Roma edges Leverkusen with Bove’s goal to earn slim advantage

Europa League

At the Stadio Olimpico, Bove scored the game’s lone goal in the 63rd minute to give Jose Mourinho‘s team a slim advantage going into next week’s second leg in Germany. After won the Europa Conference League the previous season, the victory provides Mourinho the opportunity to advance to his second European final in as many years as the coach of Roma.

Roma Vs Bayer Leverkusen
Europa League Semi Final

Roma won despite having a number of players who were injured or only just able to participate. Star players Paulo Dybala and Georginio Wijnaldum only entered the game in the final 15 minutes to assist a worn-out, primarily backup lineup. Each team had one solid opportunity in a tedious first half that lacked many goalmouth incidents.

First, after exchanging passes with Adam Hlozek on the edge of the penalty box, Florian Wirtz missed a really good chance in the seventh minute. However, twelve minutes later, Lukas Hradecky expertly saved Roger Ibanez’s header from a Lorenzo Pellegrini free-kick, leaving Roma perplexed as to how they had not scored.

And Tammy Abraham missed a rebound attempt to score, leaving the home crowd in disbelief at the striker’s latest error. Between then and the time Roma seized the lead shortly after the hour mark, not much happened, with young talent Bove sparking an uproar in the fans that had previously seemed nearly unthinkable.

The goal was the result of a move that Bove initiated by sprinting forward and feeding Abraham, whose turn and shot caused the ball to fall to the teenage midfielder, who smashed in the opening goal. Roma then retreated back into their defensive position in the belief that they could repel Leverkusen.

With three minutes left, Ibanez and goalkeeper Rui Patricio collided while attempting to clear Wirtz’s cross, giving them a major scare. Jeremie Frimpong received the ball, but the Dutch forward was only able to shoot at Bryan Cristante.

As spectators pleaded with referee Michael Oliver to blow his whistle, a cascade of whistles poured from the stands. Both teams were still in the running to meet either Sevilla or Juventus in the Budapest final after the Englishman complied.

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