Lukaku finds the goal again: Roma 1-1 at Feyenoord


By John

The first act of yet another match between Roma and Feyenoord ends 1-1 in Rotterdam, in the Europa League play-offs and awaiting the return to the Olimpico Daniele De Rossi, in his first international as Giallorossi coach, can smile. For the goal found by Lukaku and for the confirmation of progress in the game. Perhaps also thinking about the comparison with the ghost of Mourinho, who appeared again today (“the dismissal from Roma is what hurt me the most”) in the days when Europe was recalling his successes. A year ago, at Feyenoord, Roma lost 1-0, but to say they did better than their predecessor we have to wait for the return leg. We won’t need a comeback like in the last Europa League, but certainly a Roma that doesn’t allow mistakes as in the case of the Dutch advantage tonight.

Dragged by a Paredes never seen at this level in Roma, Lukaku who returned to scoring and a Spinazzola who seems to be finding himself (his cross for the 1-1 goal was splendid), Roma conceded little or nothing to Feyenoord and he returns from De Kuip with a draw, 1-1 in fact, which he will try to capitalize on in a week’s time at the Olimpico. It’s a result that gives confidence, but it will be best not to underestimate the Dutch team in the return who, their manager Arne Slot hopes, could have recovered the starters who were absent today due to injury (Bijlow, Geertruda, Trauner and Timber) and have his bomber Gimenez, used here for only half an hour (he still had problems with his calf), in better shape. However, the Mexican became dangerous in the only ball he had available, which was rejected with his body by Svilar. Roma, compared to their last performance, last Saturday against Inter, seemed to be improving in physical condition and this also bodes well. Maybe it will be difficult to reach the final in Dublin, as José Mourinho thought he would do, but in the meantime, hoping for a place in the top “eight or sixteen” as Daniele De Rossi said is certainly not utopian.

In the bedlam of De Kuip with more than 50,000 wild Dutch fans (Roma’s supporters were banned from this trip) and who before the start of the match displayed a banner welcoming the guests in the stands quoting “Gladiator”, with the phrase pronounced by Russell Crowe in the role of Maximus Decimus Meridius: “At my signal unleash hell”, Roma he always showed mastery of the game. In fact, it maintained a slight supremacy in ball possession (51% at the end) and almost never suffered the supremacy of its opponents, except in the final, when Feyenoord tried to push in search of the winning goal and at that point, to contain , De Rossi sent Celik onto the pitch first and then the injured Cristante in place of the booked Bove (who will miss the return match as he was booked for a booking). Roma complain about the crossbar hit by Paredes and the distraction of Llorente who, in injury time in the first half, on Hartman’s cross from the left in the center of the area was lost to Paixao who, with his header, did not forgive and beat Svilar.

A blow that could have done a lot of damage, but in the second half Roma held their own, putting their coach’s words into practice. «Strong teams play their game everywhere», said De Rossi and they seemed like prophetic words, not surprisingly also repeated after the match. Meanwhile, Lukaku found his way back to the net, winning the duel with Hancko and, following Spinazzola’s cross, touching the ball with his shoulder just enough to beat Wellenreuther. The Roma fans can only hope that it is a good omen for the return.