When you travel to Camp Nou, you hope that you avoid Messi and Suarez’s goal fest, but you need to make sure you don’t score own goals in order to keep them away. AS Roma were the unlikely visitors this time who hurt themselves with own goals. Daniel De Rossi and Kostas Manolas scored own goals for AS Roma to put themselves on backfoot, before Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez finally find the net. In the meantime, Edin Dzeko scores the consolation goal for Giallorossi to keep a faith of turning the tie at Olympic Stadium next week.
Barcelona were favorite in the tie and they knew that more or less their job will be done at Camp Nou alone. They may have expected to hurt the visitors but they had little idea that visitors will hurt themselves.
It was an unusual playing XI from Ernesto Valverde. He started with a 4-4-2 formation, fitting in Sergio Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta in the midfield and allowing Messi to play in a more central role alongside Luis Suarez at front. Nelson Semedo was given right-back role which Roberto was occupying in absence of Semedo.
Barcelona first real chance came in with Ivan Rakitic shot on goal. Croatian was denied by the post. Hosts were going strong and Roma tries to put as many players in defending as possible and in the result, they hurt themselves with own goals.
Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi look to combine for the Barcelona first goal. Iniesta made a quick pass to Messi inside the box, but De Rossi intercept and in result finds himself scoring in his own net. However, if he wouldn’t have intercepted, Messi surely have found the net. It gave Barcelona 1-0 lead going into the half-time.
Roma had their chances to equalize before the half with Lorenzo Pellegrini free-kick won at the edge of the box. Roma claimed for a penalty but the referee made it clear it was outside of the box. The resultant free-kick didn’t bother Barcelona because it goes straight on to the defensive wall.
Barcelona put Giallorossi again in the pressure situation and once again it resulted in an own goal. Ivan Rakitic crossed a ball into the Roma’s penalty area where Samuel Umtiti was ready to pounce on it, but anticipating the danger Kostas Manolas intervened. The ball bounced off his leg and trickled towards the goal post and back of him traveled again to cross the line. Barcelona lead 2-0 and none of them came with their own effort.
Two 2-0 lead for Barcelona and both of them came from opponents own goal mistakes. Barcelona finally finds themselves on the scoresheet with the third goal but it wasn’t Messi or Suarez. Gerard Pique finds the net with a tap-in from Luis Suarez’s deflected shot.
Roma have had their moment to cherish and Andre Ter-Stegen made a couple of big saves to deny them a couple of goals. But finally, Dzeko moment to shine arrived and he beats Ter-Stegen from point-blank range to make it 3-1.
However, it was a short-lived joy for the visitors. Suarez moment finally arrived in the 86th minute and Barcelona restored their lead from Uruguayan’ strike. Once again, Roma’s defensive line was the culprit as Frederico Fazio failed to clear the ball crossed inside the penalty area and Suarez was quick to react.
Barcelona have already their foot in the semifinal and there is little left in the tie for a second-leg at Stadio Olimpico. However, you can never rule out the home advantage in the second-leg which Roma has with an away goal.