Alessandro Florenzi’s goal from the halfway line denied Barcelona an opening-day victory over Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday. 

Lionel Messi started La Blaugrana’s 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid last weekend as a substitute, while Gerard Pique was suspended, but the duo returned in place of Rafinha and the injured Thomas Vermaelen respectively.

Elsewhere, Jeremy Mathieu replaced Javier Mascherano at centre-back, the Argentine dropping to the substitutes’ bench.

In the other corner, meanwhile, were Seydou Keita, who won two Champions Leagues with the Catalans between 2008 and 2012, and former Barca youngster Iago Falque.

Barca last met Roma in the 2001-02 Champions League second group stage, losing 3-0 and drawing 1-1 over two games, but fared significantly better in August’s Gamper Trophy as they ran out 3-0 winners.

Suarez had been the likeliest outlet for Barca all half thanks to his dangerous movement and penchant for a snapshot, and he duly followed up with a header from Ivan Rakitic’s cross after the Croat was given time and space to pick his teammate out near the right-hand byline in the box.

Mohamed Salah, meanwhile, was Roma’s equivalent as his blistering pace caused problems, yet it was the player behind him who popped up with the Giallorossi’s equaliser – and what an equaliser it was – lobbing Ter Stegen from the halfway line at an awkward angle near the touchline.

It was the second time the German had been lobbed from such a distance since the start of the season, having also been beaten by Mikel San Jose in the treble-winners’ 4-0 Supercopa first-leg defeat to Athletic Bilbao last month.

The restart did not bring much joy for either team, with Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny hauled off following a 50-50 with Suarez and Barca substitute Rafinha stretchered off after just 90 seconds.

Despite their setbacks, the capital giants came close via Florenzi and Falque, both of whom blazed over shooting positions in the box, while Messi had a volley crash against De Sanctis’ crossbar.

However, Luis Enrique – facing the side he coached during the 11-12 campaign with little success – would leave the unhappier Coach as the former Sevilla veteran saved Iniesta’s byline effort from point-blank range, while Kostas Manolas cleared Jordi Alba’s last-gasp toepoke off the line.

Roma 1-1 Barcelona

Florenzi 31 (R) Suarez 21 (B)

Roma: Szczesny (De Sanctis 50); Florenzi (Torosidis 85), Rudiger, Manolas, Digne; De Rossi, Nainggolan, Keita; Salah, Dzeko, Falque (Iturbe 82)

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi, Pique, Mathieu, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic (Rafinha 62, Mascherano 65), Iniesta; Messi, Suarez, Neymar

Referee: Kuipers [NED]

Tags Roma