A.S Roma 1 Shakhtar Donetsk 2FT
OSC Mentalist, Keiv
Following Roma’s three straight wins against Verona benevento and Udinesse in which we have seen the Awakening of a young star. Roma make their much awaited return to Champions League Play. As Roma prepare to take on shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine capital for a round of 16 Champions League match up. Roma and shakhtar are facing each other in the round of 16 for the second time The two clubs faced off in the 2010-2011 Champions League campaign in which shakhtar 6-2 on aggregate as they made their deepest run and their clubs history making the quarter-finals of that competition. This is a different Roma team and a different shakhtar team. Roma won their group while shakhtar Donetsk finish second and there’s as the two clubs prepare for a another exciting European nights in a cold night in Kiev for this first leg. It was clear from the beginning of the game that it was going to be an even match but also tense as everything was to play for. Roma or attacking more frequently and shakhtar but both teams we’re showing the quality that got them to the stage. It was a back-and-forth battle throughout the first half. A superb goalkeeping display from both Keepers in the first half but eventually one of them was going to leak a goal. Right on the stroke of half-time edin dzeko found cengiz under in a dangerous area and the 20-year old Turk continued to find his hot streak as he gave Roma the 1-0 lead scoring for the fourth game in a row. After the first half Roma had the narrow lead getting a precious away goal but an ambitious shakhtar came came out strong and was able to get one back as Ferreyra scored the equalizer to even things. Then late in the second half shakhtar grabbed the lead coming off a free kick. To make it 2-1 the match would end in favor of shakhtar. Everything is still to play for with Roma grabbing an away goal. A good performance from the hosts to have the advantage going into the second leg. and what is likely to be another difficult match.
Roma boss Eusebio DI Francesco keeps his 4-3-2-1 formation since he made a change from the 4-3-3 Roma have not lost a game. Di Francesco’s team remained pretty much the same from the weekend with only a few changes being made. In goal one of the most informed goalkeepers in World football at the moment would be Brazil’s number one Allison. Roma’s defense would go back to their regular starters in there back four. At left-back replacing Juan Jesus after being rested over the weekend would be Alex Kolarov as the Serbian returns to starting lineup. Beside him would be the centre-back partnership of Federico Fazio and Kostas manolas. Then finally to fill out the defense would be Alecsandro Florenzi. In front of the defense serving in the defensive Midfield would be the duo of captain daniele de Rossi and replacing Lorenzo Pellegrini would be Kevin strootman. Up front in the attacking Midfield there would just be one change for the Italians. On the right wing coming in for Stephan El Shaarawy would be Diego perotti as he takes over in his spot. Then on the opposite side controlling the right wing would be the red hot Cengiz Under who will be Roma’s most dangerous player in this game he has four goals in the last three games. Then in Center mid would be the world class Radja Nainggolan who is coming off a super performance last week against Udinesse. Then up front as the lone Striker Roma’s top goal scorer in this competition the 6’4 Bosnian Edin Dzeko. A strong team for Roma bench of the Lorenzo Pellegrini Stephan El Shaarawy and Gerson.
