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UEFA Champions League

Roma Stunner Denies Barca Victory

UEFA Champions League

Result: AS Roma 1-1 FC Barcelona

Date: 16 September 2015

Venue: Stadio Olimpico

FC Barcelona began the defence of their Champions League title with a 1-1 draw against AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday evening.

Luis Enrique drafted Lionel Messi back into the starting line-up in the attack, with Rafinha dropping out, while Gerard Pique also made a return to the side.

Messi nearly handed the visitors the lead after just four minutes, as he did well to turn his marker, before rifling an effort inches over the crossbar.

Luis Enrique's men eventually broke the deadlock in the 20th when Luis Suarez headed home Ivan Rakitic's deflected cross.

The home side leveled matters in the 31st when Alessandro Florenzi managed to beat Ter Stegen with a sublime effort from 40-yards out.

Ter Stegen then came to Barcelona's rescue just before the halftime break when  the German shot-stopper got down well to keep out Radja Nainggolan's low effort.

Wojciech Szczęsny was then called into action shortly after the break when he did well to keep out Messi's snapshot from the edge of the area.

The Catalan giants were then dealt a blow in the 64th minute when Rafinha picked up an injury minutes after coming on and the Brazilian was then stretchered off.

Messi endured a quiet second half showing, although he nearly restored Barcelona's lead in the 77th minute when rattled the crossbar with snapshot from 12-yards out.

Substitute goalkeeper, Morgan De Sanctis, had to be at his best a few minutes later when came rushing off his line to deny Andres Iniesta from a tight angle.

Kostas Manolas ensured the Italians earn a share of the spoils, as he popped up with a clearance off the line to deny Jordi Alba in stoppage time.

 

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