The Lupi defeats Shakhtar Donetsk after a thrilling match and marvelous goal of its top striker Edin Dzeko.
A very tough first half for the giallorossi at the Stadio Olimpico. Shakhtar Donetsk managed the pace of the game albeit the Ukrainian champions have never shot on goal during the first 45 minutes. On the other side, the Lupi started the match on the right path putting pressure on Fonseca‘s side but never being dangerous.
Di Francesco‘s crew seemed to be mentally blocked and defused by the ability in possession of the Shakhtar’s Brazilian trequartistas. Bernard, Marlos, and Taison lowered the pace of the plays putting the Roma midfielders in trouble. Strootman and De Rossi were desperately trying to catch the ball in order to trigger the offensive phase but, unfortunately, they never had the opportunity to do so. The first half ended with Shakhtar Donetsk making 406 touches against the 280 of the home side. Fonseca’s men imposed their higher technical ability and mobility in midfield.
The second half started with the same 22 men on the field. But Strootman’s sudden ball through for Dzeko changed the card on the table. The Bosnian star stubbed the Ukrainian side with a precise shot, 1-0! The tactical approach to the game changed. Shakhtar advanced its lines to score the equalizer and catch the qualification for the quarterfinals while Roma waited and counterattacked. Dzeko’s cross-shot at 62 went slightly wide with the stadium ready to celebrate his super brace.
Di Francesco replaced Under with Gerson to manage the possession of the ball and defuse Shakhtar’s plays. Strootman led the resurgence of Roma’s midfielders, tackling and making a great effort to cover the spaces. when Ordets irregularly took Dzeko down in front of the keeper the match changed once more. The defender got a just red card but the Ukrainian side pushed to find the equalizer putting pressure on Roma’s defensive line until the end.
Roma made its Champions League history after 10 years opening the door of the heaven. Roma is one of the top 8 European sides.