Rome: The UEFA Champions League is without a doubt the most prestigious award for any club football and the fans enjoy it very much because of nights like yesterday where a 6th position team from the Italian league overturned a 4-1 first leg tie against the soon to be Spanish champions. From a neutral point of view, the clash between Barcelona and A.S Roma are one of those matches that keeps cementing the point why football is called the beautiful game. Roma came into the tie of having to score 3 goals against a Barcelona side that are yet to lose a single match in their league.
Roma could not have hoped for a better start to the match as the Eden Dzeko gave them an early lead at the 6th minute and that gave the Italian side all the spirit they would need as they dominated the entirety of the match. Even though Barcelona maintained more of the possession, it was Roma with all the chances. With no big scares the first half ended 1-0 with Roma giving their all and Barcelona getting pushed back. Roma continued in the same impressive way in the second half by not allowing the midfield of Rakitic, Busquets and Iniesta much time on the ball, even Messi was pushed back to help out his midfield leaving Suarez alone at the front. Roma played to their strengths and out muscled the Spanish giants all over the field. Their most deserved breakthrough came in the 58th minute when Dzeko was awarded a penalty from a rather unnecessary tackle from Pique. The Roma captain De Rossi stepped up and slotted in their second had played a captain’s match and thoroughly deserved the man of the match award. Not only the captain but every player wearing the red shirt played with the heart in their hand with much passion and intelligence and their labor did bear fruit in the 82nd minute when Manolas headed a corner to give them a 3 goal lead for the night and draw in aggregate (4-4) but the away goal at Camp Nou paid off as the I Giallorossi go through to the semi finals.
It is only the third time in the new Champions League format that a team has overturn a 3 goal deficit from the first leg. De Rossi and Manolas were nearly in tears as they managed to redeem themselves for the own goals they scored at Camp Nou. What was more surprising than the result was the un-barcelona like performance from Messi and company.
Roma join Liverpool as the first two semifinalists. Today we have Bayern Munich VS Sevilla and Real Madrid VS Juventus.