Last night following three consecutive victories Roma battled Borussia in a very important Europa League match up. Roma could more or less put themselves in the driver’s seat with a victory against the Bundesliga leaders. Last time these two teams played it was the Phantom penalty game in which the officiating robbed Roma of three points that they deserve in that matchup having given a penalty to Borussia in the final minute of the game for a handball that hit Chris Smalling in the face. Since that night Roma has not lost a game and is playing some of their best football of the season. This match was always going to have its difficulties going to Germany to play a team that then terrific form and stands at the top of the league is it never an easy task. Despite the fact that they have struggled in the Europa League with a victory they could push themselves back into the conversation. It was a back-and-forth battle throughout the 90 minutes as it was hard to tell which team was superior. Roma had their moments and created chances the problem was putting them away. The Germans took the lead late in the first half as Federico Fazio put the ball in the back of his own net to give Borussia the 1-0 lead in Germany. Roma slowly got themselves back into the game at the halfway point. Federico Fazio made amends for his previous own goal putting the ball in the back of the net with a strike from close-range coming off a free-kick to equalize. It continued to be a fight at Borussia Park it was evenly matched and each team had their moments but in the end, a moment of Brilliance from Marcus Thuram proved to be the difference. In the 93rd minute, Borussia Young Star delivered in the dying moments of the game scoring in what would eventually become 2-1 victory at Borussia Park for the German side. Borussia moves into the top two on the verge of qualification after going level on points with Roma. The Phantom penalty call from a remains to be the difference as Roma are not in the situation if that is called correctly. Roma is now in a position that they need to win back-to-back games and the reason they are here is that up a penalty call. Roma did not play their best football but nonetheless if the Phantom penalty doesn’t happen Roma does not slip out of the top two.
Phantom Penalty comes back to Haunt Roma
Roma is now in danger a missing out on The Knockout stage in the Europa League. They did not play particularly well last night they did some nice things but could not finish in front of goal something that seems to be a reoccurring problem. Although over the last few weeks it has not been an issue. Roma now seems to be in a situation where they need to win two consecutive games in Europe find a way to qualify for the Knockout stage. This would not have been an issue had points not been stolen from them. There’s nothing that really can be said about yesterday’s match that results are something they could live with. Everything in this group goes back to the match at the Stadio Olimpico when Chris Smalling was called for a handball in the final minute. In that game, we saw one of the worst officiating decisions in football history. Chris Smalling was called for a handball but hit him in the face ultimately gave Gladbach a late penalty that allowed them to steal A point that they did not deserve. In that game, Roma may have not played at their best but they certainly did enough earn the three points. This is the problem with all of this that single officiating decisions could cost Roma A spot in the Europa League. While I still believe they can get the job done they will have a tough matchup in Turkey before coming home against Wolfsberger. However, the fact that they were not given the three points that they deserved in that match could cost them. It is not impossible that Roma misses out by one point the only reason Gladbach is in second in this group is because of the penalty but they were given. This could all come down to that one call which would be unjustified. This may not be relevant in the actual moment but nonetheless, if Roma misses out on at the knockout stage it will come back to that decision that ultimately could potentially rob them of a place in the next round. Roma did not play well enough to earn the three points on Thursday but even so they have not deserved their fate at this moment.
Marcus Thuram comes through
Marcus Thuram could be a superstar in the making in Germany. He has abilities and qualities that can make him a Game Changer in German Football. Gladbach is the top of the league in Germany he may not be the sole reason why but he has been an impact player throughout this entire season. He had shown not only in the Bundesliga but in the Europa League as well. Roma, unfortunately, we’re on the wrong end of some Brilliance from the youngster. Just like his father he has the ability to change the game in important moments yesterday he had the biggest moment of the match when he scored an important and vital goal in these final moments of the match to give his side a 2-1 win. He came through in the game’s most important moment and has put his team into a position to advance through the next round. It still will have its challenges and will be tough but they’re clearly have something with this 22 year old midfielder who is capable of becoming a superstar he has six goals in 16 games and have been influential all season we saw another display of that on Thursday night against Roma as he wins it at the death something that could be decisive at the end of the group stage this was a symbolic moment in their bid to continue their European campaign.
