Cruel and unusual punishment. That’s what Roma’s 4-1 defeat to Barcelona felt like on Wednesday night.
The Giallorossi were the better side for much of this Champions League quarterfinal first leg with the hosts profiting from a generous slice of luck throughout what at times was a dismal performance.
Eusebio Di Francesco prepared his side well, dropping deep in the face of Los Cúles’ insistent prodding but, for swathes of this game, it looked like he needn’t have bothered.
Roma were first to every second ball, dominating midfield and exposing Barcelona’s tired 4-4-2 repeatedly. Daniele De Rossi was fantastic, leading from the front until his unfortunate away-goal put the hosts in front.
In the second half, Barcelona jolted awake as they raced into a three-goal lead. Any hope that was aroused by Edin Dzeko’s late stab was quickly snatched by a fourth strike late on.
On a night when Barcelona thoroughly failed to impress, here are five things we learned.