Barcelona beat Roma 4-1 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at the Camp Nou, and while they weren’t at their best it’s a very healthy lead and they will be confident of progressing.
Roma started the game well at a really quite subdued Camp Nou and Barcelona really weren’t impressive at all. They slowly grew into the game and Luis Suarez had a goal chalked off for an offside before Edin Dzeko went to ground really easily with Nelson Semedo in attendance. Fortunately the referee wasn’t having any of it.
Lionel Messi tested goalkeeper Alisson with a fierce shot before Ivan Rakitic went even closer as his shot (or was it a cross?) went across goal and hit the far post before bouncing to safety.
The goal eventually came on 38 minutes as Andres Iniesta tried to find Messi in the box and De Rossi intercepted and neatly finished past Alisson. It was pure bad luck for Roma and De Rossi but delight for Barcelona as a fourth Champions League own goal of the season had them ahead at the break.
Barcelona had a shock at the start of the second half as Diego Perotti had to score but somehow managed to fluff a free header from close range. The action then switched down the other end with Alisson only parrying Jordi Alba’s shot and Luis Suarez putting the rebound over the bar.
Barca then got another big slice of luck as they went 2-0 up. A Rakitic ball into the box was met by Samuel Umtiti but his effort hit the post and it was eventually bundled home by Konstantinos Manolas under pressure from Umtiti.
It was more bad luck for Roma but there was nothing lucky about Barcelona’s third goal. Messi picked out Suarez beautifully in the box and he had time to turn and shoot. Alisson managed to parry but only as far as Gerard Pique who turned it home from close range.
The game was pretty much done but Roma kept going and Ter Stegen made a couple of really good saves late on before Edin Dzeko grabbed an away goal with a neat finish. The goal would really have taken the gloss off the scoreline but Luis Suarez popped up late on to fire home his first Champions League goal of the season and secure a 4-1 win.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Roberto (Gomes), Rakitic, Busquets (Paulinho), Iniesta (Denis Suarez); Messi, Suárez
Goals: De Rossi og (38’), Manolas og (55’), Pique (69’), Suarez (87’)
AS Roma: Alisson; Peres, Fazio, Manolas, Kolarov; Pellegrini )Gonalons), De Rossi (Defrel), Strootman; Florenzi (El Shaarawy), Dzeko, Perotti
Goals: Dzeko (80’)