Roma knocks Barcelona out of Champions League with remarkable comeback
ROME (AP) — Roma pulled off an extraordinary comeback to knock Barcelona out of the Champions League on Tuesday, winning 3-0 at home to reach the semifinals by overturning a three-goal deficit from the first leg.
Roma entered the game as massive underdogs after losing the first leg of their quarterfinal 4-1 against a Lionel Messi-led team that was one of the big favorites to win the competition.
But they advanced on away goals after center back Kostas Manolas scored the decider with a header from a corner in the 82nd minute amid a deafening atmosphere inside the Stadio Olimpico.
“It wasn’t luck. This is what happened,” Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said. “But this isn’t enough. We can’t be satisfied. This squad needs to aim for (the final in) Kiev. This is an extraordinary squad. Why shouldn’t we aim to get there?”
Di Francesco acknowledged before the match that his team needed a “miracle” to advance, and they got the start they needed when when Edin Dzeko controlled an over-the-top pass between two defenders after six minutes and poked in his sixth goal in this season’s competition.
Then near the hour mark, Dzeko earned a penalty that Daniele De Rossi converted to set the stage for Manolas’ late header.