenzi. A lot of bodies in that Roma Midfield what could be a strong approach. Then in the Roma attack up front would be the strike partnership of Patrik Schick and an inform Edin Dzeko. Roma as usual have a strong bench with the likes of under El Shaarawy and Pellegrini.
After predictions preparation expectations we were about to get underway in Rome. With Roma needing three goals and Barcelona just needing one goal to put this thing away the match unveiled to be a Champions League classic with Sir Alex Ferguson and Francesco Totti in attendance it was going to be a special night as the match got underway at the Stadio Olimpico. Barcelona early in the game dominated possession something we knew they would do given the way they play. Barcelona had a few early chances to start off the game the Spanish Giants only needed one goal to kill off Roma. In the opening few minutes Sergio Roberto was set up by Leo Messi for chance on goal but with the game on the line Alisson knew he needed to play his role to help his team. The goalkeeper came up with the save. Leo Messi was given the chance shortly after the Barcelona Superstar try to strike from Deep but his was too high leaving the Roma goalkeeper unchallenged. There was not a lot of Barcelona dominance in this game as the tide turned very quickly. Roma knew they needed to score as soon as possible to get their comeback started and in the 6th minute it began. Roma captain Daniele de Rossi was hovering in Midfield as the play developed with Roma’s attackers moving forward De Rossi sent an excellent cross into the Barcelona box. Where he found the strong the physical big Edin Dzeko following the ball as the ball bounced in the Box Edin Dzeko outran The Defenders and got a touch to it on his sliding shot as he connected with a ball putting it into the back of the net to give Roma the 1-0 lead.
Edin Dzeko Starts a Roma Come back Early in the first half.
This is exactly what Roma needed a early goal to get things going. Atrocious defense by Barcelona who looked uninterested as Dzeko got to where he needed to quite easily. It would be Edin Dzeko 20th goal of the season and his third goal in four games as last year’s Golden Boot winner seems to be heating up at the right time. This pushed Roma on Eusebio Di Francesco decision to play with five midfielders certainly had looked like it was the right call. A few minutes later Barcelona’s Lionel Messi had a chance. On a direct free kick Leo Messi is one of the best free kick takers of his generation so it was a very dangerous position to be in. However it wouldn’t be fireworks as the Barcelona star missed once again Leo Messi has struggled against this Roma team. Despite Barcelona’s dominance in possession Roma were coming they were not going to be denied as they had a 3-0 Victory on their mind. They were aggressive quick and rather mistake free. unquestionably the better team Roma came close to scoring again as Patrik Schick connected with a header off a corner from really close range just nearly missing. Roma were hungry as they kept coming. Just prior to the 20th minute Edin Dzeko set up Radja Nainggolan for a chance the Belgium star Struck from distance but slightly missed. Throughout the first half one more in control Barcelona have the ball most the time but they weren’t doing anything valuable with it. Roma look strong vibrant and it seem looking to make history. While Barcelona ineffective and defensively were pathetic even Leo Messi at times looked like he lacked desire. Obviously when things aren’t going well Lionel Messi needs to have help from his Supporting Cast but a lack of Desire isn’t going to motivate anyone. As we approached the half-hour mark Roma had a superb chance to get yet another much-needed goal. While on the attack Federico Fazio sent in a cross with little to no resistance from the defense. Into Patrik Schick who connected with the header as he tried to beat tersteegen to the bottom corner. His header was mere inches away from making it a two-goal lead. Yet another pathetic display of Defense on that play they allowed Schick to get in that position with little to no coverage. If Barcelona we’re going to avoid a collapse their defense would really need to step up. A few minutes later Daniele de Rossi set up Radja Nainggolan another chance the Belgium struck another but once again a slight Miss for Roma. A few minutes later Edin Dzeko came inches away from scoring a second goal. Off a free kick Danielle de Rossi sent a cross to the wing to find Florenzi who then sent in a cross To Edin Dzeko in the Box. Dzeko won the jump ball nearly scoring another Unfortunately terstegen made a tremendous save. finishing would be important in this match with Barcelona being as bad as they were so going forward in the game the importance of sharp finishing was immense. With the first half coming to a close Federico Fazio picked up a yellow card setting up a free kick for Roma. Fazio argued the decision furiously I believe he might have had a point. Leo Messi struck a free-kick with only mere minutes left in the first half but another Barcelona Miss ended a chaotic first half. Roma lead 1-0 thanks to an early dzeko strike.
