Photo by ESPNFC.com
By Joe Avicolli
Roma have advanced to the Europa League round of 16 after achieving a 2-1 victory over Feyenoord in Rotterdam on Thursday in a match marred by controversy and alleged racism on behalf of the Dutch club’s fans.
The Giallorossi were in dire need of a win against the Eredivisie club after a lacking 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico on February 19 and were able to secure a positive result despite a temporary stop in play during the second half due to rowdy behavior from the home side’s fans, which had followed the sending off of Feyenoord forward Mitchell the Vrede after his sloppy challenge on Kostas Manolas.
Adem Ljajic was able to put the visitors ahead 1-0 in first half stoppage time, though the hosts managed to draw level with a goal from Elvis Manu in the 56th minute shortly after play resumed from referee stoppage. However, the 1-1 score wouldn’t last long as Gervinho quickly put the Lupi back in front after netting a goal in the 59th minute, which ultimately led to Roma advancing to the round of 16 on a 2-3 aggregate.
According WhoScored.com, the Lupi enjoyed ball possession for 57% of the match compared to the Stadionclub’s 43% and had a higher pass completion rate as well, with 82% of their passes resulting in success compared to their opponent’s 72% pass completion rate. Roma had quite a lead on number of passes over the Dutch side as well, making a total of 501 passes compared to Feyenoord’s 381. Seydou Keita had the highest pass accuracy out of the starting 22 players on the field with 92% of his passes completed, while Daniele De Rossi had the most touches out of every player on the pitch, having touched the ball 81 times.
Francesco Totti had fired in more shots than any of the other players participating in the match, taking four blasts at the goal with one of them hitting the woodwork. Most of the game’s action took place in the middle third of the pitch with 41% of play happening in that section of field, while both sides favored the wings when it came to launching their attacks, with Roma making 40% of their attacking play up the left side and Feyenoord making 36% of theirs up the right side. The amount of shots taken was just as close as the final score, with the Italian team taking 12 shots compared to the Dutch side’s total of 11 shots.
Roma’s next adventure in the Europa League will taking place on March 12, though their next opponent is yet to be known. Before this, however, Rudi Garcia’s men will have to focus on their upcoming Serie A match against league leaders Juventus in Rome on March 2.