Roma 1-0 Leicester: Key Talking Points As Jose Mourinho’s Men Book Their Europa Conference League Fi
Knowing that they were just 90 minutes away from booking their spot in a first European final, Leicester eventually fell to a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat away at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday night.
Watching former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham bag the crucial second-leg winner after just 11 minutes, Roma and Head Coach Jose Mourinho have the chance to write their own piece of European history later in the month.
With Dutch outfit Feyenoord claiming a nervy 3-2 aggregate victory against Marseille, the Giallorossi will be smelling a real chance to lift the inaugural Europa Conference League title out in Tirana on May 25th.
Only piling more pressure onto Brendan Rodgers’ shoulders, we have taken a look at the main talking points as Leicester saw their European adventure come to an end on foreign soil.
Roma can smell their first European crown
While Roma might have struggled with their consistency since bringing Mourinho back to Italy last summer, the former Manchester United boss saw his side put in a trademark ‘Special One’ performance on Thursday night.
Managing to leave the King Power with a 1-1 draw in their first-leg meeting last week, the Italian giants have been tipped by many as a standout pick to finally lift a piece of European silverware this year.
Bouncing back from their infamous 6-1 drumming at the hands of Norweigan outfit Bodø/Glimt back in October, the Giallorossi will now be desperate to find some stability over the coming weeks.
Heading into Thursday’s must-win meeting at the Stadio Olimpico in the midst of a four-match winless run across all formats, May’s Conference League in Albania will be the first time that Roma have appeared in a European final since 1991.
Remarkably losing all four of their European final appearances during their iconic past, Mourinho himself also has the chance to make some more personal history later in the month.
If the 59-year-old can guide his side past Dutch side Feyenoord, who beat Marseille 3-2 over two legs in their semi-final, that will be the fifth European title that Mourinho has claimed.
Leicester’s sluggish display underlines an underwhelming campaign
Putting in a flat display last weekend and failing to pick up any momentum as they were hit with a 3-1 defeat away at Tottenham, Leicester would have known that they faced a tough task on Thursday night.
Failing to record a single shot on target throughout the first-half, the Foxes’ display at the Stadio Olimpico here almost underlines what has been an underwhelming campaign at the
King Power this season.
Despite their European adventure handing them a much-welcomed distraction from their domestic struggles, Rodgers’ men face what could be a real overhaul this summer.
While the one-time Liverpool boss might have guided Leicester to their first FA Cup title last season, Thursday’s guests find themselves sat in the bottom-half of the Premier League table.
Potentially facing their worst top-flight finish since 2015, even the returning Jamie Vardy failed to offer any kind of boost after making just his third start since opening 2022.
Not asking any real questions of former Wolves keeper Rui Patricio as they failed to book their first ever appearance in a European final, the Foxes have now failed to win any of their last six matchups across all competitions.
Abraham shows Chelsea what they’re missing
Making the decision to leave Chelsea last summer after watching Romelu Lukaku arrive at Stamford Bridge for a club-record fee, some across Europe were surprised to see Tammy Abraham arrive at the Stadio Olimpico.
However, following the likes of fellow English stars Jadon Sancho and Fikayo Tomori and deciding to move abroad, there is no doubt that the 24-year-old has only continued to shine under Mourinho.
Taking Serie A by storm this season and gaining a string of plaudits from across Italy, Abraham has also cemented his spot as a regular fixture in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Powering home a bullet header following Lorenzo Pellegrini’s wonderful delivery after just 11 minutes, the one-time Bristol City loanee has really cemented his place as a fan favorite with Roma fans.
Sending the Stadio Olimpico crowd into overdrive as he eventually punched the Giallorossi’s Conference League final ticket, Abraham’s strike here means that he has now racked up nine strikes in this season’s tournament.
Breaking a host of personal records and already linked with a potential big-money Premier League return this summer, it is hard to see how the 24-year-old does not get a call-up to Southgate’s World Cup squad later in the year.
Roma: Patricio, Mancini, Smalling, Silva, Karsdorp, Oliveira, Cristante, Zalewski, Pellegrini, Zaniolo
Subs: Vina, Veretout, Shomurodov
Leicester: Schmeichel, Pereira, Fofana, Evans, Justin, Dewsbury-Hall, Tielemans, Maddison, Lookman, Vardy, Barnes
Subs: Amartey, Perez, Castagne, Iheanacho
Goals: Abraham 11′
Yellow Cards: Roma: Mancini, Karsdorp – Leicester: Fofana, Maddison
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Srdjan Jovanovic
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