AS Roma followed up its Champions League upset over Barcelona with a 4-2 win in the International Champions Cup.
Down 2-1 in the 78th minute, the Serie A club scored three goals in eight minutes to earn a shocking win Tuesday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Barcelona needed a penalty shootout to defeat Tottenham in its first match on American soil and has now added a loss to its ICC record. This was the first win for Roma after falling to Tottenham in its opening match.
Barca Reserves Must Find Consistency After Late Collapse
In what are essentially friendlies, the evaluation of young players means more than the score. Still, the 4-2 defeat was a disappointing result for Barcelona based on what we saw throughout the match.
After subs all over the pitch in the second half, the Barca B squad collapsed in the final 20 minutes.
Alessandro Florenzi and Bryan Cristante scored the equalizer and go-ahead goal, respectively, while Diego Perotti came through with the fourth goal on a penalty drawn by Patrik Schick.
While Roma deserves some credit for its effort offensively, each of its conceded goals came from a major mistake on the defensive end.
Juan Brandariz was responsible for the foul in the box, while goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen likely should have had a better effort in the other two scores.
Samuel Marsden of ESPN discussed the struggles down the stretch:
Even the opening goal by Stephan El Shaarawy came after Justin Kluivert was able to dribble past several defenders on his way to an assist.
On the other hand, there were plenty of reasons for excitement in this match.
In addition to Malcom making plays in the final third, Rafinha had an impressive goal in the sixth minute:
International Champions Cup @IntChampionsCup
Those inside the @ATTStadium were treated to a great first half between @FCBarcelona and @OfficialASRoma. And you can catch-up with the opening 45 minutes here. Tune in to @ESPN or @ESPNDeportes to watch the game LIVE!” #ICC2018 is brought to you by @Heineken https://t.co/aXewligPkj
The team dominated the flow of the match, holding 70 percent possession while taking 21 total shots. This type of effort will likely lead to a high-scoring effort more times than not, even better than the two scored in this one.
For these players, the challenge will be to find a way to turn that effort into wins.
Roma Gets Painful Reminder of Losing Malcom to Barcelona
Malcom was a big addition for Barcelona this summer, but he was nearly headed to Roma before the Spanish squad jumped in at the last minute for the Brazilian.
As upset as Roma was before this match, this performance will hurt even more.
The forward scored the go-ahead goal in the 49th minute on a tap-in set up perfectly by a Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla pass. He was also heavily involved in the first goal of the match when he flicked the ball to Munir El Haddadi, who passed it to Rafinha for the sixth-minute score.
Malcom was noticeable throughout his time on the pitch, creating opportunities for his teammates and almost scoring another goal in the ninth minute.
This was a rough outcome for a team that had been trying to avoid all mentions of the 21-year-old:
Although he was subbed out at about the hour mark, he was one of the biggest difference-makers in the match.
Even though Roma pulled out the win, this match will hurt in realizing what type of impact he could've made this season and beyond.
Each club has one more ICC fixture before returning to their respective countries. Barcelona is set to take on another Italian squad in AC Milan Saturday, while Roma will face another Spanish giant in Real Madrid next Tuesday.