Score: A.S Roma 1 Shakhtar Donetsk 0 (2-2 Roma win on away goals)
Following Roma 3-0 win at home against Torino Roma return to this Champions League fight. In this round of 16 leg 2 match up against shakhtar Donetsk as Roma welcomed them to the stadio olimpico a place where they have yet to concede a goal in this competition. Roma Currently have a 2-1 deficit to make up from the first leg in Kiev. The Italian side try to to avoid the 2011 Champions League loss to shakhtar Donetsk. Roma have a great chance to advance only needing one goal to go through as long as their defense does the job they’re capable of it. If they are to progress in this competition they will make the quarterfinals for the 4th time while if shakhtar Advanced it will be there second quarter final appearance. A match with everything on the line between two teams who want to keep the Champions League campaigns going. The first half would turn out to be rather uneventful for both sides as it became a possession battle between two teams with defenses playing a big parts and trying to stall the offense it would be a scoreless first half with not too many clear-cut chances if any. Fortunately the game opened up in the second half in typical Roma fashion the Italians had a strong second-half. Just needing a goal to advance Roma dominated much of the second half leaving shakhtar without any real threat to them. In the second half Roma delivered in the games biggest moment when edin dzeko scored the eventual winner. As Roma went on to win on away goals. Under’s goal in the Ukraine proved to be decisive as Roma make the quarter-finals of the champions league for just the third time the Italians finally get revenge for 2011.
Eusebio Di Francesco and Roma stuck with a 4-3-3 formation after experimenting with a 4-2-3-1 in February it does appear Roma will be sticking with the 4-3-3 going forward. There were not too many changes but Roma would see The Return of Federico Fazio and Edin Dzeko into the lineup after their suspensions have been lifted in goal between the sticks will be Brazil’s number one and is currently second in the league in clean sheets with 11 the big Brazilian Alison Becker. There would be one change in the defense as Roma go back to the regular back 4 that we are used to seeing. At left-back would be the Serbian International Alex Kolarov he is one of the best at his position this season in Italian football besides him would be the return of the centre-back partnership of Federico Fazio and Kostas Manolas these two are key in this matchup. To cap off the defense at right back would be Alexandro Florenzi. In the Roma Midfield would be the same as we saw against Torino a very strong Trio in the middle for Roma in at Center Mid would be Roma’s captain Daniele De Rossi the longtime Roman scored his first goal of the season on Friday. To his right as the right Midfielder would be the Dutchman Kevin Strootman then playing on the left would be the world class Belgian Radja Nainggolan. Up front in the attack there were two changes being made. On the left wing coming in for Stephan El Shaarawy would be the return of Diego Perotti. On the opposite side on the left wing would be Roma’s young Turkish Talent Cengiz Under who has six goals since the start of 2018 including scoring the away goal in the first leg in Kiev. Finally up front as the main Striker would be a rested Edin Dzeko coming in for Patrik Schick a very strong team not to mention a strong bench that features Lorenzo Pellegrini Gerson and El Shaarawy.
After preparations predictions and speculations going into the game we are finally here as they were just about ready to kick off in Rome. A massive European night for both teams who are ready and willing for the challenge that lies ahead with a place in the quarterfinals at stake. Roma got the games first chance very early into it in fact they struck almost immediately. When Edin Dzeko was released by Radja Nainggolan in an attacking area the Bosnian Striker had a very good touch to it but it was saved. A very early scare by the Italians as the Ukraine side relieved that it was saved. After that first chance things slow down a little bit it’s became very possession-based football. The defense of both teams played very smart setting up there offside traps with ease. Both teams tried to get forward as much as they could early in the game but it just wasn’t working for either. It was very dull at certain points the chances we’re very limited. It is almost like shakhtar was trying to earn a draw given Roma’s home form in this competition while Roma try to attack but the defensive adjustments really threw them off in they’re attacking Style. Just passed the 10-minute mark shakhtar got a chance of their own coming off the corner Stepenanko connected on the header but it was poorly placed as he missed Target. It appeared in the first half that chances weren’t going to come very often so the importance of taking advantage was crucial in the early stages. It was more of the same for both teams as the game carried on. Very possession based not a lot of opportunities but defense was doing a great job limiting chances from both sides. Near the half-hour Mark shakhtar got a good look Marlos set up Tasion with a wonderful chance but the touch was poor. A little while later Ferryera tried from the side of the box but again missed. Once again Allison was unchallenged. After forcing to make save after save after save in the first game in this match it was a different story nothing Shakhtar was bringing forward was very threatening they were getting shots but was very wasteful. Just as the first half was coming to an end Diego Perotti tried a deep strike after receiving a pass from De Rossi. The Argentine’s shot came close but was just a bit high as the first half came to a close in a scoreless draw.