A excellent first-half performance from Roma they played with hunger and desire while Barcelona looked pretty pathetic. Roma dominated the first half quite easily Barcelona defensively looks like a liability. Roma have one goal but Eusebio di Francesco and his Roma team understand they need two more to win this but the tactics worked and roma looked dangerous. In the second half Roma continued to look really sharp while Barcelona still look out of sorts and lost. It was becoming a physical game down the stretch with Roma essentially being able to do what they want. Ernesto Valverde was being completely out coached by Di Francesco his entire system was collapsing and he was doing nothing about it. Things were about to get from bad to worse for Barcelona and a comeback was Brewing for Roma . In the 58th minute Edin Dzeko caught a ball on his feet in the Barcelona box and Gerard Pique was aggressively grabbing Dzeko’s arm to try to pull him down before he ultimately slid into the Roma Striker bring him down. A absolute violent and inexcusable play from Gerard Pique who should have been sent off but Roma were given a penalty as dzeko gets the call in the second leg. Up to take the biggest penalty of his entire career steps Danielle De Rossi the Roma captain a man who spent his entire career with this club. A chance to turn this game on its head De Rossi steps up and buries it in the right corner just out of the reach of terstegen to give Roma the 2-0 lead.
De Rossi’s Scores his Penalty the comeback is on
Roma were now just one go away from the semi-finals the comeback was alive and very real. It would be Daniele De Rossi’s second goal of the season. Barcelona was collapsing right in front of our eyes yet Ernesto Valverde still didn’t make any adjustments despite the fact Roma was squeezing the life out of Barcelona. Roma continue to dominate this game as they were looking for a third goal they came into this game knowing the result they needed and they were going to fight until that became a reality. Barcelona became a lot more aggressive committing several fouls in the process they were in panic mode because of what Roma was on the cusp of doing. With a little over 20 minutes to go Kevin Strootman took an ambitious strike from outside the box it was a little wide but a strong shot none the less Roma were serious about this come back. Barcelona dominated The Possession continuously but they weren’t doing anything with it their style was not affecting Romans desire for the victory. It was getting late in the contest Barcelona trying to avoid embarrassment and roma trying to pull off the impossible. The only player on Barcelona who is playing to their ability was Marco tersteegen with Roma coming and coming he made a fantastic save on Radja Nainggolan who was on the verge of giving Roma the lead. Minutes later Roma were nearly in again as Federico Fazio found Daniele De Rossi with a cross. Roma’s Captain got his head to it but was unable to finish. shortly after Roma would make their first substitution of the game. As Roma welcomed Cengiz Under as they’re talented youngster returned in the biggest game of the season. As he came in for Patrick Schick who I thought did a pretty good job against Barcelona in this matchup. It turned out to be an excellent substitution because Under made his impact right away. Minutes after coming on Under attempted a strike from Deep ultimately missing but it was a very clean look it didn’t look like he’s lost a step. Moments later Leo Messi tried to get Barcelona in a better position as he struck a ball from Deep a good strike of the ball but Alisson was able to deal with it. Roma would make it their second substitution of the game as Stephan El Shaarawy enter the game for radja nainggolan. another big-time substitution for Roma El Shaarawy as fast quick and operates incredibly well in space. The coaching decisions from EDF were spot on in this game he really did his homework. El Shaarawy made his impact immediately giving Roma an incredible chance to take the lead. Beautifully executed play as Dzeko standing right outside the box passed it to Florenzi on the Wing Florenzi takes a few touches before sending it into El Shaarawy. Who is waiting on the back post for the ball El Shaarawy gets his foot to it but tersteegen makes an unreal save. If the ball goes a little higher it’s in the back of the net. Excellent play by El Shaarawy his