As Roma completed one of the all-time great Champions League comebacks, Football Italia rates the efforts of the Giallorossi heroes.
Words: Tom Scholes
Alisson – 7
The best goalkeeper in the world, without doubt. He may not have been as tested as he was last week but he provided a really calm and collected presence behind a simply outstanding defensive unit.
Kostas Manolas – 8
The match winner and someone who was a warrior from start to finish in the heart of the Roma backline. He threw himself in front of every shot, blocked any possible route for Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to get through and was simply sensational. It was all topped off with his clever front post headed flick to win the tie for Roma, sparking emotional scenes in the stands and in the dugout.
Federico Fazio – 7
Much like Manolas, Fazio was brilliant at blocking off runs and intercepting passes and really nullified any potential threat from Barcelona. He may have picked up a booking but Fazio did extremely well to keep his composure and not be lulled into another yellow card, despite the fact many would argue he should have received a red in the second 45.
Juan Jesus – 7
Another defender who was booked on the stroke of half time, Jesus was extremely well-drilled and looked comfortable in the defensive unit. Manolas, Fazio and Juan Jesus were superb from start to finish tonight and it’s difficult to rate them individually because they played so well as a team.
Alessandro Florenzi – 7
The energy that Florenzi provides on the flank for Roma is often underrated, or at least occasionally overlooked, but the guy never stops whether its in an attacking sense or even a defensive one. His versatility and ability to combine the two is well balanced and perfect for games like this when he needed to add to the attack and get back to track his man.
Radja Nainggolan – 7
Just like the defence, the midfield trio worked well in tandem and got their balance perfectly spot on. Nainggolan is usually the one that grabs the attention and it’s arguable that tonight he was the one who was able to take a rest in a sense. He was taken off for El Shaarawy in the second half and Roma didn’t look a step out of place, but when the Belgian was on the pitch his energy and pressing harassed the opposition.
Daniele De Rossi – 8
The captain, the leader, the legend. When Daniele De Rossi stepped up to take that penalty, his heart must have been racing; but with the determination, spirit and pure adrenaline of the situation he tucked his penalty away with ease. Aside from the goal, he was a true leader in the centre of the pitch and showed why he’s more than capable of being the elder statesman the middle, leading by example.
Kevin Strootman – 7
In the first half I was preparing to discuss how once again Roma were denied another penalty when they should have been given one, when Nelson Semedo brought down Strootman in the box. The penalty incident didn’t faze Strootman or Roma and he put in a controlled, calm and commanding performance. As with the defence, every member of this side was superb in their collective groups, with Strootman, Nainggolan and De Rossi being no different
Aleksandar Kolarov – 8
What a signing this man has been! His ability to go forward with power and still a surprising amount of pace and coupled with his outstanding crossing ability and you’ve got one heck of a player. Like De Rossi, he showed his experience and leadership throughout the game and was brilliant for most of the match, pinpointing when to attack while Roma had the ball and when to drop back into defence when Barcelona had a sustained period of possession.
Edin Dzeko – 9
The Man of the Match on the night for his goal (obviously) but also for his all-round play. He doesn’t look like a traditional target man but his hold up play was so vital in the way that Roma set-up – which was shown to it’s full potential for the penalty – and his habit of playing the ball off to a teammate and getting into the box was outstanding.
While his goal is the obvious highlight, it was still a very hard finish to convert with his body almost off balance and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen baring down on him.
Patrik Schick – 7
It appears that if you play Patrik Schick in his favoured position he can be quite a good player! He worked very well up top with Dzeko and was very impressive before being taken off for Cenzig Under in the second half.
Cengiz Under – 7
A wonderful young player, Under proved to be the perfect crosser for the winner to Manolas and will be one to watch in the semi finals, regardless of who Roma draw.
Stephan El Shaarawy – N/A
Thrown on just before the crucial third
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