After speculations and preparations for weeks and months approaching this fixture between Roma and shakhtar. It was time for this much awaited match to finally kick off at The osc Mentalist stadium in Kiev on a very cold Ukrainian night. The two teams kicked off as the game got underway. Early in possession was split between the two teams as it appeared from the start that these were two evenly matched teams. Any opening 5 minutes shakhtar got themselves in position for a chance when Marlos got a lot of space and tried to cut in a cross but his Striker just couldn’t get to it. Moments later Fred tried to get the home crowd on its feet when he struck a ball from inside the box but Allison was able to make the save quite easily. It’s got a bit physical quite early as Roma got themselves a free kick very early into the game Alex Kolarov took a very ambitious shot from a deep free kick but the Serbian International missed. Just in the opening few minutes you could see the quality in both teams both sides we’re proper going for it. Early in the game it was difficult to tell who had the upper hand. Just a few minutes later Edin Dzeko nearly scored for Roma coming off a corner hit by Alex Kolarov dzeko struck the ball from very close range just missing. Roma within minutes had another chance to score. coming off yet another corner Federico Fazio got his head to the ball as it coasted over the bar. Roma were doing a great job and getting in position score this was only about 10 minutes into the game they were doing a tremendous job and their attack. The game went on as both teams were trying to put together a good attack on goal. The game never got dull but there was a good pocket of time there was a lack of chances. around the 20th minute Roma was nearly and once again coming off a corner Kostas manolas connected with his head but once again Roma were off target on a corner. the Italians were pushing on they just needed to do a little better job when they got their opportunities. less than a minute later Roma would be in again when Diego perotti setup edin dzeko the Bosnian was through on goal but his shot from the center of the box is saved by The Keeper. Roma weren’t dominate the match as you would suspect but they were getting all the chances shakhtar needed a way in this game they were just watching Roma shoot. shakhtar finally started to open up and get themselves in scoring position. Marlos who was the man for shakhtar in the Midfield set up Fred for a chance the Brazilians strike was off target as it went a bit wide. shakhtar we’re starting to get back into this game as just minutes later Marlos took a deep strike to try to surprise Roma his shot was too high. With that being said the ukrainians were really starting to get some momentum. both teams knew the importance of this first game which is why we saw a rotation of dominance between the two teams. Just as it looked like shakhtar we’re finally back in this game they got hit with some Turkish Magic. In the 41st minute Roma’s moment arrived as edin dzeko gave a superb through ball into Cengiz Under and the 20 year old buried his chance in the bottom left corner as his shots gave a deflection the defense but all they could do is watch the ball go into the back of the net as Roma took the 1-0 lead. Excellent teamwork between dzeko and under and the Roma Striker seems to really understand the movement of Roma’s youngstar. It would be Cengiz Under’s fourth goal in three games as well as his fifth goal of the season. There is no player an Italian football who is in better form then under before the turn of the year he had no goals he has just been at another level Roma has awakened a star. Roma get their important away goal as they would go into the break with an important 1 goal lead.
Cengiz Under scores his first champions league goal for Roma as he gives the Italians the first half lead.
It was a very evenly-matched first half with Roma getting the advantage late and the majority of the chances yes. But shakhtar created some pretty good opportunities throughout it even if they didn’t come off they were doing what they needed to do to get back in the game. Roma’s plan up to the point was working out really well with the Italians going out to hurt that Ukrainian defense. The question would remain would it last Shakhtar came out of the second half they’re moving was good they controlled The Possession early in the second-half really well their fluidity was good. Shakhtar had the ball in the Roman area really pressuring as the second half took off. Ferrayra took a good shot in space a genuine chance but Allison was able to get his hands to it making a great shot look like a regular routine save. A few minutes later florenzi gave Roma a chance to double it as he sent a superb cross into the box where he found Manolas he got his head to it but the keeper was able to make the save. It was one of the only positives from Flornezi’s night who had an off game. Just a fair few minutes later in the 52nd minute the defense collapsed as shakhtar found themselves on the break with a one-on-one with Fazio who is a superb Defender but he is not the quickest bunch Ferrayra got past him and slotted it into the bottom corner to even things up to make it 1-1. Allison didn’t have much time to given the situation no fault on the keeper. After the goal the confidence and game-planned somewhat was dismissed. Shakhtar looksed on the front foot for the rest of the game. Just a few minutes later marlos got himself in great position as you struggle ball at Allison the keeper was able to deal with it. But this was not a good sign as shakhtar really were flowing quite