Roma Advance to Europa League Quarter Finals After Win in Ukraine

In the second leg of the Europa League Round of 16, Roma traveled to Ukraine to take on Luis Castro’s Shakhtar Donetsk at the Olimpiysky National Sports Complex.

The Italian side came into this game with a three-goal advantage following their impressive 3-0 win in the first leg a week ago. It was set-up to be a consolation game, with Shakhtar needing at least three goals to take the tie to extra-time in the best possible scenario.

The match did indeed turn out to be a consolation as two goals from Borja Mayoral saw Roma through to the last eight of the competition.

As expected, it was Shakhtar who started the second leg on a front foot with the intention to dominate the possession from the first minutes and impose their game on Roma.

Although it did go to plan and the Ukrainian side were the ones who enjoyed the early spells of possession, the first chance of the game fell to the visitors from Italy. Roger Ibanez played a long hopeful ball over the top for Mayoral to chase, with the 23-year-old Spaniard brilliantly controlling the ball inside Shakhtar’s penalty area and unleashing a powerful shot that went high over the bar.

Shakhtar continued dominating possession despite an early chance from the opposition, patiently looking for ways to break into Roma’s defensive third.

Their patient build-up play was nearly rewarded with the opening goal of the game, as the ball managed to reach Shakhtar’s right-back Dodo deep in the final third area, who played an inch-perfect cross to the arriving Alan Patrick, but the Brazilian’s shot was well blocked and went out for a corner kick.

After soaking up the pressure for big parts of the opening 20 minutes, Roma started to gradually grow into the game, with Carles Perez keeping the Ukrainian side on their toes as he made a number of dangerous bursting runs down the right-wing channel.

Despite all the possession, it took Shakhtar almost half an hour to get their first shot on target. Alan Patrick received a clever pass between the lines and unleashed a mid-range strike which was comfortably gathered by Pau Lopez.

The final 15 minutes of the first half did not see many changes in the game dynamics, with Roma staying well-organized at the back and preventing Shakhtar from playing the ball into dangerous areas.

After a fairly unadventurous first 45 minutes, it was the visitors who came out of the blocks firing in the second half and deservedly got their rewards.

Mayoral picked up the ball in midfield and played it through to Rick Karsdorp, who managed to sneak into the box and played a low pass across a six-yard box. The ball ricochet of a goalkeeper and fell into the path of the arriving Mayoral, who got to a rebound first and produced a simple header, making it 1-0 to the visitors.

Five minutes later, Roma were on the attack again and should have completely killed off the tie with their second goal of the night. Perez cut the opponents defence open with a through ball to Pedro, who got himself one-on-one with the keeper but somehow managed to miss the target from ten yards out.

Although too little too late, the home side managed to level the score in the 59th minute of the game. A floating ball was played into the box following a cleared set-piece attempt which found Alan Patrick at the far post, with the Brazilian heading the ball into the path for Junior Moraes, who tapped the ball in from a few yards out.

However, it was Roma who put the final nail into Shakhtar’s Europa League coffin, with Perez slipping the ball through to Mayoral, who simply steered in home from close range, making it 2-1 to the visitors.

A thoroughly deserved result in the end by the Giallorossi which sees them through to the Quarter- Finals of the Europa League.



March 18, 2021 – Europa League 2020-2021 Round of 16
SHAKHTAR DONETSK-ROMA 1-2 (Roma advance 1-5 on aggregate)

SCORERS: 48′ Borja Mayoral (R), 59′ Junior Moraes (S), 72′ Borja Mayoral (R)

SHAKHTAR DONETSK (4-3-3): Trubin; Dodò (82′ Bolbat), Vitao, Kryvtsov, Matviyenko; Alan Patrick (60′ Konoplyanka), Marcos Antonio, Maycon; Tetè (60′ Marlos), Junior Moraes (76′ Dentinho), Solomon (77′ Sudakov) (Pyatov, Shevchenko, Khocholava, Taison, Marquinhos, Bondar, Fernando) Coach: Luis Castro
ROMA (3-4-2-1): Pau Lopez; Ibanez (46′ Mancini), Cristante, Kumbulla; Spinazzola (58′ Calafiori), Diawara (58′ Pellegrini), Villar, Karsdorp (58′ Bruno Peres); Pedro (75′ El Shaarawy), Carles Perez; Borja Mayoral (Mirante, Fuzato, Santon, Dzeko) Coach: Fonseca

REFEREE: Mateu Lahoz (Spain)
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Marcos Antonio, Alan Patrick (S), Ibanez, Karsdorp (R); Extra Time: 1st Half 3′, 2nd Half 3′