Barcelona began their Champions League campaign with a draw against Roma in their Group E fixture on Wednesday.
Roma held UEFA Champions League holders Barcelona to a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico as Luis Suarez’s opener was cancelled out by a memorable and jaw dropping Alessandro Florenzi effort from near halfway.
The Catalan club began the contest with their routine possession-based game that did not appear to cause any problems for the opponents. Rudi Garcia’s men showed defensive qualities in the field as they neutralized number of attacks lead by Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Luis Suarez put the visitors in front after 20 minutes but Roma equalized eight minutes later with a wonder goal from defender Alessandro Florenzi. The Italian midfielder drilled a right-footed shot from just over the halfway line and the ball cannoned into the back of the net off a post.
The visitors had plenty of chances to move back in front and were unfortunate not to do so in the 78th minute when Lionel Messi saw his left-footed shot from the right side of the box came off the crossbar.
Roma held on for a point to deny their former coach Luis Enrique a perfect start to the competition. Barca started brightly and sent an early warning when Messi got past his marker but saw his effort over the bar.
Rudi Garcia’s hopes looked to be dwindling when Roma was forced to make his first substitution six minutes after the interval, with Szczensy picking up an injury with Morgan De Sanctis replacing him.
The traveling side was also forced into an unplanned change with Rafinha leaving the field injured seconds after coming on to replace Rakitic. The Argentine captain Messi failed to make a mark in his 100th Champions League appearance. IMAGE/Getty Images