Wednesday's soccer news with what we'll now refer to as the Roma turnaround. Trailing 4-1 after a Champions League trip to Camp Nou, Roma beat Barcelona 3-0 at home to advance to the semifinals. To put this kind of upset into context... let's be honest here. Roma pulled off a shocker, the kind of thing normally reserved for the video game system of your choice. Like we helpfully pointed out last week, Barcelona was playing with the most to lose. Well, they lost it.
"We never felt comfortable in the game because Roma played very well," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. "And we couldn’t get our own game going. They took risks and we couldn’t cope with all that deep pressing” he admitted. The first goal gave them strength and then they got a second and third in the second half. I feel sorry for the fans."
The Barca support probably feel sorry for themselves as well. Even though Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane made the case for the La Liga title over the Champions League, that's not the accepted opinion. It's Champions League first for the super clubs, full stop. None of them are salvaging a season by stacking up other trophies. Should Real Madrid take the Champions League, they win.
“The best came tonight but it could come again in a few weeks' time!," Roma's Edin Dzeko said. "We can beat anyone playing the way we did tonight. We could have scored more too. We got at them right from the off - I've never seen Barcelona struggle like that before.”
Pro Soccer Talk's Nicholas Mendola on Manchester City's Champions League exit to Liverpool. The Guardian's Jamie Jackson has Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola's response to his red card. AP's Rob Harris with questions for Manchester City. The Telegraph's James Ducker asks if Guardiola needs to reconsider his approach.
In the Championship, Tim Ream's Fulham shutout Reading 1-0 at Craven Cottage. Stefan Johansen scored the game's only goal in the 25th minute with Marcus Bettinelli keeping the clean sheet. Fulham saw red three minutes into stoppage time. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Ipswich Town shutout Barnsley 1-0 at home. Jonas Knudsen scored in the 54th minute. Eric Lichaj was on the bench for Nottingham Forest's 1-0 home loss to Brentford. The goal came in the 81st minute at The City Ground.
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