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HomeUEFA Europa LeagueFeyenoord 1-1 AS Roma: Lukaku’s header saves Roma from blushes

Feyenoord 1-1 AS Roma: Lukaku’s header saves Roma from blushes

Romelu Lukaku’s header secured Roma a valuable 1-1 draw against Feyenoord in the first leg of the Europa League play-off, as both teams struck the woodwork during the match.

The decisive second leg will take place at the Stadio Olimpico on February 22, determining the team that advances to the Round of 16. Roma has previously eliminated Feyenoord from European competitions in the Conference League Final and Europa League quarter-finals.

Feyenoord, having dropped from the Champions League, faced several player absences, including top scorer Santiago Gimenez, who was only fit enough for the bench due to a calf issue. Meanwhile, Roma’s coach, Daniele De Rossi, navigated the match without key players like Tammy Abraham and Evan Ndicka, opting for tactical adjustments to compensate for their absence.

The goalkeeper hurriedly advanced to push the ball away from Lorenzo Pellegrini’s feet, and although Paulo Dybala attempted a follow-up, David Hancko cleared it off the line, albeit with Dybala in an offside position.

Romelu Lukaku directed a header straight at Timon Wellenreuther, while Igor Paixao’s angled drive narrowly missed the far post during a counterattack. Mats Wieffer and Paixao also had attempts on goal, but both lacked the necessary power to trouble Mile Svilar, who comfortably collected the shots.

Roma vs Feyenoord: De Rossi’s men will have decent chance at home

Roma had a significant opportunity in the 40th minute when Leandro Paredes unleashed a powerful strike from distance, only for Wellenreuther to fingertip it onto the crossbar, denying Roma a goal-scoring chance.

The goalkeeper swiftly left his goal line and used his chest to block Dybala’s shot after a quick exchange with Lukaku. Subsequently, Lukaku’s header from the resulting corner went straight towards the goalkeeper, preventing Roma from capitalizing on the set-piece opportunity.

Feyenoord unexpectedly seized the lead shortly after, defying the flow of the game. Quilindschy Hartman delivered a cross from the left, locating Paixao completely unmarked at the back post to nod in the opening goal.

In the second half, Edoardo Bove threw himself in front of an Ayase Ueda strike from a free kick routine, blocking the attempt. Meanwhile, Dybala and Lukaku struggled to keep their shots on target.

Roma managed to equalize when Lukaku met Spinazzola’s left-sided cross with a glancing header into the far top corner from six yards out. This marked Lukaku’s 20th goal in 17 Europa League appearances. Notably, Lukaku introduced a new, unconventional goal celebration, covering one hand over his mouth and gesturing as if mimicking a gun to his head.

Bove received a booking for a late challenge and will miss the second leg due to suspension. Svilar made an impressive save to deflect Santiago Gimenez’s powerful angled drive at the near post, followed by a moment of surprise as he saw a Luka Ivanusec free kick hit the upright in stoppage time, with the forward having cleverly deceived with a dummy.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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