Football UECL

Jose Mourinho’s Roma advance to the final

Leicester City missed out on a place in the Europa Conference League final after losing 1-0 at Roma.




— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) May 5, 2022

Tammy Abraham’s powerful header for the home side was the difference as Leicester struggled to make an impact at the Stadio Olimpico.

The England striker’s goal was enough to prevent the Foxes from reaching a first European final after the first leg finished 1-1 at the King Power Stadium.

It will be the Italian side’s first European final since 1991, where they will face Feyenoord, who drew 0-0 with Marseille for a 3-2 aggregate win.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers said after Sunday’s Premier League 3-1 defeat to Tottenham that his side needed to work on their defending of corners – so the last thing he would want to see his side do was concede four of them in the opening 10 minutes.

One of those corners gave Abraham an opportunity to leap higher than anyone else and put a bullet header past Kasper Schmeichel from a sublime Lorenzo Pellegrini delivery, whose set-pieces were a threat throughout.

🏆 The first-ever #UECLfinal is set!

Roma 🆚 Feyenoord #UECL

— UEFA Europa Conference League (@europacnfleague) May 5, 2022

Leicester were passive in the first half and did not manage a shot on target as Jamie Vardy looked isolated up front, with Rodgers seeing fit to introduce a strike partner, Kelechi Iheanacho, at half-time.

The Foxes looked brighter in the second period but still failed to create any clear-cut opportunities as Roma were happy to run down the clock.

🤯 How we all feel right now! 💪

— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 5, 2022

The only shots of note came towards the final moments of the game as the Leicester players became desperate, shooting from all distances and angles.

James Maddison’s weak effort from 20 yards out was straight at Rui Patricio, and Iheanacho’s attempt from distance was also picked up with ease by the Portuguese goalkeeper.

🐺 Final feelings 🤗#UECL

— UEFA Europa Conference League (@europacnfleague) May 5, 2022

Roma boss Jose Mourinho will now aim to put a fifth European title to his name when his side comes up against Dutch side Feyenoord, who beat Marseille 3-2 over two legs in their semi-final, in the final on 25 May in Albania.

Despite Rodgers’ admission that he did not know what the Europa Conference League was earlier in the season, Leicester’s run in the competition has provided a welcome distraction in an otherwise underwhelming season, where they sit 11th in the Premier League and are without a win in their last four games.


— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) May 5, 2022

“Of course when you lose the second leg of a semi-final it’s disappointing. In the first half it wasn’t aggressive enough,” Rodgers said.

“The players kept going until the very end but we couldn’t find that big chance. There wasn’t many in the game for both teams.”

But as their chance of reaching a first European final is over, and the likelihood of securing any form of European football next season seems slim, this campaign feels a far cry from last season when they won the FA Cup and finished fifth in the league.

José Mourinho was in tears after leading Roma to the Europa Conference League final.

This man is a genius.

I came to know about him through Sporstar during the Barca days of O Fenomeno and since then his rise to the top has been inspiring.

— Faisal Caesar (@faisalyorker1) May 6, 2022

“It’s been a great journey for us in Europe in the last couple of years. We have a lot of young players that are finding their way and this was a great experience for them. That will provide motivation for the next season,” said Rodgers.

“We just missed out so we’re disappointed but we need to finish the season strongly now and look to progress in the summer for next season.”

Roma would have been happy to come away from Leicester with the scores level and the second leg was a better tactical showing from Mourinho against his former coaching protege Rodgers.

He was never shy to punch above his weight and guess what, those punches were heavy.

Mourinho has been changing the fortune of teams which were lost in translation for more than two and a half decades.

It was time for Roma to experience the Mourinho magic.

— Faisal Caesar (@faisalyorker1) May 6, 2022

Mourinho is now the first manager to reach the final of a major European competition with four different clubs.

Leicester’s next three league games come against the Premier League’s bottom three in Everton, Watford, and Norwich so Rodgers will hope his side can salvage a bright finish from a flat season.

Courtesy: BBC