Roma are going through an ordeal in the current Serie A, in which they are 7th, but in Europe they fly and this Thursday they put a foot and a half in the semifinals of the Europa League by beating Ajax 1-2 at the Amsterdam Arena, a harsh punishment for the team of Erik ten Hag, who led the second half and did not deserve the defeat. Pau López had an outstanding performance by stopping a penalty from Dusan Tadic.
Roma, for which this season is turning into a real nightmare in Serie A, started very well at the Johan Cruyff Arena and a shot from Edin Dzeko was the first warning from the ‘giallorossi’. The second, a powerful shot from Bryan Cristante, to which Kjell Scherpen, Ajax’s third goalkeeper, responded with a good save. He was making his debut in European competition. Onana’s suspension and Stekelenburg’s injury made him a starter.
Leonardo Spinazzola’s injury
The injury to Leonardo Spinazzola was a hard blow for Paulo Fonseca, Roma coach, who was being one of the most prominent and who tried to stay on the pitch but finally had to retire at 29 ‘. Riccardo Calafiori relieved him.
As for Ajax, on the way to revalidating the title in the Eredivisie, already in the first half it was clear that most of their danger in attack passed through the boots of Dusan Tadic. But the truth is that the Dutch had problems to overcome the defensive framework of Roma.
And yet, despite the good game of Fonseca’s, it was Ajax that went ahead, in a play born of a mistake by Diawara, which Davy Klaassen took advantage of to combine with Tadic, who returned the ball and the half put the 1-0 on the scoreboard.
Pau López became Roma’s savior by stopping Tadic from a penalty in the 53rd minute. The maximum penalty was committed by Roger Ibáñez on the Serbian winger himself. The success of his goalkeeper propelled Roma and Lorenzo Pellegrini leveled the score in the 57th minute by transforming a free-kick and after the ball slipped from Scherpen’s hands.
Ajax had more the ball in the second half, took the initiative and came much more before the goal of Pau López, but the match had a cruel outcome for Erik ten Hag’s, since Ibáñez put the 1-2 in 87 ‘by achieving a great goal, after controlling the ball with his chest and connecting a great shot. The Amsterdam team was doing better in this section of the match, but Ibáñez made up for his mistake by committing the penalty with his goal and the ‘giallorossi’ put a foot and a half in the semifinals.