Champions League: Roma stun Barcelona as Liverpool shatter Man City dream

Roma reached the semi-finals of the Champions League with a stunning 3-0 win over Barcelona to secure an improbable aggregate win on away goals.

The Giallorossi had trailed 4-1 after the first leg, but they blew LaLiga’s leading side away at the Stadio Olimpico as goals from Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas clinched a dramatic triumph.

Dzeko was sublime throughout and netted early before winning a penalty after the break for De Rossi to pull Roma to within one goal of the last four.

An out-of-sorts Barca still looked as though they would do enough to scrape through as chances came and went for the hosts, but Manolas – who, like De Rossi, had put through his own net at Camp Nou – headed home eight minutes from time to put Eusebio Di Francesco’s side in the driving seat.

Although the visitors suddenly mustered a challenge, they could not force a decisive goal and Lionel Messi and co crashed out in scarcely believable circumstances.

Roma last reached the last four of Europe’s premier club competition in 1983-84 when they lost to Liverpool in the final, and they will now fancy their chances against anyone – including the Reds and former star Mohamed Salah, who defeated Manchester City in Tuesday’s other quarter-final.

Meanwhile, t just had to be Mohammed Salah. Liverpool fans would have been worried after Gabriel Jesus side-footed in the opener after two minutes. However, Klopp’s side rode their luck the referee helped by denying a marginally offside goal and a penalty after Andrew Robertson pushed down Raheem Sterling. Before Salah & Firmino calmly slotted away their goals in the second half to secure a comprehensive 5-1 aggregate scoreline.

Manchester City made the dream start in front of their home fans. Poised with attacking intent, Raheem Sterling calmly squared to Gabriel Jesus who tapped in from close range with just two minutes on the clock. Man City continued to push forward desperate for a second, as Liverpool floundered defensively.

Shots from De Bruyne, Sane & Bernardo Silva flew just wide of the Liverpool goal. Whilst Trent Alexander-Arnold kept his head whilst everyone in Liverpool red had seemingly lost theirs. Then the penalty claim. Andrew Robertson battled with Raheem Sterling as the former Liverpool winger pushed into the area, the Scottish full-back tugged down City’s number 7 who expectantly turned to referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz. The Spanish official waved away the claims, much to the anger of Pep Guardiola.

Seconds later, City had the ball in the net for the second time. However, the Spanish official after a brief conversation with his linesman ruled the goal offside. At the half-time break, Pep Guardiola voiced his displeasure at Mr Lahoz and was promptly sent off to the stands. It would prove to be a turning point in the contest.

City pushed on again for a second goal. With De Bruyne’s long-range effort comfortably saved by Karius. However, within eleven minutes of the restart, Liverpool sucker punched the Citizens thanks to the drive of Mane & the cool finishing of Salah. The Senegalese winger went on a lung-busting run before being bundled down in the box. It was a sure-fire penalty but credit goes to Antonio Mateu Lahoz who let the play go on, with the ball falling to Mohammed Salah. Showing immense composure the Egyptian deftly chipped the ball past Nicolás Otamendi to level the tie 1-1 on the night but kill it 4-1 on aggregate.

Firmino put the gloss on the evening, pouncing on an Otamendi mistake to roll the ball into the bottom left-hand corner on the 75th minute.

The result looks kind on Liverpool, who in truth hung on for the first 50 minutes of the tie.

However, that will be of little interest to Liverpool fans who will be dreaming of a place in the Champions League final after that comprehensive victory over one of the favourites.  – Bein Sports.

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