Roma vs Leverkusen 1-0: Youngster Bove Wins It for the Wolves

Roma found an unexpected hero as 20-year-old Edoardo Bove – yet another youngster born and raised in the Italian capital and now featuring for the Giallorossi – scored the only goal on Thursday night in the first leg of a Europa League Semi Final against Bayer Leverkusen.

Bove’s winning effort was one of the few emotions in a cagey affair at the Stadio Olimpico. With Paulo Dybala only fit for the bench, Jose Mourinho put Andrea Belotti to support Tammy Abraham on the front line.

However, it was Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen to have the first chances of the game, but Robert Andrich saw his shot saved by Rui Patricio while Florian Wirtz’s conclusion sailed off target.

Still, it was Roma to be more dangerous with a Roger Ibanez header from a free kick that called Leverkusen’s goalie Lukas Hradecky to a super save. Abraham failed to tap the ball in after the keeper’s intervention and so the score remained set at 0-0 at half time.

The Giallorossi broke the deadlock on 62 minutes as Bove first served Abraham the chance to go for a shot and then was ready to pounce on the rebound when the Englishman’s conclusion was pushed back by Hradecky.

Both coaches made many substitutions as Mourinho sent in Dybala and Georginio Wijnaldum. However, it was a random episode that risked to change the fate of the match as Rui Patricio failed to block a seemingly innocuous cross in the middle of the box on 88 minutes.

The Portuguese’s howler could have costed Roma a lot, but Byran Cristante positioned himself on the goal line and managed to clear Jeremie Frimpong’s shot into the untended goal.

The Giallorossi will then travel to Leverkusen next week with a one-goal lead, courtesy of yet another jewel bred in their youth academy.