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AS Roma, Liverpool upset Barca and Man City to advance in Champions League
In European Champions League football, AS Roma defeated Barcelona 3-0 and Liverpool won 2-1 over Manchester City on Tuesday to advance to semi-finals of the tournament.
It was a miracle comeback for Roma, who turned over a 4-1 defeat in the first leg to advance on away goals and make the semi-finals for the first time since 1984.
“A manager who does what I did in a match like this has to take a lot of risks and expose themselves to danger,” said coach Eusebio de Francesco after the match.
“If the result was different, you would have killed me. But I like doing this, and who cares about the rest. I have to say thanks to the players. They have done an extraordinary job.”
Manchester City saw their hopes dashed in a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool, who sealed a 5-1 aggregate win from the two legs.
“I hope they can go through and hopefully can defend English football in the semifinals,” said City manager Pep Guardiola, who was forced to watch the second half from the stands after being sent off for his protestations at the break.
“We did everything to win,” he continued. “It was our dream, but [now] we have to reflect we can do better next season.”
Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp also weighed in on his side defeating the runaway leaders of the English Premier League.
“I really think they are the best team in the world at the moment, that's how it is, but I knew we can beat them, but that doesn’t make us a better team,” he said.
“That’s football, that's the cool thing about the game. […] It will be difficult in the semis as well, 100 per cent, but we are now in the semis and we should enjoy the moment.”
Real Madrid face Juventus, Bayern Munich welcome Sevilla
In the last second-leg quarter-finals on Wednesday, holders Real Madrid look to build on their 3-0 opening leg victory over Juventus in Turin last week.
Juve face an uphill task and veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has admitted he could be playing his last Champions League game.
“The most important thing is that it’s not the last match for Juventus,” said the 40-year-old. “Obviously there’s the possibility that it is for me, but it’s a possibility that does not cause me any anxiety or negative thoughts.”
The first leg match will be remembered for a bicycle kick goal by Cristiano Ronaldo that doubled Real’s lead against the hosts, although coach Zinedine Zidane is taking nothing for granted after that win.
“What happened happened. We played a good match, got a good result, but 50 percent of this quarter-final has yet to be played,” said Zidane. “So what we need to do is have another great match.”
In Wednesday’s other quarter-final, Bayern Munich face Sevilla at home, on the back of a 2-1 win in the first leg.
Bayern go into the match having won the Bundesliga championship last week, for the sixth straight season.