Yes, Roma battered Barcelona in their final leg of the Champions League quarterfinal. Little Lionel Messi and out-of-tune Barcelona crashed and burned in their final Champions League game of the season.
One goal, one goal was all Barcelona needed. Unlike the greatest player in the world, Lionel Messi could not provide it. But damn, Roma played their collective asses off for 90 plus minutes to stymie the “powerhouse” Catalans.
Let us put this in perspective real quick: Roma once again does not have a jersey sponsor, Barcelona has Qatar Airways; Roma does not have one so-called “star” player in its lineup, Barcelona has an aging Iniesta, Ter Stegen, Messi, Alba, Coutinho, Dembele, and Suarez, to name a few. There was no way that Roma should have been able to stay on the pitch with the squad there were going up against; Roma is 21 points from the top of Serie A, Barcelona is 11 points in front of 2nd place. This game should not have been a contest.
But boy did Roma deliver, and in fantastic fashion. I mean the first goal set the script for the entire game. De Rossi played a dime over-the-top to Dzeko for the first goal. Dzeko outpaced Alba.(Yes you read that correct) Quite possibly one of the slowest forwards I have ever seen play against one of the fastest backs in the game and Dzeko made Alba look like a cone.
Dzeko was playing like a man possessed and he was not done. He posts up Pique and then Pique does what he does best, gives away a penalty. How was that not a red? Last man back, takes down a would be goal scorer? I’ll tell you what if Buffon got a red card then Pique damn well deserved one.
Daniele De Rossi, who else? Slots home the penalty. 2-0, Roma. I cannot say enough good things about this man. Not only is one of the best central defensive midfielders in the game, but he has quite possibly one of the best soccer related tattoos. EVER.
At this point Roma still needed another goal, not to mention keep Barcelona from scoring. Let’s be honest, Barcelona never once looked a side that would score. Roma on the other hand looked like a side that could have put in five or six goals.
The question was never if Roma would score again, but when? In the 81st minute we got our answer. The Big Greek God. Barcelona have been weak on the near post all year long and a big kudos to Roma’s scouts for exposing Barca’s weakness. Manolas, beat his man easily to the spot and headed the ball perfectly across goal to the far post. Ter Stegen looked like a deer in headlights.
A great Greek, a dominating Roman victory. History always seems to repeat itself, just look at any 7th grade history textbook. FORZA ROMA.
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