An Alessandro Florenzi wonder-goal lit up the Stadio Olimpico as AS Roma held FC Barcelona to a 1-1 draw in their UEFA Champions League Group E opener.
The makeshift Italian right-back let loose an outrageous 56 yard thunderbolt from the right byline which nestled into the back of the net off the top right corner of goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegena s goal. It was a spectacular goal which lit up an otherwise insipid display by both sides in a tightly contested affair in Rome.
Barcelonaa s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez had given them the lead in the 21st minute when he headed in Ivan Rakitica s deflected cross from close range, before Florenzi equalized for the Romans 10 minutes later.
Barcelona kept up the pressure and continued to pound the Roma goal in the second half. Argentine Lionel Messi came closest to scoring for the Blaugrana as his left footed shot from the edge of the box cannoned off the bar.
However, Rudi Garciaa s dogged Roma side hung on till the end and snatched a precious point away from the reigning European champions in a tightly contested group.
The encounter was marred somewhat by a serious injury suffered by Barcelona substitute Rafinha, who was on the receiving end of what looked to be an innocuous challenge from Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan midway through the second half. However, the injury suffered by the Brazilian was serious, and required him to be taken off the pitch on a stretcher.
Enrique rues missed ppportunity
Speaking after the match, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique expressed his disappointment at not winning the encounter despite his side dominating possession and mustering several clear-cut goal scoring opportunities during the match.
“We had the game under control and I believe a different result to this would have been fairera said Enrique (via the official club website).
“I think we played well. We created a lot of chances to score considering we were up against a team that keeps it so tight at the back.
“There will always be things to improve, but I thought it was a fine all-round performance and we deserved to win.
“We were close to scoring right up until the very last minute and thata s hard to do in Europe.
“We did everything we could to win the game, but Roma were more effective. They did very well in defence and took their a non-chancea to snatch an equaliser.”
“[Florenzi] is a good player, but he has been very lucky,” said the former AS Roma manager is quoted as saying by ESPN FC.
“He took a chance and scored a goal. Well done to him — but this is a problem we will have given the type of defence we play with.
“The goal is my fault — we tell our keepers to play like that. But I’d bet nobody will score another one against us.”
Enrique provided an update on the injury suffered by Barcelona winger Rafinha adding, “Therea s no doubt that that was the worst thing about tonight.
“Ia d go as far as to say that I think it affected the pace of the match. Wea re waiting on tomorrowa s results, but it doesn’t look good. And thata s really nasty news for us.”
Rudy Garcia satisfied with draw
AS Roma manager expressed his satisfaction at the performance of his side against the reigning European champions.
“It’s a huge result to draw with Barcelona and really boosts our confidence,” said Garcia after the match, according to Sports Mole UK.
“We were tactically smart, knew that against Barcelona you have to work hard and defend stoically.
“We could’ve done better in holding possession and being dangerous on the counter, but I am satisfied, as the lads responded well and did what we had prepared.”
Ia ve seen dozens of goals from the halfway line, but one from a full sprint and on the edge of pitch? Never, Incredible. a Rafael HernA?ndez (@RafaelH117) September 16, 2015
a Sportskeeda (@Sportskeeda) September 16, 2015
NONNA. SPEAK TO ME NONNA!
a Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) September 16, 2015
Barcelona already have conceded two goals from the half-way line already this season. And another one which hit the bar v MA?laga.
a Sergi Dom nguez (@FutbolSergi) September 16, 2015