Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona did enough to beat Roma in the Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday evening at the Camp Nou.
The Catalan side started looking rather jaded following the 2-2 draw with Sevilla at the weekend but they did spring into life half way through the first half.
Luis Suarez had a goal rightly ruled out for offside, before Ivan Rakitic hit the post with a superb effort as the home side attempted to take the lead.
Whilst Suarez and Lionel Messi had attempts saved by Alisson, it was Daniele De Rossi who would give Barca the lead, putting the ball into his own net.
Roma had chances of their own but their best chance which fell to Diego Perotti – went well wide and failed to trouble Marc Andre ter-Stegen.
Barca would go 2-0 ahead in the second half when Samuel Umtiti’s effort deflected in off Kostas Manolas, before Gerard Pique tapped in from close range following an effort from Luis Suarez, which was parried by Alisson.
Edin Dzeko gave the tie some life as he pulled a goal back for the visitors, but Suarez ended his Champions League goal drought – netting his first in 11 games to seal a 4-1 first leg win for the La Liga leaders.
Valverde told reporters after the game: “Football is a game of errors. You want to make your rivals commit them and to avoid them yourself. We all want our players to be perfect and never make errors but we all do. Even coaches.
“During the season there are all types of games. Ones where you merit more than you get and ones were you get more than you merit.
“We scored the goals we merited, they attacked us and got the goal they were looking for, which made our fourth very important.”
Barcelona can take another step towards winning La Liga when they host Leganes on Saturday. Third placed Roma are at home to Fiorentina on Saturday in Serie A.