Roma advance in Europa League despite losing to Villarreal
Roma progressed to the next round of the Europa League despite falling to a 1-0 home defeat to Villarreal, as they won 4-1 on aggregate.
Roma XI: Alisson; Vermaelen; Jesus; Manolas; Paredes; De Rossi; Rui; Peres; Totti; Perotti; El Shaarawy.
Villarreal XI: Fernández; Bonera; Alvaro; Angel; Rukavina; Bruno; Rodri; Cheryshev; Soriano; Borre; Soldado.
Although the outcome seemed to be a foregone conclusion thanks to Roma’s 4-0 drubbing at the El Madrigal, Villarreal came out all guns blazing to try to do the unthinkable and overcome the deficit.
Early in the game, Santos Borré, on loan from Atlético Madrid, scored after Thomas Vermaelen’s poor clearance fell to the Colombian whose powerful near post finish was too good for Alisson to deal with.
Club icon Francesco Totti received a rare start, and almost repaid his manager’s faith with a goal towards the end of the first half, however, his shot went just wide.
As the game went on, Villarreal’s hopes of progressing started to gradually fade and it showed as they started to lose belief in themselves.
Although Borré had a few sights of goal, so did his counterpart Perotti, however, neither could find the second goal.
Late in the game, substitute Antonio Rudiger was sent off as he received a second yellow for an off the ball incident in which he put his hands on Alvaro’s neck and face and pushed him to the ground, which will mean that he will miss Roma’s next game in the competition.
Egypt’s Mohamed Salah watched the game for the bench as AS Roma manager Luciano Spalletti decided to rest him.
In spite of losing on the day, Roma will play in the round of 16 where they could meet the likes of Manchester United, Lyon or Olympiacos.
The draw for the next round will be held on Feb. 24.
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