Roma were eliminated at the last 16 stage of the Europa league for the second time in two years after coming up short in the home tie against Lyon. Trailing 4-2 from the first leg, Roma would need to win by two goals to go through by away goals. It didn’t start well as Mouctar Diakhaby headed home to give Lyon the lead. Kevin Strootman hit back immediately, an own goal in the second half gave Roma hope. But unfortunately they could not get that third and final goal as they came up against a resolute Lyon backline. Anthony Lopes in the Lyon goal was exceptional tonight as he thwarted the Roma attack on more than one occasion.
Roma started like a team with a purpose and attacked Lyon from the start, Roma had a double chance to opening the scoring in the first five minutes. A deep corner from Daniele De Rossi found Manolas at the back post and his header reached Antonio Rudiger who hit a thunderous effort which rattled the crossbar. The rebound fell to Mohamed Salah and his header was brilliantly tipped over the crossbar by Anthony Lopes.
Bruno Peres played a lovely through ball from the right hand side to Mohamed Salah who was denied from point blank range by Lopes who took a knock in the face by one of his fellow Lyon defenders.
Lyon opened the scoring after 15 minutes and with their first chance of the second leg. A free kick from the right hand side from Valbuena found Mouctar Diakhaby who rose highest and headed home. But just two minutes later, Roma equalised. Daniele De Rossi curled in another deep set piece which found Kevin Strootman who bundled the ball home from close range. Frantic opening 20 minutes.
Roma had another double chance to go ahead on the night and go with one of making the tie all square. Kevin Strootman not once but twice was brilliantly denied by Antonio Lopes who done well from close range to block both efforts.
Roma started the second half on the front foot and was denied yet again by the brilliance of Anthony Lopes in the Lyon goal. Lopes pulled of a smart double save to deny Radja Nainggolan, first from a close range header and then the rebound from a tight angle.
Mathieu Valbuena snatched at a chance at the back post as he fired over from close range after excellent work down the right hand side from Maxwell Cornet. Roma added a second after an hour to make it a very interesting last half hour, excellent work down the right from Stephan El Shaarawy who got a low cross in and a clearance from Jallet cannoned in off Tousart into the empty net.
Substitute Stephan El Shaarawy was inches away from added a third, a low angle drive from the right hand side of the area just went inches wide of the upright. Lyon crafted a chance down the left hand side from the skilful Valbuena who played in Morel who crossed in for Maxwell Cornet who fired wildly over the cross bar from inside of the box.
Roma had a goal called for offside which on replays was incorrectly called as Stephan El Shaarawy was in an onside position. Tolisso then had a curled effort from just outside of the area parried away by Alisson.
Lyon hit Roma on the counter attack after a poor Roma corner, it was 4-2 as Lyon broke. Maxwell Cornet tried to take it around Alisson who stood tall and done well to get a hand on the ball. At the other end, Stephan El Shaarawy fired over after a Francesco Totti corner was cleared well by the Lyon defence.
Edin Dzeko headed over from a Diego Perotti cross, Nabil Fekir broke into the Roma half and had a low effort well saved by Alisson.
It was close but yet so far for Roma tonight in the Europa League. This will be a bitter pill to swallow after giving so much effort in the second half to get back into the tie. Cannot fault the players effort tonight they gave everything in tonight game but came up short. Fans will say they are bottlers/losers and they have that loser’s mentality. But tonight the players played with their hearts and showed balls, which need to replicated against Sassuolo in the league on Sunday evening.