Roma stun Barcelona, while Reds finish off City
Tuesday night saw the first round of Champions League quarter-final second legs take place. Both ties produced major drama, as Roma shocked Barcelona and Liverpool defeated Manchester City, yet again. Here is what happened in Tuesday night’s Champions League clashes:
Spanish league leaders Barcelona headed into the second leg of this tie with a commanding 4-1 lead from the first leg in the Nou Camp. The Catalan giants looked set to make it to the last four. However, Roma had others ideas, as the Giallorossi pulled off a 3-0 home win to go through on the away goal rule.
The home side enjoyed the perfect start on six minutes, as Edin Dzeko poked home from a pass by Daniele De Rossi. Roma continued to dominate the game and just before the hour mark scored their second goal. Gerard Pique brought Dzeko down in the penalty area and De Rossi made no mistake with the spot-kick.
Barcelona had conceded just three goals in the Champions League all season, so Roma still looked to have a job on their hands to score that decisive third goal. However, the third goal arrived with just eight minutes left on the clock. Greek centre-back Kostas Manolas headed home at the near post from a Cengiz Under corner kick.
The goal sent the Stadio Olimpico wild. Barcelona had no reply, despite Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both seeing shots blocked by the home defence. Ousmane Dembele also saw an effort drift inches wide of the goal. The Giallorossi held on for one of the best comebacks in the history of the Champions League.
The team from the Italian capital will be underdogs whoever they face in the semi-finals. However, after seeing off the Catalan giants the Giallorossi will fancy their chances of making it to the final.
Liverpool recorded a 2-1 win at English champions-elect Manchester City to win their quarter-final 5-1 on aggregate.
Heading into the second leg at the Etihad Stadium 3-0 down from the first leg, City enjoyed a dream start, scoring after just two minutes. Former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling outmuscled Virgil van Dijk before crossing for Gabriel Jesus in the box and the Brazilian slotted a low effort past Loris Karius.
The Citizens continued to press for a second goal. Portuguese playmaker Bernardo Silva curled an effort against the post. German international winger Leroy Sane should have doubled the home side’s lead before half-time. However, the officials rather bizarrely disallowed the youngster’s close-range effort. The decision proved a crucial one in the context of the tie, as the visitors eventually got a foothold in the game. The visitors equalised on the night on 56 minutes. Sadio Mane produced a good solo run, which ended in the winger falling at the feet of City ‘keeper Ederson. However, the ball rebounded kindly for Mohamed Salah, who kept his cool to chip the ball into the back of the net.
With City pushing forward forlornly looking to get back into the game, the visitors scored a second goal to finish the tie. Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino seized on a mistake by Nicolas Otamendi and fired the ball past Ederson. The home side then looked beaten and visiting boss Klopp took the opportunity to take off some of his star players.
The defeat means that City have now suffered three consecutive defeats, the first time boss Pep Guardiola has suffered such a run since 2015 with Bayern Munich. Liverpool meanwhile will play in their tenth European Cup semi-final, which is the second highest total of any English club. North West rivals Manchester United have played in the most, 12.
Will Roma or Liverpool win the Champions League this season?