Roma took on shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukraine last night in the round of 16 of the Champions League. Roma we’re trying to avoid a repeat of History as shakhtar eliminated them from the Champions League back in 2010. Roma’s young Turkish Winger c e n a g i z under gave Roma the first half of lead right before halftime. As he scored in his fourth successive game a historic moment scoring his first Champions League goal was evidently wiped out after an abysmal second-half performance from the Italians as the Ukraine champions stormed back To win 2-1 and Ukraine. Roma do take back an away goal which is what they came here to do setting up a massive dual in leg 2 in a place Roma has not lost or conceited a goal In the Champions League this season. this will only intensify a massive second leg between these two attacking minded teams.
5 Talking Points
The chemistry between Cengiz Under and Edin dzeko
We’ve seen over the last 5 games the rise of Turkish 20 year old midfielder under who scored in this game to give Roma the lead. Dzeko gave him a Pitch Perfect through ball that lead to the opening goal. The two of them operate in the same wave length they understand each other Dzeko is very aware of under and the way he moves and the way he plays the two of them together have a great team chemistry. When you have two players they understand each other making good runs and passes and scoring opportunities possible becomes quite easy. Dzeko’s unwillingness to leave Rome in January has helped in the development of Roma’s youngster he provides leadership to him that I think really helps understand the game. Despite a very poor second-half from Roma you could see multiple times during that first half the understand they have between each other Dzeko is going to be a really big part of under continuing to improve this season. Despite the loss if the two of them can connect in multiple situations going forward their attack will only open up more as other players get involved the two of them have a big brother little brother relationship as under constantly learning from dzeko these two together can create an absolute nightmare for the opposition on thier day our linking up in the way they have been over the last few games.
Sticking with the game plan
Roma had a brilliant first-half showing everything was going exactly the way they needed it to they got the away which is very important in this cup tie a win or a loss regardless an away goal would be important. Everything aligned really well in that first half the game plan was on they were on the attack they were aggressive. Problem became the second half they abandoned it which infuriated their manager. Instead of going aggressive they were just controlling and trying to hold on to the lead end results you saw shakhtar come back and win the game. It’s not all over for them as I’ve mentioned at home in this competition they are unbeaten and have yet to concede a goal. But they cannot allow that to happen once again they must stick with their game plan or they will be exposed once again if they stick with their game plan and play their game there’s no reason why they won’t come out on top in this round.
Shakhtar’s Brazilian threats
The Ukraine champions have often had explosive Brazilians in their team and their current team and in previous years. For shakhtar Donetsk they’re Brazilians really stuck out especially in their Midfield they gave Roma lots of problems throughout the second half and we’re threatening them in the first half as well. Their Midfield has so many Brazilian weapons to their disposal. With Fred Bernard Tasion and Marlos that is a collection of very explosive and dangerous Brazilians. Last night we saw a superb performance from all of them they control the Midfield they got forward and quite frankly or an absolute headache for Roma. Roma’s defense did a pretty good job on them in the first half but in the second half they were just too much for them to handle. If Roma want to Advanced quarterfinals they need to find a way to either stop them or counter what they are doing. They are dangerous and so many areas it will take a super performance to slow them down neutralizing them is what needs to be done for Roma with that being said that is a hard ask.
Cengiz Under fist Champions League Goal
An historic night for the Turkish midfielder who scored his first Champions League goal as an away goal was earned. Unlike last season dzeko has not been scoring at the level he was a year ago maybe it’s age Maybe it’s getting used to a new atmosphere I’m not sure what it is. But with that being said Roma I finally have a player they can rely on a consistent basis. El Shaarawy and perotti are capable goal scorers but they haven’t had the consistency their team has needed. Under has scored in 4 games in a row he’s shown he can be that consistent goal scorer for Roma when their other stars are struggling to put it in the back of the net on the biggest stage in the Champions League he delivered it wasn’t him alone but he only continues to score. Roma have found a reliable goal scoring option when Dzeko rediscovers his goal scoring form the consistency of the Young Turk will only continue to influence the attack but for the periods where he’s not performing at his best under seems to have the capability of playing that role for Roma despite the loss he got them the goal they needed. Roma can rely on him to do the business when things aren’t flowing.
Shakhtar counter attack
the Ukrainian defending champions are no joke make no mistake about it. Roma at home in the Champions League are one of the best teams they have not been scored on yet that’s something that needs to be mentioned. However this shakhtar team is quick fast and are deadly on counter attack. They have quickness to make quick passes to get forward this is extremely dangerous especially in an important game like this the one time they got through on the counter they scored. They have small and quick players if they are allowed and able to get on the counter attack on a consistent basis they will be very difficult to stop we know how good Alison is he’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world but even a keeper like him May struggle with a constant counter-attack in his area. if they are able to get through on more than one occasion it could spell Doom for Roma their defense will have to play at an extremely high level to slow down what they can do if they get forward. Roma simply cannot allow a one-on-one situation because in all likelihood they will lose and especially at home this is a game they must win. This is probably the most dangerous part of this team it’s not only that but they have the right players to make this happen it is a cause for concern because as we have seen when they counter they are deadly.
