AS Roma pulled off one of the most incredible comebacks in UEFA Champions League history with a 3-0 victory over Barcelona at the Stadio Olimpico.
Roma 3 Barcelona 0 (4-4 on agg)
Messi misses target early on
Dzeko (6′) puts Roma on front foot
De Rossi (58′) scores from the spot
Manolas (82′) seals win on away goals
Eusebio Di Francesco’s side needed to overturn a 4-1 deficit from the quarter-final first leg and they did so in style. Edin Dzeko opened the scoring after just six minutes and Daniele De Rossi doubled their lead from the penalty spot on 58 minutes, before Kostas Manolas secured a dramatic win eight minutes from time.
The two-leg tie finished 4-4 on aggregate but Roma went through to the semi-finals on away goals thanks to Edin Dzeko’s 80th minute strike in their 4-1 defeat at the Nou Camp a week ago.
Barca were poor on the night, although they had two early chances to put the tie to bed. Sergi Roberto found space on the right in the fourth minute to hit a driven effort straight at Alisson, before Lionel Messi blazed over the crossbar from the edge of the box moments later after being teed up by Nelson Semedo.
The Giallorossi made them pay almost immediately as Dzeko latched onto a glorious ball over the top from De Rossi and poked past Marc-Andre ter Stegen to open the scoring on six minutes.
Messi was presented with a good chance to equalise four minutes later, but directed his free-kick well over the target from 25 yards out, while Patrik Schick went close at the other end on 13 minutes as he beat Ter Stegen to a corner to steer a header just over the bar.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure and Radja Nainggolan drew a routine save out of Ter Stegen with a scuffed effort on 16 minutes after being played in by Dzeko’s neat flick, before the Bosnian striker cleared the bar by distance when space opened up for him to shoot from distance on 26 minutes.
Schick should have put Roma 2-0 up on the night after being picked out by Federico Fazio’s pin-point cross, but the forward sent his downward header wide of the post just before the half-hour mark.
Ter Stegen was alert to danger when Dzeko got on the end of Alessandro Florenzi’s cross to the back post on 37 minutes, with the German keeper tipping his header over the bar, and the striker threatened again from a 38th-minute corner that he sent over with his head.
Messi wasted another opportunity from a free-kick on 41 minutes as he sent over from distance, in what was the final action of the first half.
The Blaugrana needed to improve in the second half, but instead they conceded a penalty 12 minutes after the restart when Dzeko went to ground under a challenge from Gerard Pique. De Rossi sent his spot-kick to the left of Ter Stegen to give the Eternal City outfit further impetus.
Ter Stegen was called into action again on 67 minute to keep out Nainggolan’s low drive from Kevin Strootman’s cross, before De Rossi guided a delivery to the back post just wide of the goal three minutes later.
Messi and co were struggling to get going, but the Argentine did manage to test Alisson with a venomous strike from the edge of the box on 74 minutes.
Ter Stegen pulled off a sharp save to keep the visitors in the contest on 79 minutes as he denied Aleksandar Kolarov on the line after the Serbian defender made contact with Florenzi’s cross at the back post.
Roma completed the remarkable comeback on 82 minutes when Manolas glanced a header at the near post into the back of the net from a corner.
The home fans breathed a sigh of relief four minutes later as Messi scuffed a shot straight at Alisson from six yards out after weaving his way into the area, and Roma survived another late scare when Ousmane Dembele sent an audacious shot from 40 yards out narrowly over the bar when Alisson’s clearance fell into his path in stoppage time.