Just when Barcelona were starting to forget about THAT night in Roma, after a brilliant display to win the Copa del Rey, along came Liverpool with a 5-2 thrashing of the Serie A side at Anfield.
It was a completely crazy Champions League semi-final as Liverpool scored five, could probably have had eight, and then somehow allowed Roma to hit two late on to give the Italians a glimmer of hope.
Liverpool were absolutely rampant at times against a Roma team who looked terrified and fell apart dramatically as the goals started flying in.
Sadio Mane missed a couple of brilliant opportunities before Mohamed Salah finally opened the scoring with an absolutely brilliant goal. What an incredible signing he has been for the Reds.
He added a second just before half-time as the Reds fully exploited Roma’s high line. Goals from Sadio Mane and two from Roberto Firmino followed as the Reds ran riot. It was one of the most one-sided Champions League semi-finals you’ve ever seen at that point.
The Liverpool fans were understandably besides themselves with a trip to Kiev looking nailed on, while Barcelona fans could only sit and watch and wonder how on earth their team had lost so abjectly to a Roma side that were being torn apart.
And the confusion is only increased by Barcelona’s superb display at the weekend when they produced their best display of the season to rip Sevilla to bits and lift the Copa del Rey.
Roma deservedly beat Barcelona, let’s not forget that, but were absolutely awful at Anfield. Yet somehow they are not completely out of it. Late goals from Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti mean that if they win 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico, like they did against Barca, they will be through to the final.
Di Francesco’s side have not conceded a goal at home in the Champions League but you get the feeling that record may fall next week when Liverpool and the irrepressible Salah come to town. Roma will remain underdogs for the second leg but will hang onto the hope that no-one expected them to beat Barcelona and no-one expects them to beat Liverpool.
Ernesto Valverde copped the flak for the defeat to Roma and he clearly should have changed it when the game started drifting away from Barca. He may have regained some goodwill from winning the Copa del Rey but Liverpool may just have blown that all away again.
For Barcelona though the game just piles on the regret that they can cruise to victory in the Copa del Rey, remain unbeaten in La Liga, but somehow manage to throw away a 4-1 first-leg lead in the competition that means the most.