movement without the ball is the best in the world football and he nearly gives Roma to leave there. Roma were so close to finish line only needing one goal as time was winding down the historical moment arrived. In the 82nd minute coming off a corner Cengiz Under whipped in a cross into the box Where the historical moment happened. Kostas Manolas comes in beating his man to the ball as he connects on the header the ball sales in to the bottom left corner to give Roma the 3-0 lead as the Romans now a lead on away goals. Roma completely wiped out a three-goal deficit the Greek god Kostas Manolas exploded with emotion as he ran with excitement and emotion to his teammates he even cried in the realness of the moment. A goal that surly will live and the memory of the champions league for a very long time as Roma were now just minutes away from pulling of the champions league for a very long time as Roma were now just minutes away from pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in champions league history. Roma played out the final 8 minutes of the match the whistle blew signaling the end of the game as Roma complete the impossible task this Roma team came back from adversity as the Greek god send Roma to their first Champions League semi-final and history. Eusebio Di Francesco made all the right Moves as his players delivered one of the greatest nights of their lives we shall never forgot the night Roma overcame Barca.
The Stadio Olimpico explodes as Roma do the impossible
After trailing Barcelona 4 -1 In the first leg needing three goals go through to the semi-finals Roma fans were giving one of the most historic nights the club has ever had. Roma make history as they defied the odds to knock out the mighty Barcelona coming back from A 4-1 lead. One of the greatest Champions League come backs since the competition’s Inception. Since the Champions League has been around Roma had never made the semi-final or the further more they have only gotten to the quarterfinals twice and they were 10 years apart. At every stage of this competition Roma has been underestimated no one thought they would get out of the group they won it after the first leg against Shakhtar Donetsk people thought they were done they won it. Then tonight a comeback against one of the best teams in the world with the world best player and they reverse a big deficit to make their first ever semifinals. . Roma had the belief that they can make history and that’s exactly what they did. Eusebio di Francesco made tactical changes to favor an attacking style of play. This worked wonders it allowed Roma to be an attacking position on a consistent basis. Edin Dzeko gave Roma the early lead in the opening 10 minutes. This is a game that Roma dominated from the very beginning Barcelona were second-best at everything as Alison was rarely given a threatening challenge at his goal. In the second half Roma Captain Danielle de Rossi made amends for his own goal scoring a penalty to put Roma in position to complete the comeback only needing one goal to pull it off. Edin Dzeko goal in the first leg prove to be decisive. With less than 10 minutes to go Kostas Manolas becomes Roma’s ultimate hero as scoring the most important goal in club history to pull off The Unbelievable comeback as they silenced the odds once again. Edin Dzeko and Daniele de Rossi had a superb performance in this game but Roma do not get through without Kostas Manolas scoring the winner he is my man of the match along with Dzeko. The Greek International was superb both as a Defender and on the attacking side he took the opportunity and he made history for this great Club while Dzeko was just unplayable a great performance from these two men. Barcelona have lots of History are a massive club with a lot of money put into it beaten by Roma a big team with a small budget a team that doesn’t have the Stars Barcelona has a team that believed in their self and what they could accomplish. Their desire and hunger their ambition made history they never gave up never gave in. whether or not they win the Champions League for a Roma supporter like myself and all of the Roma supporters around the world this will be a night we will never forget.
Man Of The Match: Edin Dzeko (11), Kostas Manolas (3)
Next Match: vs Lazio Sunday, April 15st ,2018
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 6
Pass Accuracy: 73%
On Target: 3
Pass Accuracy: 76%