Roma 3, Helsinki 0: Europa League match summary

Roma got off to a winless start to the Europa League as Helsinki greeted Helsinki at the Olympic Stadium this evening in a crucial match in the second round. After a slow start to September, including a 4-0 league loss to Udinese and a 2-1 defeat to Ludogorets in their first Europa League game, Jose Mourinho and Roma rebounded with a thrilling Paulo Dybala-inspired 2-1 win over Empoli. on Monday. With the league table organizers being sadistic, the Giallorossi faced three grueling matches in six days, culminating in the weekend’s game against Atalanta in the league.

with a roar Rome, Rome, Rome To fill every last crevice in the cavernous Olimpico stadium and adorned club in its new pink and black kits, the Giallorossi looked poised for quick action for their Finnish opponents. Despite this spirited welcome, Roma took a somewhat measured approach in the opening moments, opting to prick HJK’s defense rather than hitting them with direct kicks in the penalty area. Rome The first attempt, a left-footed attempt by Zaniolo, barely draped a piece of grass, less a problem with Helsinki goalkeeper Conor Hazard, but Mourinho’s men were comfortable in possession and dictating terms to HJK.

To paraphrase Zdenek Zeman’s beliefs about useless possession – if you’re not really achieving anything, where’s the value? Despite seemingly controlling the game, Roma struggled to make a lot of noise in the final third, facing a sea of ​​yellow shirts any time they got close to 20 yards from goal.

Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

However, Roma got a big break in the 15th minute when HJK defender Miro Tinho saved Andrea Belotti 25 yards from goal. What was initially judged to be a straight yellow card became a straight red card when the VAR referee ruled that Tinho denied Belotti a goal. Despite the free kick that followed and was spotted in a beautiful setting for Pellegrini, the Roma captain could not take advantage of the opportunity.

Roma had no excuses with a single advantage and 75 minutes left on the clock. To its credit, HJK was unfazed by the red card, patiently waiting for Roma to run into the corner and blast off the counters whenever they could, almost silencing the crowd in the 26th minute when Arto Hoskonen’s header hit the post.

The Giallorossi gradually moved out of his slumber after half an hour, as Belotti put a stinging effort on goal, but it was saved by Hazard. Gallo Near the last try. Cristianti was looking down Belotti’s road a few minutes later, slashing a ball across the goalpost toward Belotti, only to see Hazard spring into action again, quickly taking the ball out of harm’s way before it reached its intended target.

FBL-EUR-C3-AS Rome-Helsinki

Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images

Belotti would play the role of facilitator after several minutes, letting Zaniolo interfere with him to the right before firing the ball into the No. 22 of Roma. It was a good look, but then again, Hazard was ready, and he used the opportunity without pressing his eye. . Zaniolo was dismissed moments later when Perparim Hetemaj sent a cross from Pellegrini while Zaniolo waited, locked and loaded, right behind him.

With their foot on the proverbial gas, Roma continued to focus their efforts in the center of the HJK defense line, using Belotti as a reference point on the edge of the box, and hitting balls back and forth with Pellegrini, Zaniolo and Matic. It felt like it was only a matter of time before Helsinki’s resolve waned, but Roma were unable to break through before the halftime whistle.

the other half

In a desperate bid to send in Helsinki, Jose Mourinho pulled out the big guns to start the second half, replacing Paulo Dybala and Chris Smalling in place of Matthias Fina and Roger Ibanez, respectively. With this adjustment, Mourinho now has Dybala, Zaniolo, Pellegrini and Belotti at his disposal.

And yes, it worked…

Paulo Dybala: 47th minute (Roma 1, Hybrid 0)

As the third man in a three-hand move with Leonardo Spinazola and Lorenzo Pellegrini, who redirected Spinazzola’s ball to Dybala, La Joya did what he always does: Showing the best left foot in the action, he picked the far corner and put Roma on top after just 70 seconds.

But Rome is not over yet.

Lorenzo Pellegrini: 49th minute (Roma 2, HGC 0)

Roma - Helsinki: Group C - UEFA Europa League

Photo by Luciano Rossi/AS Roma via Getty Images

After shooting the ball on the left flank, Zaniolo immediately turned towards the goal and played a square ball towards Pellegrini, who was doing a similar action parallel to the goal. While the defense did their job, getting a foot out of Zaniolo’s pass, the ball did indeed hit Pellegrini in the chest before gently seeping into the far post, sending Stadio Olimpico in hysterics. It was a strange and somewhat unexpected goal (and Roma seemed surprised and confused about exactly who should celebrate), but it was enough to put this game to bed just four minutes into the second half.

Not content with their two-goal lead, Mourinho’s men continued to look in groups, with Zaniolo, Spinazzola and even Brian Cristante throwing their hats into the ring as the match progressed toward the hour mark. With Dybala pulling his tendons, Zaniolo nearly made it to a third in the 62nd minute after running on Dybala’s through ball, simultaneously pushing his shot away by a few inches.

Roma continued their attack, Hazard hitting wave after wave, with Belotti, Pellegrini and even Nemanja Matic firing into the net. Despite failing to score the third goal, Mourinho took advantage of the two-goal lead to give Madi Camara more lead, replacing new Roma midfielder Brian Cristante.

But this third goal came in the end…

Andrea Belotti: 68th minute (Roma 3, HGC 0)

It wasn’t the most complex goal you’ll ever see, but it was so carefully engineered by Zaniolo and Belotti, the latter patiently waiting to bite the defender on Zaniolo’s move before subtly moving into the goal position. Although the celebration didn’t go viral, Roma fans still got their first pick for the famous Belotti celebration.

With the match over, Mourinho went to the bench again, replacing Pellegrini with Eduardo Buff and Zaniolo for Tammy Abraham in the 69th and 75th minutes, respectively. And while Mourinho’s three other divers each took their turn in Hazard’s excitement, Roma took things easy on HJK, and “stabilised” with a straight three-point win and three points on the Group C table, where he now sits in second place, behind unbeaten Real Betis. .

Final thoughts.

no one. Enjoy this. After a frustrating start to the month, the Roma squad appears to be getting close to what is needed.

next one

Rome hosts second-placed Atalanta on Sunday.


Who was the champion against Helsinki?

  • 17%

    Niccolo Zaniolo

    (41 votes)

  • 2%

    Lorenzo Pellegrini

    (7 votes)

  • 5%

    Andrea Belotti

    (13 votes)

234 votes total

vote now