Tammy Abraham’s goal powered Roma to an empathic victory over Leicester City as Jose Mourinho became the first manager to qualify for the final of each European club competition.
A packed Stadio Olimpico embraced the visiting Premier League side on Thursday evening. Bewildered by the atmosphere inside the stadium, the Leicester players seemed lost for a moment. They soon gathered their consciousness as shouts of Brendan Rodgers from the touchline made them well aware of the occasion. But the Irishman’s pre-match comments regarding his players being unaffected by the crowd noise had already evaporated.
Mourinho’s call to the Roma supporters “play with us” evidently played a part in the making of an electrifying condition as the kick-off took place after the conclusion of the hymn “Roma, Roma, Roma…”. Going into the game, Leicester had already conceded more than 20 goals from set-pieces this season. And boosted by the atmosphere, Abraham decided to target the Foxes’ aerial vulnerabilities.
The former Chelsea striker rose the highest from a corner situation to head the ball past Kasper Schmeichel in the 11th-minute of the game, breaking the deadlock and putting Roma in an overall lead on the aggregate. Pellegrini’s delivery deserves the praise too. He was effective through the proceedings.
Thanks to the robust defending from the triumvirate of Mancini, Smalling, and Ibañez, the Giallorossi were able to keep the Leicester forward line featuring Jamie Vardy and Harvey Barnes at bay. Lookman did not look threatening either. Here are the player ratings from the game.
Roma (3-4-1-2): Rui Patrício (6.5); Karsdorp (6), Mancini (7), Smalling (7.5), Ibañez (7); Cristante (7), Sérgio Oliveira (6), Zalewski (6.5), Pellegrini (7.5), Zaniolo (6.5), Abraham (8)
Substitutes: Veretout (6), Shomurodov (N/A), Viña (N/A)
Leicester City (4-3-3): Schmeichel (6); Ricardo Pereira (5.5), Fofana (6), Evans (5.5), Justin (6); Dewsbury-Hall (6), Tielemans (5), Maddison (5.5); Lookman (4.5), Barnes (4.5), Vardy (4.5)
Substitutes: Iheanacho (6), Amartey (6), Castagne (N/A), Pérez (N/A)