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VIDEO: Salah plays 90′ as Roma draw with Barcelona in Champions League
Roma began the game with high spirits; however, the first chance of the game came for Barcelona in the second minute as Messi’s shot from outside the box went off target.
The first 15 minutes were filled with promising chances on both ends of the field. In the 6th minute, after a misplaced pass from Rakitic, 22-year-old Mohamed Salah led a breakaway with five Barcelona players tracking back behind him. Without any support, Salah was stopped in his tracks by Sergio Busquets.
Two minutes later, Salah outran Jordi Alba on the right flank, but Mathieu cleared the ball for a corner.
In the 11th minute, Messi failed to score from inside the box as his shot went over the crossbar. Then, Barcelona took control of possession, forcing the Roma players to stay in their own half.
Luis Suarez scored the first goal of the game in the 21st minute. Rakitic settled the ball inside the box, before his cross was deflected over Szczęsny to find Suarez, who headed the ball into the net.
Following the goal, Roma found it difficult to get possession of the ball inside Barcelona’s half. In the 31st minute, Roma drew level with Barcelona through Alessandro Florenzi’s magnificent strike from the half-way line. The Italian right back caught Marc-Andre Ter Stegen off his line and unleashed a beautiful shot that hit the post before settling in the net.
The next 10 minutes saw three chances from Messi, but the Argentine failed to capitalize on Barcelona’s possession.
In the 43rd minute, Barcelona’s goalkeeper successfully stopped Nainggolan’s powerful shot. The last chance of the first half saw Salah beat Alba and Mathieu to the ball, but his effort produced no danger on the opposition.
The second half was less entertaining than the first, but it didn’t fail to produce a copious number of chances. Messi once again took initiative as he guided a ball on target but Szczęsny was there to save.
In the 50th minute, Morgan De Scantis replaced Szczęsny due to an injury. Barcelona dominated the rhythm of the following 25 minutes, having numerous attempts on goal, but the home team successfully retained the 1-1 draw. Roma finally had a real chance in the 76th minute when Florenzi cut to his left foot and took a shot, which was way off target.
In the 78th minute, De Scantis’ crossbar came to his sides rescue as it denied Messi a goal. Barcelona’s players pushed forward in the final minutes in search for supremacy, while Roma’s players stayed in their own half. Roma’s defense successfully dealt with Barcelona’s bombardment on the goal.
In the 81st minute, Rudi Garcia subbed Juan Iturbe on for Iago Falque in hopes of stealing a winner. The goal scorer, Florenzi, was also subbed off in the 85th minute to make way for Vasilis Torosidis. Roma’s final attempt on goal came through Dzeko, but his shot was easily saved by Ter Stegen. The attack was started by Egypt international Salah.
The five minutes of stoppage time were marked by promising attempts on goal by Barcelona, including two corners.
Following this draw, AS Roma still remain undefeated against FC Barcelona in the Champions League. After the first round of games in Group E of the Champions League, Bayer Leverkusen topped the group following a convincing 4-1 home win over BATE Borisov. Currently, Barcelona and Roma both sit in second place, while BATE is in 4th position.
Up next, Roma play Sassuolo on Sunday, September 20 in the Serie A. Roma’s next Champions League game is on the road against BATE Borisov on the 29th of September.