FC Barcelona are on course for a treble victory after two-own goals saw the Spanish giants cruise to an easy 4-1 win over Roma in the first-game of their Champions League quarter final match.
Roma captain Daniele De Rossi began his own team’s rout when he accidentally slid Andres Iniesta’s cross into his own net from about 16 yards out,
The Italian giants did have chances and could have had a penalty when Samuel Umtiti fouled Lorenzo Pellegrini right on the edge of the box, and twenty seconds after the restart, they went close when an unmarked Diego Perotti’s header from Alessandro Florenzi went wide.
However, they trailed by two when Umtiti hit the post and Roma defender Manolas put the rebound in.
Gerard Pique then after Luis Suarez’s parried shot, and although Edin Dzeko got what looked an important away goal when he converted Perotti’s low cross, the quarter-final tie seemed set 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.
Ernesto Valverde’s team — who are 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 could have even scored more.
Asked if the result was hard on Roma, team coach Eusebio Di Francesco replied: “Yes. It was unfair. (But) why not be optimistic?”
Indeed, while the own-goals were unexpected Barca’s performance did not convince — with hints of fatigue lingering amongst the players ahead of the second leg next week.