ST:Edin Dzeko: 8.3, Dzeko played his part putting in a great performance getting an assist and came close to scoring on several occasions. His link up play with Under was great he can take several positives from his performance.
RW: Cengiz Under, 7.9, Under scored for the 4th game in a row giving Roma the first half lead he continues to play well and tonight was no different i thought he understood his role in the team and played it well as he continued to stay hot he didn’t shy away from the pressure did very well.
CM: Radja Nainggolan 7.0, The Belgium was unable to repeat his superb perfroance from the weekend didnt have his ususal impact on the game but still did some nice things on the pictch passed at 87% converstion rate wasnt at his besty tonight to be honest.
LW: Diego Perotti, 7.3 Came in for El Shaarawy and did a pretty good job in his role i thought he did quite well on that left side he passed well and participated in the attacked solid performance.
LDM:Kevin Strootman: 7.7, Did really well in his retrun to the starting linup was able to slow down a very expolzie Bernard. Strootman also did a good job getting Roma forward a very good showing.
RDM: Daneille De Rossi, 6.3 De Rossi had a very poor game his leadership stood out but on the pitch he wasn’t able to inflect much in that game Pellagrini was probably the better choice in that position.
LB: Alex Kolarov, 7.4 retruned to the team for this match after being rested he played his role well wasnnt his best but he did well on that left side not allowing to much to get through could of done a bit better though his passing wasnrt sharp enouggh.
CB: Federico Fazio, 7.8, Fazio had a very good showing he passed at a game high 94% and did his job limiting the prssure into the box in the first half espically he made it really dioffcult for them to attack
CB: Manolas, 6.8 Did very well in the first half but he sadly wasnt able to back it up in the second he was partly to blame for thier first goal he allowed a break away to take place a moment of misfortune could of done better to night be was bad either
RB: Alexsandro Florenzi, 6.5, A very poor game from Florenzi he only passed at 67% wasn’t able to push forward the way he usually does and just seemed to struggled through out the 90 minutes he will just his play for that next time out because he left himself down tonight.
GK: Alisson, 8.0, Made some mistakes in the game didn’t do well enough on the second goal but bedside that he made several world class saves to keep Roma in the game.
RB: Bruno Peres, 7.5 Only played about 25 minutes but he changed the game and the result of the first leg in the closing moments of the game he made a amazing goal line save that saved Roma from a 3-1 deficit.
CM: Gerson, 7.4, Did really well when he came on with two well hit strikes he did what he was asked to do cant ask much more then that.
RW: Greogire Defrel, 6.5 Didnt do all that much to change the game a very quite impact from the bench
Eusebio Di Franessco, 7, Tactically he did pretty well hes not his fault for his players however i thought Under being subbed off was a mistake but beside from that no issues.
Shakhtar player ratings
GK:Andriy Pyatov: 7.8, Made several important saves in the first half to keep Roma’s many chances out. Wasn’t as threatened in the second half a very good showing.
RB:Ismaily: 6.2, A very underwhelming performance from the defender only passed at 72% the lowest from his team didn’t make any real impact on the game.
CB:Sergey Krivtsov, 6.5: Wasn’t great had a hard time dealing with the Roma attack in the first half and did add much in the second half.
RB:Bogdan Butko, 6.6 Not many of the defender stood out for me but Butko did some nice things throughout the game.
LDM:Fred, 8.1: Scored a world class free kick was excellent through out the game was different to control an excellent showing from the Brazilian.
RDM:Taras Stepanenko, 7.3, a middle of the road performance wasn’t great but wasn’t poor did some nice things but wasn’t a world showing.
CM:Tasion, 7.7, A great performance for one of the Brazilians as he threatened many times he could of scored more then once Alisson’s heroics denied him more then once a really good showing.
LW:Bernard, 7.6 Beranrd was the guy we all prepared for and for good reason he is quick fast and his a big danger in this game it was no different passed at a very high level and was a threat early and often.
RW:Marlos, 8.5, the man of the match he did everything for the hosts everything flowed through him in controlled that midfield and helped his team get forward in dangerous positions a excellent performance.
ST:Facundo Ferreyra, 7.3 He did score the goal but wasn’t overly impressive at least to me but if he geta service he is a danger because the midfield provides him with great chances he had one change and he scored it so not bad but not great.
CM:Viktor Kovalenko, 6.6, I thought the 22-Year old should of started you could see his impact once he came on Roma didn’t like it and had to adjust to it 90 minutes of him could be a nightmare.
RB: Ivan Ordets,6.5: didn’t contribute to much his lack of time played had something to do with it but he was alright when he came on.
Manager:Paulo Fonseca: 9, Excellent tactics excellent lineup was just brilliant with his team deserves a lot of credit.