Roma lose ahead of semi-final second leg
Roma’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League via Serie A were ended on Sunday, with the Giallorossi falling to a 2-0 defeat at Sampdoria.
Strikes from Adrien Silva and Jakub Jankto secured a deserved victory for Claudio Ranieri’s side, meaning Roma are still seventh in the Italian top flight but cannot now mathematically make up the ground to AC Milan in fourth, with just four games to play.
The capital club currently occupy the league’s UEFA Conference League spot, although Sassuolo are now just two points behind after Roma’s recent indifferent run, which has seen them win just one of their last eight games.
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Coach Paulo Fonseca made seven changes to the side which was beaten 6-2 at Old Trafford in last Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first leg, with four of them enforced.
Goalkeeper Pau Lopez dislocated his shoulder in Manchester, with Daniel Furzato filling in on Sunday, ahead of Antonio Mirante, who played the last hour of the first leg.
Reports from Italy suggest that Lopez will require surgery, meaning Fonseca will once again have to choose between his two back-up stoppers.
Leonardo Spinazzola, Jordan Veretout and Amadou Diawara also had to miss out on the game at the Luigi Ferraris through injury, although centre-back Gianluca Mancini came in and is available for Thursday’s second leg having fulfilled his one-match suspension.
Mancini was responsible for the Giallorossi’s brightest attacking moment when his second-half cross hit Silva’s hand, giving Edin Dzeko the opportunity to halve the deficit from the spot.
The Bosnian’s effort, however, was pushed around the post by Blucerchiati keeper Emil Audero.
“We are going through a really tough spell,” Mancini said after the game.
“We came here after the defeat in Manchester, which really took the wind out of our sails. Tonight, we didn’t bounce back, we deserved to lose.
“We need to apologise to the fans, stay quiet and do everything we can to turn this form around and finish the season as well as possible.
Roma confirmed on Tuesday morning that Fonseca would leave his post at the end of the current campaign.