Roma have their sights on Kiev and the Champions League final after completing a miracle comeback against Barcelona on Tuesday to overhaul a three-goal first-leg deficit and take their place in the competition’s last four.
The Italian capital came alive after a magical night at the Stadio Olimpico in which Roma fourth in Serie A and fresh from being booed off in a 2-0 defeat against Fiorentina at the weekend swept Lionel Messi and co aside in front of a crowd that roared itself hoarse.
Trailing 4-1 after last week’s quarter-final, the first leg at the Camp Nou, Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas all scored to take them through to the semi-finals on away goals against all the odds.
“Perhaps the greatest night in Roma’s history,” was how daily Il Fatto Quotidiano described the result on Twitter.
Car horns blared and fans poured into the streets across the Eternal City as supporters hailed an incredible result for a success-starved club.
The last time Roma got so far in Europe’s top competition was back in 1984, when the Giallorossi contrived to lose the final on penalties to Liverpool at their own ground.
In the intervening three decades they have won just one league title and four Italian Cups, but after seeing off what winning goalscorer Manolas called “the best team on the planet”, coach Eusebio Di Francesco wants his team to aim for May’s final in the Ukrainian capital.
“Why shouldn’t we believe? If you come all this way and get to the semi-finals, why shouldn’t you believe in getting to the final in Kiev,” he asked reporters after the historic win.