On Soccer-Champions League


Roma's Kostas Manolas headed the decisive third goal in the 82nd minute, putting the Italians in the semi-finals for the first time since they reached the European Cup final in 1984 and making amends for his own goal in the first leg at the Nou Camp.

After a stunning victory against Barcelona, Roma are now seeking a spot in the Champions League final in Kiev. "They are basically defending with eight outfield players against 11, and I'm not sure you can do that at the highest level". The club sold Mohamed Salah, Leandro Paredes and Antonio Rüdiger in the summer, while Totti retired.

Captain De Rossi converted a penalty in the 58th for the hosts after Dzeko was fouled by Gerard Pique, giving Roma a deserved second goal after Dzeko and his Czech strike partner Patrik Schick missed two clear chances each before the break.

Roma pulled off the impossible on Wednesday night.

The atmosphere inside the Stadio Olimpico was deafening as Roma unexpectedly dominated.

The Giallorossi made them pay nearly immediately as Dzeko latched onto a glorious ball over the top from De Rossi and poked past Marc-Andre ter Stegen to open the scoring on six minutes. Four of their last seven bosses have failed to last more than one season; Eusebio Di Francesco is destined to overcome those odds after engineering remarkable progress in Europe. "Nobody believed in us".

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French sports daily L'Equipe labeled it a "Romantada" - a play on the Spanish word "remuntada", which translates as comeback.

He said: "Now I can play the semi-final too!"

Jimenez's criticism of Messi is perhaps a little unfair, though, as he was involved throughout-according to Summerscales he had 61 touches of the ball, just six fewer than the commanding De Rossi managed, per Squawka Football-and frequently had to drop deeper to create for the team with Andres Iniesta struggling to do so himself. Roma and Liverpool now have a place in Friday's semifinal draw at UEFA.

Roma has received preliminary approval to build a long-delayed new stadium with a design inspired by the Colosseum.

"We can't think like we've achieved a miracle", De Rossi said.

Although Liverpool's three-goal burst last week came in the opening 45 minutes, they hit City with quickfire goals in the 59th and 61st minutes when they inflicted a first Premier League defeat of the season on the English champions-elect in January. They were strong, physical and we had a lot of problems.