Published: Wed, April 11, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Champions League: Roma knock out Barcelona with extraordinary comeback

Champions League: Roma knock out Barcelona with extraordinary comeback

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.

"We knew it would be hard, but we had that little bit of belief", he said. "We have to target more and realise we can always do better".

Roma pulled off one of the greatest Champions League fightbacks to dump Lionel Messi and Barcelona out at the quarter-final stage, while Mohamed Salah continued his remarkable goalscoring form as Liverpool wrapped up victory over Manchester City. It proved we can play against anyone, as Barcelona are such a strong side. "The first leg showed us Barcelona had a lot of quality, but not as much as a few years ago".

The Citizens were already ahead courtesy of Gabriel Jesus' finish after less than two minutes, but they thought they'd doubled the lead thanks to Leroy Sane shortly before the break. "I wanted to look around, more than it being a "self" thing". I was nearly moved seeing the fans before the game.

And given the pedigrees of both clubs, no one would have expected Roma to do to Barcelona what the Catalans had done to PSG last season by staging an epic comeback. They were just done by misfortune really. I think they've come together for sure.

Pallotta also paid tribute to Di Francesco for masterminding the victory with a tactical masterclass, and Roma's players for executing the game plan to perfection.

"It wasn't easy, but I stayed here and am very happy to be here", he said. "It clearly worked and Di Francesco should get all the credit".

Barca finally came out of their shells as Roma tried to hold on to the result, but the hosts held on brilliantly to see the result out and go through to the semis for the first time since 1984, when they lost the final at home to Liverpool, Tuesday's other victors.

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