rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Barcelona secure big win as Roma self-destruct

PHOTOS: Barcelona secure big win as Roma self-destruct

Last updated on: April 05, 2018 10:06 IST

Five-times European champions Barcelona take huge step towards reaching the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in three years.

Luis Suarez

IMAGE: Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring Barcelona's fourth goal against AS Roma. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Barcelona capitalised on two disastrous own goals by A S Roma to thrash the Italian side 4-1 at the Nou Camp on Wednesday and take a huge step towards reaching the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in three years.

 

Roma's captain Daniele De Rossi hit an unstoppable shot into his own net to break the deadlock in the 38th minute of what had been a delicately poised first leg and a second own goal 10 minutes into the second half, this time by Greek defender Kostas Manolas, stretched the runaway La Liga leaders' advantage.

Barca defender Gerard Pique piled misery on the Italians four minutes later, mopping up the rebound after Luis Suarez was thwarted by goalkeeper Alisson before Roma's top scorer Edin Dzeko struck at the right end to give his side faint hope of a turnaround in the second leg.

IMAGE: Gerard Pique scores Barcelona's third goal past A S Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Suarez effectively vanquished those hopes, however, by notching his side's fourth goal three minutes from time, scoring for the first time in the Champions League in over a year.

"We weren't lucky, we hit the post a couple of times and the own goals happened because we kept on putting them under pressure, making sure the ball was in their area far more than ours," Pique told reporters.

"We played very well and that’s why we’ve got such a good result. It would have been better to not concede but we cannot complain, we have got a very good advantage."

Lionel Messi in action

IMAGE: Barcelona striker Lionel Messi is challenged by Roma's Diego Perotti. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Five-times European champions Barca are still unbeaten in La Liga and the Champions League and were overwhelming favourites against Eusebio Di Francesco's side, who are third in Serie A and have never gone beyond the quarter-finals since reaching the 1984 European Cup final.

Roma set up to cancel out Barca and had managed the game well and kept Lionel Messi quiet until De Rossi's untimely own goal, which came as the veteran midfielder tried to prevent the Argentine forward reaching a pass from Andres Iniesta.

Dzeko could have won a penalty in the ninth minute when he was pushed over by Nelson Semedo and winger Diego Perotti failed to hit the target from a free header at the start of the second half when they were only a goal down.

IMAGE: Daniele De Rossi of AS Roma reacts. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Italian forward Lorenzo Pellegrini was also brought down by Samuel Umtiti at the end of the first half, with the referee giving a free kick on the edge of the area rather than the penalty Roma appealed for.

"Of course we made mistakes, but Barca are a good enough team without receiving help from the referee," Di Francesco said.

The visitors suddenly came alive after Pique’s goal had given them a near-impossible task, however.

IMAGE: Barcelona's players celebrate a goal against AS Roma. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen nearly gifted them a goal when he darted from his area and lost possession but the German recovered to make a brilliant save to deny Roma substitute Gregoire Defrel and he tipped over a long-range strike from the Frenchman a minute later.

Dzeko's close-range finish could have been a rallying cry for the Italians but Suarez showed no mercy down the other end, pouncing on a failed clearance by Federico Fazio and hammering in his first European goal in his last 11 games.

Source:
© Copyright 2018 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.