• Thursday, April 25, 2024
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Mourinho’s Roma through to Europa League final after goalless draw at Leverkusen


Being no stranger to major European semi-finals, Mourinho’s Roma kept it tight on Thursday night in Slavko Vincic (Slovenia) holding on to their one goal advantage in the first leg in Rome by forcing Bayer Leverkusen to a barren draw at home.

Roma progressed into the Europa League final with a superb defensive plan depicting Mourinho’s side as he usually set up his team not to concede goals and that played out well at the Slavko Vincic in Slovenia.

The Roman side has now reached back-to-back European finals under coach Jose Mourinho following last season’s Europa Conference League title.

Roma will play Europa League super team Sevilla in the final on May 31, in Budapest.

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.

Leverkusen dominated possession in the first leg at Stadio Olimpico but they struggled to create clear chances, registering just one shot on target, as Roma put in a well organised defensive shift.

Read also: Man City beat Real Madrid 4-0 at Etihad, through to UCL final

Academy graduate Edoardo Bove scored the only goal of the game in Rome as the hosts packed a threat on the counter.

It is all to play for when the two clubs meet again on Thursday, as they seek a spot in the final at Budapest’s Puskas Arena at the end of the month.

Since winning the first European meeting between the two sides in October 2004, Bayer Leverkusen are now winless in four matches against Roma (D2 L2).

Bayer Leverkusen has only progressed from one of their 11 two-legged ties in major European competitions after losing the first leg. While Roma have advanced from 23 of their last 25 two-legged ties in major European competitions when winning the first leg.

The Giallarossi have kept five clean sheets in the Europa League this season, including earning a shutout in the reverse fixture.

In other fixtures across Europe Sevilla and Juventus play out another 1-1 draw as Sevilla fail to use their home advantage for a 2-2 aggregate to push the match into extra-time. However, Erik Lamela’s 95th goal assisted by Bryan Gil sent Sevilla into the final against the Old Lady progressing 3-2 on aggregate.

Similarly, Basel and Fiorentina match ended 2-1 in favour of Fiorentina; however both teams play out a 3-3 draw on aggregate, as the match went into extra-time.

However, West Ham went through to the Europa Conference League final with a late Pablo Fornals goal scored in the 94th minute to progress 1-3 on aggregate against AZ Alkmaar after beating them 2-1 in the first leg at the London Stadium.