Roma puts it uphill for Real Sociedad

The goals from El Shaarawy, in the first half, and from Kumbulla, at the end, give Mourinho’s men the advantage for the second leg


Real Sociedad fell (2-0) this Thursday at the Stadio Olímpico against AS Roma in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16, in a duel in which the Basques were unable to get anything productive out of the Roman Coliseum, after El Shaarawy’s goal in the first half and Kumbulla’s at the end of the match.

Imanol Alguacil’s pupils are not going through their best moment of the course. After a first half of the season always at very high levels, which allowed them to rise to Champions League positions and advance as top of their Europa League group, the team is immersed in a slump after achieving only one victory in eight games between all competitions.

The ‘txuri-urdin’ team could not swerve and change course, taking advantage of a competition in which their performance has been outstanding, against José Mourinho’s team, who once again made their home a fortress and has eight wins in their last nine home games. The Italian player’s goal on 88′ signed the verdict of the clash when Real had already accepted the defeat by a minimum for the second leg.

Thus, at the Stadio Olímpico, stage fright was not a problem for a Real Sociedad that came out with clear ideas from the start. The personality of David Silva and Mikel Merino in midfield was enough to dominate the game and impose their style in the early stages. However, at the best moment for the San Sebastian team, a counter shot by Paulo Dybala led Tammy Abraham to put a cross at the far post, before which El Shaarawy did not miss.

A hard blow for Imanol Alguacil’s team, who despite the disadvantage did not lose face in the game. Kubo began to appear in attack, giving flight to a Basque team that had his reply shortly after with a shot at the post by the Japanese himself. Although football continued to be a thing of the ‘txuri-urdines’, the Italian team knew how to maintain their income throughout the first half.

After the restart the script remained the same. Real Sociedad tried to take control, but without bothering a Roma that knew how to wait in their own field. Although Diego Rico tried with a shot from distance, it was the newly incorporated Belotti who had the clearest chance so far with a shot that hit the crossbar after touching Remiro.

Oyarzabal’s entry reactivated the offensive aspect of Real, but José Mourinho’s team armed itself in defense to cut off any approach with visiting danger. Mikel Merino had the equalizer almost at the end, but the Navarrese’s lack of success, when he was left alone against the Portuguese goalkeeper, ended up condemning a Basque team that saw Roma see the door again on the next play.

This time it was the Italian footballer Marash Kumbulla who, with a superb shot after a corner kick thrown at the far post, entered alone free of a mark, scoring the second goal for Roma. A bit that complicates the tie for Real, which was not able to close the gap in the last moments before the eagerness of a Roman coliseum that did the rest for their own.


–RESULT: ROMA, 2 – REAL SOCIEDAD, 0. (1-0, at halftime).


ROME: Rui Patricio; El Shaarawy (Spinazzola, min.60), Mancini, Smalling, Llorente (Kumbulla, min.46), Karsdorp; Cristante, Matic, Pellegrini (Wijnaldum, min.60); Dybala (Bove, min.88) and Abraham (Belotti, min.61).

ROYAL SOCIETY: Remiro; Gorosabel (Turrientes, min.84), Le Normand, Zubeldia, Rico; Zubimendi, Merino, Illarra (Brais Méndez, min.75); Kubo (Cho, min.75), Silva (Sola, min.83) and Sorloth (Oyarzabal, min.67).


1 – 0, 13 min., El Shaarawy.

2 – 0, min. 87, Kumbulla.

–REFEREE: Sandro Schärer (SUI). He admonished Illarramendi (min.69), Zubeldia (min.71), Gorosabel (min.80), Zubimendi (min.85) and Oyarzabal (min.94) by Real Sociedad, and Matic (min.94 ) by Roma.

–STADIUM: Olympic Stadium.

By Lay

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