Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 7:49 PM• Daniel Cabot Kerkdijk

On Sunday, four days before seeing Ajax again in the Europa League, AS Roma ended a mediocre series in the Serie A. Paulo Fonseca’s team triumphed at home with a minimal difference over Bologna after two defeats and a draw in the last three league matches: 1-0. The victory keeps AS Roma in the race for a Europa League ticket or possibly even a ticket for the Champions League.

Due to the reunion with Ajax, AS Roma did not start with the strongest possible eleven. Leonardo Spinazzola joined Chris Smalling, Stephan El Shaarawy, Marash Kumbulla, Juan Jesus and Nicolò Zaniolo in the infirmary of the Romans. Fonseca gave Antonio Mirante and Bryan Reynolds rare basic places, put Bruno Peres in place of Spinazzola and took the lead with Borja Mayoral, Carles Pérez and Pedro.

Bologna, with Mitchell Dijks and Jerdy Schouten in the starting line-up, started the game well and failed to take the lead early on through both Musa Barrow and Rodrigo Palacio. At the following corner, Mirante was in no man’s land and a header from Andreas Skov Olsen went against the aluminum. The goalkeeper recovered not much later when he responded sublime to a volley by Roberto Soriano at the far post.

The game then went up and down and AS Roma struck just before half time. After a misstep by Danilo, Mayoral had plenty of space in front of him: the attacker got rid of goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski and pushed the ball into the empty goal. In the second half, AS Roma and Bologna were also evenly matched and the chances could be counted on one hand. Skorupski reacted well to a shot from Peres, but there was not much more to experience.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan made his comeback after 68 minutes to replace Pedro, his first minutes in a month, and not much later Jordan Veretout, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Rick Karsdorp also made their appearance. Six minutes before time, an emotional moment for injured Javier Pastore took place: as a replacement for Mayoral, he made his first minutes since June 28 last year.


More sports news