Roma 1-0 Leicester City (2-1 agg): Mourinho's men into Europa Conference League final

By Sports Desk May 05, 2022 379

Roma booked their place in the first Europa Conference League final as they beat Leicester City 1-0 in a hard-fought semi-final second leg.

Tammy Abraham's 11th-minute header proved the difference between the sides, who had drawn 1-1 in their first meeting in England last week.

Thursday's result secured Roma their first European final appearance since the 1990-91 UEFA Cup, and ensured Brendan Rodgers' men failed to reach their maiden showpiece fixture in continental competition.

Jose Mourinho's side will take on Feyenoord for the trophy in Tirana, Albania on May 25.

The Foxes made a bright start and saw a credible penalty claim waved away after Chris Smalling appeared to grapple with Wesley Fofana in the box.

But the tide soon turned in Roma's favour, allowing Lorenzo Pellegrini to test Kasper Schmeichel with a low curler from a free-kick on the edge of the box.

The Italian's delivery was key to the hosts taking the lead, Abraham powerfully heading home a delicious outswinger of a corner.

However, a Pellegrini shot that called Schmeichel into action in the immediate aftermath served as a prompt for Leicester to start asking questions of their own. 

Unfortunately for the visitors, they struggled to turn long spells of possession into real chances, ensuring the score remained at 1-0 at the break.

Rodgers consequently moved to mix things up at half-time, Daniel Amartey and Kelechi Iheanacho replacing Harvey Barnes and Ademola Lookman as part of a switch to a 3-5-2 formation.

And, while that change enhanced Leicester's domination of the ball, much like in the first half, turning that into opportunities proved problematic.

In fact, their first shot on target did not come until the 79th minute, a weak James Maddison effort failing to truly test Rui Patricio.

And so the Foxes could have few complaints when the full-time whistle confirmed the end of a memorable European journey.

What does it mean?

Mourinho now has the chance to win his first trophy since the 2017 Europa League while ending Roma's 14-year wait for silverware up against Feyenoord in the final.

As for Leicester, they have little more to aim for than a top-half Premier League finish across the remainder of this season.

Pellegrini drags Roma through

One goal may have done the job for Roma, but that was not for a want of trying from the impressive Pellegrini.

As well as teeing up Abraham's winner, the midfielder created four chances while posting a passing accuracy of 83 per cent.

Isolated Vardy tells a tale

Dominant in possession for so much of the game in the Italian capital, it was a lack of cutting edge that let Leicester down in the end.

That is perhaps best evidenced by the fact that Jamie Vardy managed just 21 touches across the 90 minutes, and a paltry xG of 0.05.

What's next?

Leicester return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host struggling Everton. Roma, meanwhile, travel to face Fiorentina in Serie A next Monday.

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Last modified on Thursday, 05 May 2022 16:36
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