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Breaking news: AS Roma 3-0 Barcelona (Agg: 4-4): 5 Talking Points

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AS Roma shocked the footballing world by overturning a 1-4 first-leg deficit to send Barcelona packing on away goals!

AS Roma v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg
What an unbelievable way to go through to the semis!

SCORE: Roma 3-0 Barcelona

SCORERS: Roma – Dzeko 6′ De Rossi(P) 58′ Manolas 82′

Roma sent shock-waves through the footballing world as they over-turned a 1-4 deficit from the first leg to beat the heavy favourites to go through.

Roma were in for a stunning night of European football when their Bosnian talisman came up with a typical poacher’s finish to put the hosts in front.

Barcelona failed to come up with any answers before the Italians felt like asking them a couple more of their own. So they did.

First, Dzeko scoring in the sixth minute, then De Rossi from the spot kick and then late on in the game making the unrealistic dream – of beating the best team in Europe in a fairytale comeback – a hard-hitting fact of life.

Where do we begin? We’ll try either way..

#5 Roma strangle Barcelona like a Boa constrictor

AS Roma v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg
No time on the ball what-so-ever!

What the Roma manager got his players to believe, even the most fanatic Roma supporter would’ve prevented affording himself the luxury.

What a stunning performance from the hosts on the night!

They were quick off the blocks and made the pressure tell straight-away and then prevented Barcelona from getting a hold on proceedings by managing the game extremely professionally, yet always staying alert to the counter.

It was clear that the game-plan from there on was to get to half-time maintaining status-quo.

Barcelona failed to get any sort of rhythm going on the night as the Roma side, as a unit, closed down spaces and players with the ferocity of a pit-bull.

Barcelona’s stars failed to twinkle with the red clouds in the shape of Roma players hovering just over-head throughout the ninety minutes of the game.

The players brought the managers plans to fruition in spectacular fashion by first adding to the lead and then landing the knock-out punch in the 82nd minute.

 

#4 Barcelona looked fatigued and leaden-footed on a night that will continue to haunt them

AS Roma v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg
A night to forget for Messi and co. but they probably won’t be able to..

How utterly disingenuous the side that has taken Europe by storm this season looked on the green pitch at the Stadio Olimpico.

All that energy spent to try and remain invincible in Europe and the League proved to be too overwhelming for even the superstars in the Barca strip.

Suarez, Iniesta, Raktitc; everywhere you looked you saw despair and on-the-edge defending as Roma carved out chance after chance.

We kept count till they’d created 16 and then lost track in the final 15 minutes or so with the hosts refusing to vacate the opposition penalty area.

Hoping to cling on to a result that would see them through, we wonder if it was the reflection of the blue shirts or the Barca players had actually turned blue as Roma humiliated them by not allowing them even a sniff of an opportunity.

Even Lionel Messi had a forgettable outing as he skied the ball from presentable opportunities – both from open play and dead-ball situations

#3 Di Francesco hoodwinked his Spanish counterpart

AS Roma v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg
Another impressive win over Valverde

Last year Roma manager Di Francesco had faced already Barcelona manager Valverde in Europa League when he was at Sassuolo and Valverde at Athletic Bilbao.

Any guesses what the result was on that night?

Sassuolo 3-0 Athletic Bilbao.

The Roma man managed to out-class his rival once again on the night, with a far more impressive victory over the Catalans.

The tactics of one manager on the night came through in the display put in by his side, whereas for Valverde the performance of his side seemed to be that of a rudderless ship just hoping that the winds carry them ashore.

What you cannot account for, however, is the direction in which the wind will blow…

#2 Giallorossi have a date with destiny in their first European semi-final in over 30 years

AS Roma v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg
What a glorious night for the Romans!

The last time the Italians were in a semi-final in Europe I wasn’t even born yet. And I’ve been around for a long long long time now.

However, the more you’re made to wait to get what you want, the more the satisfaction.

With Manchester United, Manchester City, PSG, Juventus and now Barcelona all out of the competition, the side from Rome will feel utterly buoyant about their chances to not just better their best showing in the Champions League but to go all the way.

No reason why they can’t be optimistic as they just eliminated the biggest threat in the competition to the reigning champions of Europe.

#1 Messi-less Champions League: Is the battle for the Ballon d’Or now settled?

AS Roma v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg
No Messi in Europe?

Oh, Lord. All that build-up and not much to match it on the night, this surely has to be one of the most disappointing days in the illustrious career of the Argentine.

A comfortable 4-1 lead from the home leg wasn’t enough to keep Roma at bay and the level of appreciation that the superstar commands inherently means that if at any point he fails to deliver then the criticism that is dished out is appropriated accordingly.

Such is the effect of the little magician that even at 2-0 or even 3-0 down, all of Barcelona and those tuning in across the globe, even those present at the Stadio Olimpico for good measure, expected Messi to come up with something special – which by world standards would’ve unfathomable, but his his own standards – a walk in the park.

However, the divinity he is so regularly in tune with eluded him on the night but those in the alleys of Rome tonight will swear they’re walking in the streets of heaven.

With now only Cristiano Ronaldo still in the reckoning for glory in the competition and with the mesmerising story of Mohamed Salah refusing to die down, has the greatest player of his generation lost all hopes of winning his sixth Ballon d’Or?

 

 

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