Goddess in the Olympus of the Europa League, 3-0 against Marseille to fly to the final in Dublin. Rome's heart is not enough, Leverkusen passes


By John

Lookman counter-steers into the corner to pave the way for Atalanta's appointment with history, Ruggeri scores the 2-0 under the crossbar at the start of the second half and Marseille, never really in the game despite Ndiaye's colossal opportunity to equalize shortly after the break, conceded the host club their first final in a UEFA competition.

A semi-final second leg literally dominated after the 1-1 draw at the Velodrome and closed at the end by Touré's long breakaway for the 3-0, the icing on a sumptuous cake. The home effort found its way already after six minutes, when Gigot, returning from disqualification like Hien on the Bergamo front, had to counteract Koopmeiners' run towards the goal supported by Scamacca's midfield: the ball ended up with De Ketelaere, who slipped past left cannot frame the mirror. From the prolonged dribbling of Atalanta's brand, just before the quarter of an hour, the Veretout-Aubameyang and Clauss-Ndiaye pairs try to come out, but the axis between players recovering the ball and strikers ends up prey respectively to Hien and the high aim of the second guest tip. A little later De Ketelaere makes Scamacca run towards the small area, whose diagonal from the right is too wide; Zappacosta's third chance towards the twentieth, focusing on Lookman's support from the left for a slow low shot.

There is no match, or almost no match. The new acceleration produced Scamacca's cross from the outside and Lopez's save on De Ketelaere's subsequent header in the 25th minute, dangers caused by Koopmeiuners, blocked by the defense and then batsman to return from the flag. Two minutes from the longed-for advantage, dictated from afar by De Ketelaere for the Nigerian's race towards glory with a deviation from Gigot, the timid Marseille attempt, again from distance, with Kondogbia. The former Roma goalkeeper avoids capitulation in the face of the total suffering of Gasset's eleven. In the 34th minute, coming out on Lookman, who loses his balance, and then closes the post to Koopmeiners on Scamacca's discharge from the back. Two minutes later, closing his legs in front of De Ketelaere, unmarked by the Roman center forward but on his weak foot, his right. Gasperini returns to the locker room with the regret of the viewfinder being foggy in the final half of Scamacca himself, who finds himself wonderfully in the trident, and Zappacosta, who is served long by Ederson, kicks into the outside of the net. The second half begins with the 1-1 wasted by Ndiaye, who kicks the lob suggested by Harit's throw to the side, with Djimsiti and Musso out of action, and continues with the second goal by Ruggeri, a Bergamo native from Zogno, Valle Brembana, who grew up in Zingonia , a right-footed shot from the area following an exchange with the player who had broken the score. Miranchuk, Scalvini and Pasalic get up from the bench to give Scamacca a rest, Ederson with De Roon's rise in defense and De Ketelaere in view of the championship match with Roma which could be worth the last place for the Champions League alone. Touré for Lookman and Hateboer for Zappacosta follow after half an hour, a turnover in progress as successful as the race plan. Ten minutes from the ninetieth minute, Koopmeiners sees the blow that would have made it 3-0 blocked with his fist; two minutes and Musso makes the first save on Veretout's free kick to go over the barrier, a comfortable catch. On the Malian's trio, run from midfield from the left and a wide open shot into the opposite corner, the party can explode, from the stadium to the city center

ATALANTA (3-4-3): Musso 6; Djimsiti 7, Hien 7, De Roon 6.5; Zappacosta 6.5 (32'st Hateboer 6), Ederson 6.5 (11'st Scalvini 6.5), Koopmeiners 7, Ruggeri 7; De Ketelaere 7.5 (16'st Pasalic 6), Scamacca 6.5 (11'st Miranchuk 6), Lookman 7.5 (32'st Touré 6). On the bench: Carnesecchi, Rossi, Bakker, Adopo, Bonfanti, Palestra, Comi. Coach: Gasperini 7

OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE (3-5-2): Pau Lopez 6; Mbemba 5 (14'st Ounahi 6), Gigot 5.5, Balerdi 5; Clauss 5 (27'st Henrique 6), Kondogbia 5.5, Veretout 5, Harit 5 (39'st Correa sv), Merlin 5 (27'st Moumbagna 6); Ndiaye 6 (14'st Sarr 5.5), Aubameyang 5. On the bench: Ngapandouetnbu, Blanco, Meite, Soglo, Lafont, Daou, Murillo. Coach: Gasset 5 REFEREE: Gil Manzano (Esp) 6.5 GOALS: 30'pt Lookman, 7'st Ruggeri, 49'st Touré NOTES: pitch in good condition. Spectators: 14,994. Booked: Ederson, De Roon. Corners: 3-0. Recovery: 0'pt, 4'st

Roma tries with heart and pride, overturning the double disadvantage suffered in the first leg by Leverkusen, but at the end unfortunately bowed to the Germans' comeback who flew to the Europa League final. At the BayArena it ended 2-2 with Paredes' brace from a penalty, but Mancini's incredible own goal and Stanisic's goal in full injury time decided the match. So bitter in the mouth for De Rossi's men for a feat only half completed, while Xabi Alonso's team also continues the great streak of useful results in a row and in the final, on May 22nd in Dublin, they will face Atalanta. The Giallorossi's start is characterized by personality, and in the 4th minute they create the first potential opportunity: Pellegrini throws for Lukaku, the Belgian's chest control is too long and Kovar is good at saving on the way out. Shortly after the quarter of an hour it was the Roma captain who had the ball of the possible advantage on his head, but his shot was too weak and central after a cross from the right.

From here on it is almost a monologue from the Germans, more reactive and enterprising on all balls and close to scoring in several situations: in the 29th minute the most sensational with the post hit by Palacios and the rebound which hits Svilar's back ( own goal at risk), then it was the visiting goalkeeper who saved at least three times on Frimpong, Adli and Hlozek. Leverkusen seems to be in total control, but in the 41st minute the episode arrives that largely puts Roma back in the running: Tah noticeably holds Azmoun on a left-footed cross, the referee sees everything, whistles the penalty and warns the defender. Paredes shoots centrally from the spot and scores the 1-0 for the club. In the second half the great balance continues: Adli shoots from the edge and puts it just wide, on the other side El Shaarawy tries to find the response from Kovar, then in the 59th minute the protagonist is again Svilar who saves practically one-on-one with Hofmann. In the 64th minute the second great episode of the match arrives in favor of Roma, with the Giallorossi claiming another penalty following a corner: the referee lets it go, but called back by the VAR, punishes a handball by Hlozek. From 11 meters it's Paredes' turn again, who this time chooses a corner and wrong-foots the goalkeeper to make it 2-0. The score between the first leg and the second leg returns to complete parity, but in the 82nd minute Bayer finds the incredible qualifying goal with a sensational own goal by Mancini, who sees a cross hit by him from a corner after an empty exit by Svilar. In the final the Giallorossi tried desperately with the last of their energy left, however, their heart wasn't enough for De Rossi's men who also conceded the 2-2 goal with injury time almost over

Bayer Leverkusen (4-2-3-1): Kovar, Frimpong (45' st 2 Stanisic), Tapsoda, Tah, Hincapié, Xhaka, Palacios, Adli, Hofmann (36' st 10 Wirtz), Grimaldo (45' st Kossonou ), Hlozek (29' st Schick) (1 Hradecky, 36 Lomb, 8 Andric, 9 Borja Iglesias, 13 Arhur, 19 Tella, 22 Boniface, 32 Puerta). Coach: Xabi Alonso.

Roma (4-3-3): Svilar. Mancini, Ndicka, Spinazzola (21' pt Zalewski), Angelino (36' st Smalling), Cristante, Paredes, El Shaarawy, Pellegrini (36' st Abraham); Azmoun (27' st Bove), Lukaku (1 Rui Patricio, 2 Karsdorp, 14 Llorente, 19 Celik, 20 Renato Sanches, 21 Dybala, 22 Aouar, 35 Baldanzi). All.: De Rossi.
Referee: Makkelie (Netherlands).

Goals: in the 42nd minute Paredes (penalty); in st 21' Paredes
(penalty), 38 Mancini (own goal), 52' Stanisic.
Corners: 8 to 4 for Bayer.
Recovery time: 4' and 7'.

Booked: Mancini, Tapsoba and Wirtz for improper behaviour, Tah, Paredes, Pellegrini and Zalewski for foul play