By Joe Avicolli
Roma are still winless in their Champions League campaign this year after securing a 4-4 draw against Bayer Leverkusen in Germany on Tuesday.
The capital city club have now drawn twice and lost once in their three Champions League group stage matches thus far and are in dire need of a victory soon if they hope to advance to the next round of the competition. Rudi Garcia’s men did well to bounce back from being down 2-0, eventually even gaining a 4-2 lead over their hosts, but ended up blowing their advantage in the final 10 minutes, leaving them with just one point from the clash. This latest disappointing result in Europe has seen the Lupi remain the bottom of Group E with just two points.
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez gave Bayer Leverkusen an early lead at home after scoring a penalty in the fourth minute, and eventually followed up with a second goal in the 19th minute to make it 2-0. Daniele De Rossi would grab a brace of his own, though, scoring in the 29th minute and the 38th minute to bring Roma level at the half. The Giallorossi then seemingly secured the three points after goals from Miralem Pjanic in the 54th minute and Iago Falque in the 73rd minute put them up 4-2, but the home side would bounce back in the final 10 minutes to disappoint their visitors. Goals from Kevin Kampl in the 84th minute and Admir Mehmedi in the 86th minute would see Bayer tie it up at 4-4 and ultimately secure a point for themselves. Reports from UEFA.com show that Garcia’s men kept possession for 48% of the match compared to Bayer Leverkusen’s possession rate of 52%. The German club were also slightly superior when it came to passing as they had a pass success rate of 78% compared to Roma’s 72% pass completion rate. Bayer Leverkusen defender Giulio Donati had the most completed passes with 56 and a pass accuracy of around 73%, while the Lupi man with the most passes was Miralem Pjanic, who had 52 passes, including two key passes, and a passing accuracy of around 71%.
According to WhoScored.com, Roma landed nine shots on target out of a total of 15, while the Bundesliga club were able to put nine shots on goal as well, but out of a total of 16 shots. Javier Hernandez had the most shots in the game with six, with three landing on target, while Miralem Pjanic followed close behind with four shots, including three on goal. Pjanic also had the most touches throughout the 90 minutes with 75, while Kevin Kampl followed just behind with a total of 74 touches throughout the game. The Stadio Olimpico outfit were awarded the most corners with six, while Bayer Leverkusen earned four corners throughout the clash. The home team made an equal amount of attacking plays down their wings, making 37% of their offensive maneuvers down both the left and right sides, while Roma favored their right wing by making 38% of their attacking plays down that side. WhoScored.com named Miralem Pjanic as man of the match with an impressive rating of 9.2 due to his nonstop involvement in the Giallorossi attack and midfield, along with his go ahead goal in the second half.
Roma’s next challenge will be against Serie A leaders Fiorentina in Florence on October 25 and will certainly be looking to earn all three points as they currently sit just one point behind the Viola on the league table.