Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Roma dump Barca out of Champs League

Roma beat Barcelona to advance to the Champions League semifinals Roma beat Barcelona to advance to the Champions League semifinals
Domingo Copeland | 11 April, 2018, 13:55

Roma started the second half as they started the first and got their reward in the 58th minute when Edin Dzeko was chopped down by Gerard Pique and De Rossi slotted home the spot-kick.

It nearly ended in shambles for Roma in stoppage time, with Alisson racing off his line to try to beat Pique to a long ball over the top, only for it to fall to Ousmane Dembele by the right sideline, some 40 yards out with nobody in goal. "We so wanted to win this tournament but we've failed to do so again".

"It's hard [to keep calm] when you score the third goal, and the third goal obviously brings you the semifinal, but [Di Francesco] was clever, there were still 10 minutes to play, with added time nearly 15 minutes to play and we know what Barcelona can do, not just in 15 minutes but in one minute", Dzeko said.

"It's really tough. It seems untrue".

"It's a painful way to go out because no one expected it with the lead we had", he added. "The Champions League punishes you for that".

Deportivo was among Spain's major forces just after the turn of the century and one of their finest moments in Europe came in April 2004 when, despite being 4-1 down from the first leg of its UEFA Champions League quarter-final with AC Milan, it stunned the Italian side at home.

"I hope it will not affect us but this is clearly a blow. So I am absolutely responsible for everything".

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"We had enough experience on the pitch to solve things, I thought", the manager said, refuting the suggestion that his team was only trying to defend its first-leg advantage.

Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, City made the early inroad they needed when Raheem Sterling burst away and crossed for Gabriel Jesus to sweep past Loris Karius after only two minutes.

It is only the third time in the history of the Champions League that a side have overturned a three goal margin in the second leg of a game to go through.

City can look back with some pride though on their first-half performance.

Enter Salah. In the 57th minute, the Egypt forward pounced on a loose ball in City's area after goalkeeper Ederson Moraes saved at the feet of Sadio Mane.

Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron and Albert Luque had Depor ahead on away goals before half-time, with Fran Gonzalez - who played for them in the second division in the late 80s and is still their record appearance holder - fittingly scored the fourth to make sure of their passage. Salah skipped round Ederson and showed composure to lift his shot over sprawling City defender Aymeric Laporte near the goal-line.

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