Roma 3 - Barcelona 0
Cafu, Zebina, Samuel, Panucci, Candela; Tommasi, Emerson, Delvecchio (Montella
46'), Lima; Totti (Cassano 88'), Batistuta (Tommasi 72'). 5-3-2.
Group B league table:
Barcelona's continuity in the Champions League was put in question after a 3-0 defeat at Roma. Rexach made changes to his side after last week's draw against the Italians and the subsequent league defeat at Valencia, bringing in Gerard and Motta to his starting line up, and Rivaldo also made it after passing a late fitness test. The Roma manager Fabio Capello (who recently has been linked again with a possible move to the Nou Camp in the summer) put out another defensive line up with three central defenders and Cafu and Candela as wing backs. The first half was a dour affair, with Capello's defensive line up not allowing Barcelona any breathing space. Without Xavi the Catalan side were missing a playmaker, and only Rivaldo caused only problems for Antonioli in the home side goal. To add to their woes both sides fell frequently into offside traps, although referee Kim Nielsen and his linesmen were also pulling up play incorrectly, particularly when Kluivert got away at one end and Devecchio was put through at the other.
A draw though would have been a good result, and with an hour gone nobody had come very close to scoring. However Roma took the lead somewhat fortunately when Candela's shot deflected off Emerson's leg, leaving Reina wrong-footed as the ball bounced around him into the net. The Italian side didn't look back, and after Totti got the ball in the net only to see it ruled out by the referee for a non-existent foul on the keeper, half time substitute Montella made it two after beating a slow Christanval. Kluivert went close to pulling one back with Barça's first real shot at goal, but Totti put a shot just wide with only the keeper to beat and then Tommasi finished things off with a shot from outside of the area in injury time. The Spaniards are still second in their group however after Galatasaray and Liverpool drew in Turkey, and a victory over the English side coupled with a win for Roma against Galatasaray would be enough to see Barça through.