Champions League

Manolas goes from villain to hero as Roma dump Barca out

2018-04-11 07:56
Kostas Manolas of Roma
Kostas Manolas (Getty Images)

Rome - Kostas Manolas sent Roma through to the semi-finals of the Champions League after an incredible 3-0 victory over Barcelona at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday saw them overhaul a 4-1 first-leg deficit and advance on away goals.

Manolas, who along with captain Daniele De Rossi scored the two own goals at the Camp Nou that looked to have sent Roma out, was mobbed by his delirious team-mates after glancing home a brilliant headed winner with eight minutes left that sent the Roma supporters into raptures and left a dazed and confused Barca wondering what had hit them.

"All that counts is that we got to the semi-finals against the best team on the planet," Manolas said after a historic night for the Serie A club, who have made it through to the last four of Europe's top competition for the first time in three decades.

"We all believed, we didn't think about the first leg and unfortunate episodes."

It was last week's other own goal villain De Rossi who got the home fans believing in the impossible when he converted the penalty that made it 2-0 13 minutes after the break.

The local hero was also the architect of the brilliant Edin Dzeko's sixth-minute opener, floating a pinpoint pass that the Bosnian took down expertly and poked past Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

"Just imagine what this triumph means for us," said De Rossi.

"It's about as much as I could have hoped for tonight."

Just as they were at the Camp Nou, Roma were aggressive from the off, and Dzeko gave the home side a deserved early lead, brilliantly bringing down De Rossi's clipped through ball and holding off Samuel Umtiti to score.

Roma doubled their tally in the 58th minute when Dzeko was chopped down by Gerard Pique and De Rossi slotted home the spot-kick.

Eusebio Di Francesco's side smelled blood, and with the raucous crowd urging their team they tore into wobbling Barca.

De Rossi flashed a header wide in the 69th minute, and 10 minutes later it looked like Ter Stegen had saved the away side's skin with an incredible close-range stop from Stephan El Shaarawy.

However with just seven minutes left Manolas met another fizzing Aleksandar Kolarov corner with an unsaveable header, sparking wild celebrations on and off the pitch.

Barca finally came out of their shells as Roma tried to hold on to the result, but the hosts held on brilliantly to see the result out and go through to the semis for the first time since 1984, when they lost the final at home to Liverpool, Tuesday's other victors.

"I am responsible. I make the team, I prepare it. That is the case if we win or lose. I put out the same team as last week," said Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.

"It is a painful defeat. We wanted to keep going. Now we must lick our wounds. There are other competitions and we must try to win them because we have won nothing yet."

Read more on:    roma  |  champions league  |  soccer
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Tuesday, 02 October 2018
Juventus v Young Boys, Allianz Stadium 18:55
Hoffenheim v Manchester City, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 18:55
Bayern Munchen v Ajax, Allianz-Arena 21:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Shakhtar Donetsk, Groupama OL Academy Decines-Charpieu 21:00
Manchester United v Valencia, Old Trafford 21:00
AEK Athens v Benfica, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 21:00
Roma v Viktoria Plzen, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
CSKA Moskva v Real Madrid, VEB Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 03 October 2018
PSG v Crvena Zvezda, Parc des Princes 18:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Schalke 04, RZD Arena 18:55
Porto v Galatasaray, Estadio Do Dragao 21:00
Atletico Madrid v Club Brugge, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:00
PSV v Internazionale, Philips Stadion 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Monaco, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Napoli v Liverpool, Stadio San Paolo 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona, Wembley Stadium 21:00
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
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