It is no secret Roma have had their share fare of injury problems this season. So far this season there have been 12 different injuries that have made things rather difficult on the Romans. In spite of that, they’ve managed to play pretty well over the last few games. However slowly but surely the team is getting a little bit healthier. Within a span of a couple of weeks, they lost several players to injury. Cengiz Under and Diego Perotti have recovered from the respective injuries as Roma are given more depth. The biggest problem with this team over this stretch has been the defensive Midfield as Gianluca Mancini who has been brilliant in that position was forced to play outside of his comfort zone as he is a center-back by nature however after the injury to Bryan cristante he was forced into that role. Luckily for Roma, he has thrived. Roma yesterday got a player back early from injury Diawara who’s had a scary injury against Cagliari in which he was forced to be taken off with a stretcher and was rushed to the hospital where he had knee surgery he was eventually diagnosed as a slight tear in his meniscus. He avoided an ACL surgery that would have kept him out for even longer. He missed the majority of October and the first game in November but has progressed massively as he returned to limited training this week. Yesterday in the second half he made his return since his knee injury in early October. This gives depth to Roma in the defensive Midfield as they have more options to their disposal. Gianluca Mancini may still start in that position at least temporarily as it’s unclear whether or not Diawara is healthy enough to start games. Nonetheless, it will give Roma another option it is fantastic news that he has been able to return early as the schedule will become more difficult Roma will need a player like him available. Once he was big fully healthy he will be able to slide in for Bryan cristante while he recovers from his injury the healthier he can get the better. He can be a big impact player for this team. He only had a short run out on Thursday but it can give Roma a sense of optimism.
Roma loses its way
Roma to a certain extent lost some momentum in this match. One of the biggest issues for Roma prior to the winning streak that ended on Thursday was a lack of clinical ability in front of goal. Having the inability to finish off chances. For the last several years regardless of personnel or Squad Roma have been in the top three in Italy in terms of chance creation. This is something that never really had an issue with and has always had success. The problem for Roma has been not being able to take advantage of those changes in important games. Over the last few games, this is not been an issue they created and they were able to convert on them. For whatever reason in the Europa League this week that was an issue. They created more than enough chances to win the game they just failed to reach the levels that we expect from them. Hardly any of their chances we’re on Target and that was the biggest problem in the match. They had good possession they created more chances they just couldn’t finish the job. If Roma is able to convert on some of those missed chances they win this game and they’re in a much better situation. It had somewhat of a drop-off from Serie A to the Europa League. I’ve noticed a little bit of that this season. Roman would play really well in Italy and then in Europe, they would significantly shrink. It’s not only Roma thing is an Italy thing, in general, several times during Europe this week we saw Italian teams underperformed expectations after a strong performance on the weekend. Roma has to find a way to find that consistency and their ability to finish off their chances. It’s not been a huge issue in the league but it has had its problems collectively. To advance through this group even though it was under suspicious circumstances with the penalty Rome is now in a position where they need to win at least two in a row they cannot really drop any more points for the rest of this group stage. Roma has the capability of beating both Istanbul & Wolfsberger. In terms of talent and ability, they are significantly the most talented team in this group and they should not be in the situation they should have already confirmed their spot in the next round now Roma are in a tough situation where they need to be able to find that consistency in all competitions. Given all the injuries that they have had it is difficult to operate at a high level in multiple competitions this is something that really needs to be worked on they lost their way on Thursday hopefully they can get it back before a big match on Sunday. Paulo Fonseca will have a plan and figure something out he has to because every game in the group stage now holds great importance.
Borussia in Contention for Knockout Stage
Even though it is due to ungenuine circumstances Gladbach looks to have a genuine possibility of qualifying for the knockout rounds. This was helped by the Phantom penalty and they would not be second in the group. However,r, on Thursday night they came through for their team at home and are able to sneak their way into this race with a possibility of qualifying for the knockout rounds. They started this campaign very poorly as it did not prove to be very important to them. They are on top of the league in Germany as they lead the Bundesliga. It is unclear how long this will last and they want to make sure they do everything they can to try and Win It as unlikely as that may sound at this moment. In light of the,t, I thought that they would prioritize the Bundesliga and I think they have done that they have not looked like the same team that we see on the weekends. They are significantly less dominant and less in control during the Europa League matches however they found a way to put themselves in that position to Advanced. Whether they would like to is a different story and I still think they will prioritize the Bundesliga but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to try to get to the next stage. This late victory puts them in a position to do just that.