A flattering score-line for Barcelona or a fair reflection of the game?
SCORE: Barcelona 4-1 Roma
SCORERS: Barcelona – (OG) De Rossi 38′, (OG) Manolas 56′, Pique 60′, Suarez 87′; Roma – Dzeko 80′
Barcelona humiliated Roma at the Camp Nou by scoring 4 goals against the side from Serie A.
The Italians managed to regain some semblance of that Roman pride by getting one back through Dzeko. The hosts were more than willing to take advantage of the courtesy extended to them by the visitors who scored two own goals, and also gifted one each to Pique and Suarez.
The Uruguayan managed to end his goal drought in the competition at long last and Barca managed to end the Italians’ hopes of progressing in Europe’s most elite competition.
#5 Messi failed to out-do Ronaldo’s heroics in Europe
The stage was set up for the Argentine to weave his magic once again after his Portuguese nemesis had done the same against Juventus just a night before.
The rivalry between the two greatest of their generation, and probably all generations, has been on the fore-front of world football for the past decade. After Ronaldo had scored twice – including a contender for the goal of the season – all eyes turned to Messi to see whether the Barcelona man sees Ronaldo’s bet, or raises it.
As it turned out, the leading goal-scorer in Spain decided to fold on the night.
5 goals on the night and none coming from the boot of Leo Messi? How often has that happened before?
The Argentine managed to show glimpses of brilliance the whole world swears he possesses, but failed to impact the game as severely or drastically or detrimentally (for Juve) as his arch rival.
Does Ronaldo now firmly have the right to be declared the best player in Europe?
#4 Edin Dzeko is still very much a lethal striker
The former Manchester City striker has never really been paid his due. For the abilities that the Bosnian possess, it’s surprising that not many heads turn when the former Manchester City man does his thing.
He showed his class and his talents as a goal-scorer against the Spanish league leaders with a consummate finish after he was done bullying the dimunitive Barca left-back – Jordi Alba.
The striker was successful in leaving his mark on the game, as he so usually does, but failed to lead his side to victory against the Catalans, despite leading the line well.
He got his 18th goal of the season against arguably the best side in Europe at the moment.
Not bad for a striker apparently going through a lean spell in front of goal.
These aren’t exactly Cristiano Ronaldo numbers for a footballer who is supposedly finished, but they’re not Emile Heskey numbers either are they?
#3 Suarez scores in Europe after 392 days…
The Uruguayan has been longing to open his account in Europe this whole season and he finally got his wish against the Italians in the closing moments of the 90.
The ball presented itself to Suarez right in the middle of the box and the former Liverpool man swung his left boot at it. The ball ended up in the back of the net and the striker’s duck for the campaign in Europe finally came to an end.
Not often a striker of his calibre goes on such a terrible run of form but the the South American will be glad to get this particular monkey off his back and will look to hit the lofty heights he has been able to reach so often in the past 4-5 years.
#2 Barcelona could’ve done without the help, but Roma insisted
Conceding two own goals against a side that has the greatest payer of all time in their ranks is plain criminal and Roma deserve to be severely punished, as they were on the night.
De Rossi somehow managed to come up with arguably the best finish on the night. It’s a pity that it came at the wrong end.
Manolas then managed to first come terribly close from a cross whipped in from the right before the ball ricocheted back off the Greek into the back of the Roma net.
YOU’VE GOT TO SCORE THE OTHER WAY LADS!
The Italians can be faulted for the the way they conceded the third and fourth as well. Suarez’s shot was well saved, but the tall, heavy, brawny Pique managed to get to the rebound before anyone in a white shirt for Roma.
The fourth should’ve been avoided as well, but the back-line failed to deal with Dennis’ timid ball across the box and instead presented it to the Barca number nine to end his drought in the competition.
Apparently the Roma manager failed to brief his side on the opposition personnel. If he had, they’d known better than to give the hosts a handicap or two!
#1 How long can Barcelona keep it up?
The question on everyone’s mind right now, even if they deny it, is whether the Catalans can go through the whole season undefeated.
From everything we’ve seen so far this season, all signs point to the affirmative.
Their previous encounter against Sevilla, in the league, was a harsh reminder of just how driven this Barcelona side is to do the unthinkable.
Two goals in the last two minutes after Messi came on as a substitute and then dismantling Roma in the first leg itself without really getting out of second gear, is more evidence to suggest that Valverde’s might ape the astonishing feat achieved by the invincible Arsenal side back in 2004.
You can be certain that a team is going places when winning a treble might not be the most impressive thing they do this season.
We’re not willing to bet against Leo and co. rewriting history, are you?