easily. Tasion nearly got in less than a minute after marlos’s chance. Tasion struck a ball from inside the box but once again Allison was able to deal making a suberb save. The Ukrainian crowd was really hyping up now as it became somewhat hostile for the Italians. The shakhtar attack only continued to control the second half just a few minutes after their previous attempts. Fred tried from Deep once his strike on goal but it went well over. Radja Nainggolan try to give Roma some hope with a strike from outside the box and excellent hit of the ball but it was saved in the bottom corner. Kolarov connected with him again on a cross a little while later but his header was saved. Roma even got another chance with Fazio meeting Kolarov cross but his header coasted it over though. Roma starting to look a little better but it was short-lived as a Roma fell victim to a bit of luck. In 71st minute shakhtar Donetsk we’re giving a free kick in a dangerous area. Fred curled the kick into the top right corner as they claimed with the crossbar going into the back of the net to make it 2-1 shakhtar. a superb free-kick that but Alisson should of done better to deal with it. Things we’re going from bad to worse for Roma, Roma did have the away goal but their quality just dipped in the second half. Roma saw a very angry Di Francesco on the sidelines who after the game admitted that his players abandon the game plan and mentioned he would have liked to sub off half of his team. after the goal he made a double substitution with under coming off for Gerson and Bruno Peres coming on for florenzi. I thought under coming off was a bit harsh as he was the second best player on the pitch for Roma. Gerson made his impact within seconds as he tried a strike from Deep. an excellent strike from the Brazilian but his shot was saved. There was a stretch of time where the game became possession-based with not a lot of chances going either direction. With under 10 minutes to go Roma would go to the bench one final time with defrel coming in for radja nainggolan. Roma just tried to control and not concede another goal they didn’t attack much in the late stages of the game which I think was a mistake. Gerson gave Roma a late strike as the but missed. Then at the death Roma nearly surrendered a 3rd goal but Bruno Peres made a heroic goal line save to recuse Roma to keep then in the tie. The match came to a close With shakhtar holding on for a 2-1 win. Roma came here to get in the a away goal and they got it but a poor second half didn’t help their case. At home Roma are unbeaten and haven’t conceded so for the second leg Roma still have a great chance but unacceptable second-half performance results in a loss.
An abysmal second half for Roma see’s Shakhtar storm back to claim victory.
Roma suffer the defeat in Ukraine as the Ukraine champions come out of this game as winners. However it’s not all bad for Roma this is a very good results as the Italians got a very precious away goal. The next leg will be played in Rome at the stadio olimpico a place where Roma has not lost or conceded a goal during the Champions League campaign. Roma came into this game to get an away goal and they have done that despite the fact that they lost this can easily be turned around in the second leg Roma just need a 1-0 win in Rome. This can very easily be turned around but let’s focus on what happened in this game. Roma ended up taking the lead at the very end of the first half as Cengiz Under scored his first Champions League goal for Roma making it to his fourth goal in three games. This gave Roma the narrow lead but it was wiped out in the second half after a mistake and a little bit of luck went in favor of shakhtar. This was a very evenly-matched game just looking at the stat sheet they are very comparable and pretty much all areas. A vastly exciting game that saw both goalkeepers put in a clinic of saves there could have been 4 to 5 goals in this game. Today’s man of the match goes to edin dzeko and Cengiz. Dzeko linked up a imporant assisnt on the assist. He really seems to understand the Young Turk and how he moves and plays the game the chemistry is second to none. a lot of times in this game we saw the two of them make great passes at each other the fluidity between them is pretty remarkable. Cengiz scored an important goal to give Roma the away goal with both both of these guys Roma dpont get an away goal so they shared the Man of the match. Dzeko also had several very good opportunities to score despite not scoring so he carried the team and did very well attacking. There were a fair few players who didn’t play at their best if they make the necessary adjustments and changes there’s no reason why Roma cannot get through to the quarter-finals. However my criticism of Roma in this game is they in fell apart slightly in the second half as they played to control rather than attack they made too many mistakes and in the end it cost them however with that being said they have that away goal which is very important. Roma will host a red hot AC Milan on Sunday another game that is very important for their battle to return to this very competition lots of positives to take from this game going forward so they can be at their very best when Milan come to Rome on Sunday. A loss but a good result going to the Ukraine getting that away goal as what they came to do they have done that.
Man of The Match: Edin Dzeko (7), Cengiz Under (4)
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 8
Pass Accuracy: 85%
On Target: 9
Pass Accuracy: 82%
Next Game: vs A.C Milan, Sunday, February 25th, 2018
2nd Leg: vs Shakahtar Donetsk, Tuesday,March 13th, 2018