Kevin Strootmon Battles with Marlos in the first half of the Champions League round of 16
After a scorless and uneventful first half Roma had 45 minutes left to score a goal or go home. There was really a lack of action in that first half not a lot of chances for either team as both defenses did a tremendous job keeping the offense attack in check. In the second-half Roma began to open up their attack. Roma are a very good second-half team and they exploited weaknesses when they saw one. When Roma got an opportunity early in the second half they took advantage and in the 52nd minute Kevin Strootman sent through ball through to Dzeko who got in a dangerous area giving the Bosnian a one-on-one with the keeper. Dzeko split the ball through the keeper into the back of the net Roma’s prayers had been answered as dzeko gave Roma the 1-0 lead. Roma now had the advantage on away goals if the scores stayed the same Roma would go through. It would be edin dzeko’s 17th goal of the season in all competitions and his fourth in the Champions League but this goal was especially decisive.
Dzeko gives Roma the much important lead
Roma nearly doubled their advantage just a few minutes later when Kevin strootman set up Diego Perotti for a chance the Argentine midfielder hit it from the side of the box. But unfortunately was saved by The Keeper. Roma looked very strong coming out in the second half as they normally do in a lot of ways they were in full control of this game. Roma’s defense was also doing a very good job limiting shakhtar chances. Despite Roma losing The Possession battle they still managed to look like the far superior side. As the game continued to go on Roma only continued to attack the goal Roma weren’t having it they were not going to allow shakhtar back in it they got their lead and they were stepping on their throats. Radja Nainggolan opened up space for dzeko from long range the Bosnian struck ball with great power it came very close but he just misfired. Shortly after the chance Roma made their first substitution of the game as a Gerson came in for Under not a bad game for the Turk but wasn’t his best performance. A little later Roma were in motion once again fueling from the back Roma got on The Fast Break as Perrotti found dzeko who nearly scored another but once again a very good shot was just wide. Roma continued to get forward and play extremely aggressive and there play really opened up in the second half. They now were only 10 minutes away from the quarterfinals. It would be some slight controversy from shakhtar as Ordets hauled down Dzeko as the striker threatened to get clean through on goal! the defender was sent off. Shakhtar would be down to 10 men but there would be even more controversy to follow. HUGE DRAMA! Ferreyra pusheed a AS Roma ballboy over an advertising hoarding… sparking a dispute among the two sets of players. Only a yellow for the forward. After all that play would resume with Roma very close to the end of this match. With under 10 minutes to go Kolarov tried to curl in a free-kick but missed. Following the attempt Roma would make another substitution as Stephan El Shaarawy came in for the hero Edin Dzeko. The referees final whistle blew and the game came to an end with Roma as one is ever winners thanks to a second-half goal from edin dzeko. Roma makes the Champions League quarter finals for the first time since 2008 massive home support for the fans as they have made the stadio olimpico a fortress in Europe a massive achievement for Di Francesco and Roma.
Celebrations erupt in Rome
Edin Dzeko fires Roma to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals in what will be Roma’s 4th appearance at this stage. A typical Roma performance a tale of two halves that had such an importantance on the result of this cup tie. Roma finally get revenge on shakhtar Donetsk who knocked Roma out of the 2011 Champions League round of 16. A very competitive and even Cup tie as it turned out to be. Roma’s Turkish youngster under scored a very important away goal in the first leg in Kiev that goal has proven to be decisive. A uneventful first half for both teams especially Roma who only really had one chance to score. We have seen this a lot with this Roma team it takes them a little while to open up this may not work against the bigger teams in this competition. However Roma made up for it in the second half the Italian side only needing a goal to advance came through with a Master Class in the second half from Edin Dzeko who scored a much important goal to give Roma the lead on away goals. Roma dominated the second half and what looked like a Relentless attack while shakhtar failed to do very much in the second half. Roma opened up got in a comfort zone and continued to attack as much as they possibly could. Roma’s knew the importance of this game and they were able to come through to give their fans something they have not been able to do in quite some time it has been about 10 years since Roma’s last time in a quarter finals of the Champions League. This team could be a dark horse in this competition going forward even if they get eliminated tomorrow they have done a sensational job to get in this position to begin with winning a group they shouldn’t have and coming across a very attacking minded team that took Incredible strength and intelligence to beat. I have all the respect in the world for shakhtar Donetsk they played a very aggressive game in both legs especially in the opening game they deserve a lot of credit for what they were able to do in this competition. The man of the match goes to Edin Dzeko who scored the winning goal to push Roma to the quarterfinals one of the most unlikely teams to get there. Dzeko didn’t play on Friday against torino and the Bosnian was well rested and it showed scoring the much important goal for Roma. He did an Exellent job leading that forward line as he found himself in dangerous areas much of the time. Once again we saw an excellent performance from the defense and Alisson as well it was their job to keep it clean sheet for Roma to protect their Fortress and they have done an excellent job throughout this competition. Roma still have not been scored on at home in this competition it will only get harder but this team has the grit the desire and the determination to continue to pull off upsets. No matter who Roma get they will be ready To fight until the end. Eusebio Di Francesco was given a rebuilding job and he’s taken this team to new heights despite the losses over the summer he’s taking this team to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and a historic Victory Roma have a chance to prove that they belong among Europe’s best. Under’s away goal made all the difference in the world Roma Coudnt have got here without it.
Man of the Match: Edin Dzeko (8)