Bayer Leverkusen 0-0 Roma (agg 0-1): Jose Mourinho’s men produce dogged defensive display to reach Europa League final… with hosts frustrated despite 23 shots on goal and Moussa Diaby rattling the crossbar
- Roma were on backfoot for the entire game and had to survive intense pressure
- Roma have now reached back-to-back European finals under coach Mourinho
- The Italian side will play Sevilla in Europa League final on May 31 in Budapest
Roma earned a 0-0 draw at Bayer Leverkusen in their Europa League semi-final return leg on Thursday to reach the showpiece match with a 1-0 aggregate win.
The Rome side have now reached back-to-back European finals under coach Jose Mourinho following last season’s Europa Conference League title.
The visitors were on the backfoot for the entire game and had to survive intense pressure from the Germans, who missed a lot of chances and also hit the woodwork, as they advanced thanks to last week’s 1-0 win in Italy.
They will play the Sevilla in the final on May 31 in Budapest.
It all started well for Leverkusen, looking to reach their first European final in 21 years.
Bayer Leverkusen dominated the second leg tie but could not find a breakthrough
Moussa Diaby rattled the crossbar with a powerful shot in the 12th minute for the home side
Roma have now reached back-to-back European finals under coach Jose Mourinho
Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky, Tapsoba, Tah (Amiri 86), Hincapie, Frimpong, Demirbay, Palacios (Hlozek 80),Bakker (Adli 73), Diaby, Wirtz, Azmoun.
Subs Not Used: Hudson-Odoi, Fosu-Mensah, Pentz, Azhil, Lomb,Aourir.
Booked: Hincapie, Palacios, Bakker, Tapsoba, Diaby.
Roma: Rui Patricio, Mancini, Cristante, Ibanez, Celik (Smalling 78), Bove, Matic, Pellegrini, Spinazzola (Zalewski 34), Belotti (Wijnaldum 46),Abraham.
Subs Not Used: Karsdorp, Camara, Dybala, Missori, Volpato, Boer, Tahirovic, El Shaarawy, Svilar.
Booked: Ibanez, Cristante, Abraham.
Ref: Slavko Vincic (Slovenia).
Apart from a second minute chance for Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini, the hosts had the upper hand in the first half with a dozen efforts on goal compared to their opponents’ one.
Moussa Diaby rattled the crossbar with a powerful shot in the 12th minute and Kerem Demirbay’s low drive in the 21st was saved by goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
The visitors tried to push up a bit higher in the second half to intercept Leverkusen’s attacks earlier but the hosts kept finding ways to create chances.
Demirbay forced another good save in the 67th from Patricio, who thought he was beaten by Sardar Azmoun minutes later only for the Iranian’s shot to sail just wide.
Leverkusen, whose last major title dates back to 1993, had 23 efforts on goal but it was Mourinho’s Roma that went through even if they had just the one effort on goal in the entire game.
‘All that was missing was a goal,’ said Leverkusen’s Demirbay. ‘We did not have that bit of luck. It was bitter not to be rewarded for such a performances. But I am proud of the way we played.’
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