Miraculous scenes at the Stadio Olimpico saw Roma pull off a memorable late comeback to beat Lecce 2-1 on Sunday evening. Despite lagging a goal behind heading into stoppages, Jose Mourinho’s side took three points courtesy of a stunning injury-time double.
It should’ve been plain sailing for Roma when referee Andrea Colombo pointed to the spot only three minutes into the game. However, Romelu Lukaku failed to convert the resulting penalty as Wladimiro Falcone performed a superb save to thwart the Belgian striker.
Lecce punished Lukaku’s miss midway through the second half. Pontus Almqvist got on the end of Lameck Banda’s precise through ball inside the box and smashed it past Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio to give the home sides a mountain to climb in the last 20 minutes.
When it looked like Roma could lose a second consecutive game following a 1-0 defeat at Inter last weekend, summer arrival Sardar Azmoun offered Mourinho’s lads a lifeline with his first goal in Serie A. Only three minutes later, Lukaku redeemed himself with a poacher’s finish from inside the box.
Let’s look at our Roma player ratings.
Rui Patricio – 7
Despite failing to keep a clean sheet, the veteran goalkeeper had a fantastic night, making numerous vital saves that eventually helped Roma turn the game on its head.
Gianluca Mancini – 6.5
The captain’s weakest performance of the season! Made several sloppy interventions and couldn’t cope with Banda’s pace on a number of occasions.
Diego Llorente – 6
Like his Italian colleague, the Spaniard made several mistakes that could’ve cost Roma dearly but had Patricio to bail him out. Picked up a late yellow for intentionally handling the ball.
Evan Ndicka – 7
Far more composed than his defensive teammates! While there’s ample room for improvement in his positioning and tactical choices, he made up for his shortcomings with a spirited display.
Rick Karsdrop – 7
An unorthodox night for the Dutchman! He’s often far more reliable at the back than in the front third, but today, it was vice-versa. He struggled against Banda but looked threatening when asked to move forward.
Edoardo Bove – 5.5
Following a lackluster showing at Inter, the Roma prodigy stuttered again, looking in discomfort with the ball at his feet and clueless when had to make critical choices in the build-up.
Bryan Cristante – 7.5
An absolute beast in the midfield! Waxing lyrical about the ex-Milan midfielder has become a habit, but such has been his season at the Olimpico, and nothing changed tonight.
Houssem Aouar – 7
After a relatively quiet cameo appearance at Giuseppe Meazza, the former Lyon playmaker showed glimpses of his talent, reminding world football why many elite European clubs wanted to sign him a few years ago.
Stephan El Shaarawy – 6.5
Swapping positions on a weekly basis cannot bring consistency to any player, but the versatile forward fared reasonably well in the left wing-back this evening.
Paulo Dybala – 6.5
Back to the starting lineup after another spell on the sidelines, the Argentine displayed flashes of his brilliance but often lacked support from his attacking comrades.
Romelu Lukaku – 7
Despite squandering an early penalty, the Belgian’s talismanic presence in the box helped Roma weather the storm as he was in the right place at the right time to give his side a last-gasp winner.
Renato Sanches – 6.5
Back to action following a lengthy spell in the treatment room, the Portuguese midfield changed the dynamics of the game since coming on.
Sardar Azmoun – 7.5
Couldn’t have timed his maiden Serie A goal any better!
Andrea Belotti – 6
Fought tooth and nail for every ball but struggled for the final product.
Rasmus Kristensen – 6
Held up his end of the bargain in defense but couldn’t impact the game on the opposition half.
Nicola Zalewski – 7
Delivered a crucial assist to Azmoun to initiate Roma’s comeback.
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