To qualify for the 16th, the Giallorossi must beat Ludogorets on the last day
Roma beat HJK Helsinki 2-1, but to qualify for the 16th of the Europa League they were forced to beat Ludogorets on the last day at the Olimpico. The Giallorossi hit a crossbar with Cristante (20 ‘) and the same midfielder sees the 1-0 goal canceled by the Var for an offside by Volpato. At 41 ‘ Abraham unlocks and finds the advantage with an imperious header. The Finns find a draw in the 54th minute with a former Serie A player, Hetemajthen at 62 ‘ Hoskonen deflects a cross of El Shaarawy. At 79 ‘Var still protagonist, when he cancels a 35-meter euro-goal by Browne for a previous handful of Abubakari to Cristante.
Roma fully fulfills their duty, but it is not enough to break the pass for the 16th: Betis, thanks to the success with Ludogorets, have earned first place in the group and now everything will be decided next week in the direct clash against the Bulgarians . The two teams are paired at 7 points, but the Giallorossi must win as they lost 2-1 in the first leg. The happiest note for Mourinho in the Finnish cold is the return to the goal of Abraham, who played the usual generous game seasoned this time by a good goal, the third of the season and the first in Europe. Cristante’s performance, a man of the Giallorossi everywhere, is still sumptuous, while Volpato is sent back. The young man managed a few plays and for his offside in front of the goalkeeper the Var took away the goal from Cristante. Next Thursday will be a final, one of those that Mou knows how to win.
Mourinho does a bit of turnover, without giving up the three-man defense. The left arm is Vina, in front of him a chance for El Shaarawy and behind Abraham with Pellegrini there is space for Volpato. The hosts start well and between 4 ‘and 5’ create two good chances: first Smalling saves on Browne, then from the corner Hoskonen hits his head with Rui Patricio flying and saving himself in two halves. Roma takes a while to fuel up, but at the first opportunity it goes very close to the advantage (20 ‘): Cristante hits the crossbar with a header on Pellegrini’s corner, then a mischione is generated with Vina and Mancini who are a stone’s throw from the leads do not find the winning deviation. As the minutes went by, the Giallorossi took over and crushed the Finns: at 23 ‘Browne saved on Pellegrini’s safe shot, three minutes later Hazard rejects Abraham’s right-footed shot. The Helsinki rearguard begins to creak dangerously and at 28 ‘capitulates, or rather no: Pellegrini’s corner and Cristante’s winning header. The goal was canceled by the Var for an offside by Volpato that hinders the Northern Irish goalkeeper. The appointment with the well-deserved goal is only postponed and arrives in the 41st minute: Pellegrini brushes a free-kick, an imperious detachment by Abraham who crushes his head and puts it in the corner. First goal of the season in Europe for the Englishman, who finally unlocks.
The second half opens with an insidious right-foot from Abraham (50 ‘) and in the 54th minute Helsinki finds the draw with an old acquaintance of our league, Hetemaj, good at piercing Rui Patricio just inside the area but left too free by Mancini . The joy of the Finns lasts only 8 ‘, until El Shaarawy’s cross deflected first slightly by Soiri and then in his own goal with the knee by Hoskonen (62’). The entry of Boujellab gives Helsinki a shock, with the Moroccan who first kicks high and then commits Rui Patricio. Mou made three changes in one shot in the 78th minute and a minute later Browne found the goal of his life with a 35-meter shot slightly deflected by Abraham who slipped under the intersection. The joy of the 26-year-old from Papua New Guinea lasts a few moments, however, because the referee Martins cancels him after being recalled by the Var for a slap from Abubakari to Cristante. In the final Hazard saves on Shomurodov and Rui Patricio is no longer in danger.
Abraham 7 – The happiest note of the evening, considering that the result was almost irrelevant. The English also unlocks in Europe with an imperious header and for all 90 ‘is a constant danger.
Cristante 7 – Another proof of the great substance of the blue, an irreplaceable pivot for Mourinho. He hits a crossbar, sees a goal nullified by the Var and in the final he is rewarded by technology when the referee cancels the HJK’s 2-2 for a slap against him. Irreplaceable.
Mancini 5 – Opaque proof of the central, who gets warned (and will miss the last decisive match), involuntarily saves on Vina and leaves too much room for Hetemaj on the occasion of the 1-1.
Hazard 6.5 – Blameworthy on the two goals, he is very good on Abraham in the first half and Shomurodov in the final. The of him did it.
Olusanya 5 – Tough life against Smalling and his companions. He plays for a while and hardly ever sees her. Rightly replaced.
HJK HELSINKI-ROME 1-2
HJK HELSINKI (3-5-2): Hazard 6.5; Hoskonen 5.5, Halme 6, Peltola 5.5; Soiri 5.5, Lingman 5.5, Vaananen 5, Hetemaj 6.5 (24 ‘st Boujellab 6.5), Browne 6.5; Hostikka 5, Olusanya 5 (1 ‘st Abubakari 5). Available: Tannander, Saksela, Toivio, Riski, Martic, Radulovic, Terho, Tanaka, Serrarens, Yli-Kokko. Annex: Koskela 5.5
Rome (3-4-2-1): Rui Patricio 6; Mancini 5, Smalling 6, Vina 6; Zalewski 6, Camara 6 (33 ‘st Bove sv), Cristante 7 (39’ st Kumbulla dv), El Shaarawy 6.5 (44 ‘st Spinazzola sv); Volpato 5 (33 ‘st Faticanti sv), Pellegrini 6,5 (33’ st Shomurodov 6), Abraham 7. Available: Boer, Svilar, Karsdorp, Belotti, Tripi, Cherubini. Annex: Mourinho 6
Referee: Martins (POR)
Markers: 41 ‘Abraham (R), 9’ st Hetemaj (H), 17 ‘st El Shaarawy (R)
Ammonites: Mancini (R), Halme (H), Rui Patricio (R), Abubakari (H), Spinazzola (R)