Barcelona beat Roma in first leg of Champions League quarterfinal


Barcelona capitalised on two disastrous own goals by AS Roma to thrash the Italian side 4-1 at the Nou Camp on Wednesday and take a huge step towards reaching the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in three years.
Roma’s captain Daniele De Rossi hit an unstoppable shot into his own net to break the deadlock in the 38th minute of what had been a delicately poised first leg and a second own goal 10 minutes into the second half, this time by Greek defender Kostas Manolas, stretched the runaway La Liga leaders’ advantage.
Barca defender Gerard Pique piled misery on the Italians four minutes later, mopping up the rebound after Luis Suarez was thwarted by goalkeeper Alisson before Roma’s top scorer Edin Dzeko struck at the right end to give his side faint hope of a turnaround in the second leg.
Suarez effectively vanquished those hopes, however, by notching his side’s fourth goal three minutes from time, scoring for the first time in the Champions League in over a year.
“We weren’t lucky, we hit the post a couple of times and the own goals happened because we kept on putting them under pressure, making sure the ball was in their area far more than ours,” Pique told reporters.
“We played very well and that’s why we’ve got such a good result. It would have been better to not concede but we cannot complain, we have got a very good advantage.” Five-time European champions Barca are still unbeaten in La Liga and the Champions League and were overwhelming favourites against Eusebio Di Francesco’s side, who are third in Serie A and have never gone beyond the quarter-finals since reaching the 1984 European Cup final.—Reuters

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