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Iniesta: Roma defeat might be my last Champions League match

11 April, 2018, 12:48 | Author: John Swanson
  • Manolas header sealed 3-0 victory for Roma

"The Champions League punishes you for that".

"No we didn't come here with that spirit", Valverde said.

Liverpool, owned by Fenway Sports Group (John W. Henry, Tom Werner, Michael Gordon), was already in good shape thanks to a 3-0 win over Manchester City at Anfield and clinched the deal with a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

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.

Salah and Roberto Firmino struck in the second half as they fought back from going a goal down on the night to reach the competition's last four for the first time in 10 years.

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Despite their patchy domestic form, which sees them battling with Inter Milan and local rivals Lazio for a space in next season's Champions League, Roma are through to Friday's draw - where Liverpool are potential opponents - on merit.

The Catalan side threw all they had at Roma but their defence stood their ground as the match ended in an emphatic 3-0 scoreline and 4-4 on aggregate as the Italian side qualified into the last four. "They could've scored two or three goals in the first half but it was 100 percent clear that if we win the ball we'd have an opportunity". "They were very strong with second balls and we aren't used to defending like that".

De Rossi hammered in the second goal of the night from the penalty spot after Edin Dzeko got the hosts off to the flawless start by opening the scoring after six minutes at an electric Olympic Stadium.

The victory took the Italians into the European Cup semi-finals for the first time in 34 years.

"But it is now when the supporters, coaches and players have to be more united than ever".

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Roma doubled their tally in the 58th minute when Dzeko was chopped down by Gerard Pique and De Rossi slotted home the spot-kick. "At the end, we did it when definitely nobody believed in us. They beat us in all the ways, they took us where they wanted because they needed a big result, and unfortunately they got it".

The second, just before the half-hour mark was even more glaring, a free header on the penalty spot that should have hit the target.

Di Francesco said the aim of the change in formation was to make his side more unsafe down the flanks and also praised his players for their near-perfect display.

"I take the blame for defeats and some ungrateful words on social media, so I may as well take the credit for a win".

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