Roma nearly own-goal themselves to death vs. Barcelona in the Champions League
Roma players scored three goals in Wednesday's game, but Barcelona won 4-1
Barcelona usually don't need a lot of help to win games, but they got that from Roma in Wednesday's 4-1 victory in the first leg of its Champions League quarterfinal matchup.
A pair of own goals and two other unlucky bounces resulted in Barcelona's heavy lead it'll take into Rome for next week's second leg, a result that has the Spanish giants all but secured to be in yet another semifinal round of Europe's greatest club competition.
Roma presented a counterattacking stance to nobody's surprise on Wednesday, but found itself down 0-2 without Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez or any Barcelona player putting the ball in the back of the net.
Here's how it all went down. First in the 39th minute:
Tough luck there for Daniele De Rossi, who was hustling to cut off a Messi shot attempt only to perfectly place it as good as Messi could ever have hoped for past Alisson, Roma's soon-to-be-very-frustrated Brazilian keeper.
Then, in the second half, some more tough luck:
Samuel Umtiti did a great job of beating his defender to the ball and crashing the net, but his initial shot went off the bar before ultimately bouncing off the defender's leg and in. Umtiti tried to claim it, but ... you know ... we have cameras and stuff.
So own-goal was on a hat trick against Roma when this happened:
More. Bad. Luck. Roma's keeper Alisson did a good job to deflect the initial Luis Suarez shot, but his save simply pushed the ball right into the waiting feet of Gerard Pique, who simply tapped the ball into the net. Mr. Shakira couldn't have asked for a simpler goal.
Just when it seemed like Roma were resigned to their fate and had given Barcelona the easy pass to the semifinal, Edin Dzeko seemed to make things interesting with a great play to muscle his way to an all-important away goal that would mean his side would need just a reasonable 2-0 win in Rome to advance. Hooray for Roma, right?:
Not so fast. Luis Suarez, who had just surpassed 1,000 minutes played in the Champions League without scoring, would sentence this quarterfinal with his first goal in this year's tournament. He did so by knocking in, you guessed it, a Roma deflection in the box:
So Roma will head back home, where anything can happen, needing three goals without a Barcelona answer to advance. That's going to be tough to rebound from. And Roma is clearly not good with rebounds.
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