Two own goals help Barcelona thump Roma

Source: BBC

Luis Suarez scored his first Champions League goal in more than a year as Barcelona beat Roma convincingly in the quarter-final first leg.

Barca benefitted from two own goals to take control of the tie.

First Daniele de Rossi slid into his own net to keep the ball from Lionel Messi, and then Kostas Manolas bundled another in, with Gerard Pique tapping in Barcelona’s third.

Edin Dzeko gave Roma hope – but Suarez then slammed home from 14 yards.

Barca are strong favourites to clinch their first semi-final spot since 2014-15 when they won the tournament, next Wednesday at the Stadio Olimpico.

Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona – nine points clear at the top of La Liga and in the Copa del Rey final – did not even need to play well to brush Roma aside – and they could have won by more.

Suarez had a goal rightly ruled out for offside and Ivan Rakitic hit the post before Roma captain De Rossi slid Andres Iniesta’s cross into his own net from about 16 yards out.

Roma did have chances and could have had a penalty when Samuel Umtiti fouled Lorenzo Pellegrini right on the edge of the box near the end of the first half, but referee Danny Makkelie awarded a free-kick to Roma instead of a spot-kick.

Twenty seconds after the restart, they went close when unmarked Diego Perotti’s header from Alessandro Florenzi went wide.

They trailed by two when Umtiti hit the post and Roma defender Manolas put the rebound in before the Barca man could do it himself.

Pique tapped in after Suarez’s shot was parried. But Dzeko got what looked an important away goal when he converted Perotti’s low cross.

The tie was all but ended when Suarez smashed home from Denis Suarez’s cross for his first Champions League goal in 11 games – a statistical anomaly for a striker who has scored 22 goals in 26 La Liga games this season.

Lionel Messi had seven shots, three on target, but failed to score for the first time in eight games.

Uefa Champions League commentary is live on Joy 99.7 FM courtesy Joy Sports. 

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