We all focused on the wrong game.
Some of us were anticipating Manchester City had the comeback of their lives in them on Tuesday night, as they hosted Liverpool in the last eight of the Champions League – having been trailing 3-0 from the first leg at Anfield. But as the Reds managed to swerve past Pep Guardiola’s side and move into the last four, it was out in Italy where we got our drama.
Roma, yes AS Roma, knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League.
Here’s how the night went down on Twitter, through the eyes of a poor man alone in his work office and his dilemma over which game to actually watch in order to catch a miracle…
Scene: Manchester. Through a TV screen at DTW Football HQ.
Pep Guardiola had to go for it. And while he sprung a surprise by not naming Sergio Aguero in the starting lineup, he named (basically) all of his other attacking options in advanced roles.
No wing backs, nah, Pep didn’t feel like it. This was as gung-ho as you could go – the type of gung-ho you could only ever imagine playing on Football Manager 2018.
Aguero’s not 100% fit tonight, which is why he’s on the bench.
— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) April 10, 2018
If that really is three defenders against the second highest-scoring front three in European football (after PSG), tonight is going to be a lot of fun. And Nicolas Otamendi is going to be a lot of tested.
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) April 10, 2018
There was, however, no place for Vinnie Kompany – despite his goal in Saturday’s Manchester derby (which City lost, obv.)
The decision did not please one famous Manchester face…
No Sergio no Vincent kompany fuck rite off pep as you were LG x
— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) April 10, 2018
Then, the absolutely inevitable happened. The Lolerpool moment. The indicator that another Crystanbul collapse was on the cards. City scored through Gabriel Jesus within two minutes, and this tie was well and truly on.
Surely Liverpool can’t out-Liverpool themselves tonight, can they? 1-0 to City already! #MCILIV
— Ben • Carter (@ben_crtr) April 10, 2018
That started when VVD was muscled off the ball by Sterling. Not strong enough from Van Dijk. Just the start the tie needed.
— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) April 10, 2018
City were on one. They dominated possession in the first half an hour, and they were well and truly back in the tie. If there was one team who were capable of shipping 3+ goals in a short space of time, it was the visitors, and if there was one team capable of scoring 3+ goals in a short space of time, it was the hosts.
I mean, Liverpool barely touched the ball…
Not being funny but this is so anti football from Liverpool.
— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) April 10, 2018
But time ticked on. And Liverpool, for all of their bus parking, didn’t really give up too many major chances. That was until the 40th minute, when Bernardo Silva banged one against the post. Leroy Sane then had a goal disallowed seconds later for offside…though it appeared he ACTUALLY WASN’T?!
Nevertheless, Liverpool did make it through the half having only shipped one goal.
Just made a very big noise at that shot hitting the post. Cat is startled.
— Chris Deeley (@ThatChris1209) April 10, 2018
Bernardo Silva looks pissed. And as science shows, footballers always play better when they’re pissed.
— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) April 10, 2018
Bernardo Silva putting the fear of God in to Liverpool fans around the globe with the kick of a football.
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) April 10, 2018
Even the post is bullying Bernardo Silva smh
— COPA90 US (@COPA90US) April 10, 2018
City have been superb. Looks a huge mistake giving Sane offside.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 10, 2018
How can Sane be offside when he
B) it came off Milner ?
— Andy Goldstein MBE (@andygoldstein05) April 10, 2018
Pep, clearly incensed by the official’s refusal to play any added time in the first half (and perhaps the disallowed goal, after it came off James Milner), actually ended up getting sent to the stands for the remainder of the fixture of being a little too colourful with his protests.
He told the poor ref to “shut up”, apparently.
Imagine Jose Mourinho had’ve done that? He’d have got a stadium ban!
Not sure they’ll stop booing that Champions League anthem here any time soon.
— Mike Keegan (@MikeKeegan_DM) April 10, 2018
Guardiola has been sent off. Finally. The man gets what he deserves.
— Anna_MUFC (@mufc_anna) April 10, 2018
More coach trouble for Manchester City as Guardiola sent off
— ᗷIᒪᒪ ᖇIᑕᕮ 🎙📻 (@billrice23) April 10, 2018
Half time editor’s note: I’ve seen that bloody Juan Mata ESPN advert about 174 times during this BT Sport broadcast.
Luckily for Liverpool, Manchester City don’t have form for scoring two goals in quick succession when their success depends on it
— Tom Victor (@tomvictor) April 10, 2018
Former referee Chris Foy gave us his expert analysis on the disallowed goal at the start of the second period. And when we say expert, we mean, got his words completely jumbled up and it was hilarious.
The goal stood have should. The goal stood have should.
But then, as Liverpool actually managed to get a hold of the ball, they went and scored a goal that did stand. Sadio Mane managed to penetrate the home defence, and who was there? Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool fans proceeded to lose their minds, as you’d expect…
Unnerving how calm Salah was for the goal.
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) April 10, 2018
8 – Mohamed Salah has now scored more goals in a single Champions League/European Cup campaign for Liverpool (8) than any other player in the club’s history. Star. pic.twitter.com/jnUSc6TO8l
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 10, 2018
To be fair, probably should have mentioned by this point that Roma were actually doing all of the bits in their second leg tie at home to Barcelona.
Scene: Rome. Still through a TV screen at DTW Football HQ.
As we touched on at the start, the Giallorossi were trailing 4-1 from the first leg, and the hosts needed to beat the Spanish league leaders 3-0 to go through. They went 1-0 up through Edin Dzeko, but then Daniele De Rossi’s penalty made it very interesting. 2-0, half an hour to go, could it happen?
Barca bottling it to Roma LOOOOOL. Messi bang average player. Salah > Messi.
— J (@sickofFt2) April 10, 2018
Oh man do we switch to Roma or not?
— Steven Chicken (@StevenChicken) April 10, 2018
De Rossi and Nainggolan have gone close. Barca all over the place. Roma would deserve this … but still need another goal.
— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) April 10, 2018
It’s getting really difficult to prioritise, here. Liverpool killed the game with their equaliser, but having switched over to the Roma/Barca game, which was still in the balance, Bobby Firmino went and scored to seal the game.
There’s no time for that, though, because BLOODY HELL ROMA JUST SCORED AND THEY’RE GOING THROUGH AS IT STANDS AGAINST BARCELONA!!!
YEP, WE REALLY ALL FOLLOWED THE WRONG COMEBACK!
Manolas free header from corner! Barca eight mins from exit!
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) April 10, 2018
Barcelona were toothless, and even while Lionel Messi stood on the pitch, they were absolutely powerless to stop this Roman machine.
Understatement: didn’t expect that. Roma 3-0 Barcelona. Roma in last four for first time since 1984.
— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) April 10, 2018
They sold Mo Salah, Francesco Totti retired, manager Luciano Spalletti left the club. They appointed Monchi to buy hidden gems, appointed Di Francesco and yet Roma are in the Champions League Semi Final after beating Barcelona 3-0.
— Tom Scholes (@_TomScholes) April 10, 2018
To put this in perspective, Barcelona had conceded three goals ALL SEASON in the Champions League. But they shipped three in one game in Rome, and they, like Liverpool, find themselves in the last four of the Champions League.
They’re so going to face off in the Mo Salah derby in the semi-finals, aren’t they?