Roma Reach UCL Semifinals


What a game. Roma managed to upset European giants Barcelona and advance to their first Champions League semifinal since 1984. In what many considered to be an easy draw for Barcelona, Roma shook the whole world. An unlucky and undeserved 4-1 loss in the first leg at Barcelona had many believing that Roma’s Champions League run had finally come to an end. An abismal loss against Fiorentina three days before the second leg did not help to calm nerves either.

In an unprecedented move, Di Francesco decided to switch to a three man defence for one of the first times ever this season, and his gamble payed off. Every single Roma player left everything on the field and fully deserve the 10/10 rating that Corriere Dello Sport gave them. That was how great of a feat this Roma squad acheived. Roma squads of the past would have never made it this far in the Champions League. Di Francesco has instilled a new mentality into the Roma players that has seen them not collapse under pressure, but rather rise to the occasion and continue to fight back. These past two knockout rounds have allowed Di Francesco to show off his tactical nous and allowed the Giallorossi to continue to advance in the Champions League.

This Champions League run has been magical; no one in the beginning of the season would have believed that Roma would be one of the semifinalists.  Everyone will forever remember this match and know exactly where they were when Manolas headed in Cengiz Ünder’s corner into the net to give Roma the lead. Nights like Tuesday are what make the Champions League so special.