The Italian Press reacts to Roma’s Champions League exit to Liverpool, with the Giallorossi close to another remarkable comeback.
Eusebio Di Francesco’s side needed to win by three goals to have any chance of going through, so a 4-2 win at the Stadio Olimpico wasn’t enough to stop them going out 7-6 on aggregate.
This morning’s Gazzetta dello Sport called it “an elimination of regrets, of what could be and what will not be”.
The newspaper also notes the “resounding” handball by Trent Alexander-Arnold, stating a penalty and red card should have followed “when there would still have been enough oxygen to complete the ascent of Everest”.
Sebastiano Vernazza continues “when Dzeko made it 2-2 on the umpteenth slaughter of the English ‘non-defence’, for a few minutes the illusion of the miracle was there”.
In the end “gigantic oversights” cost the Giallorossi, Gazzetta writes, while calling for VAR “it can’t be that the Champions League, the most important competition on the planet, even more so than the World Cup, can do without VAR. Maybe we’re exaggerating, but with a monitor on the side of the pitch we could be talking about a Roma-Bayern final today.”
The newspaper also accuses Liverpool of playing “vintage football”, stating Real Madrid will face “an English team that abhors possession and plays ‘kick-and-run’, the British kick-and-run of the last century”.
The Corriere della Sera talks of “goals, errors and Giallorossi regrets”.
“Lightning never strikes in the same place twice,” the newspaper’s match report begins.
“Rome come out of this with a very courageous display, inflicting upon Liverpool their first Champions League defeat, but didn’t repeat the miracle of the quarter-finals”.
The Reds advance to the final “on the merit of their play, both in the first and second legs, but also with a big helping hand from the referee Skomina and his assistants”.
While “Roma were not eliminated by the referee” who is also criticised for the late penalty he did award “football loses credibility this way”.
“Four goals are not enough. A performance to remember and a broiling Olimpico are not enough,” writes La Stampa.
“The 18th minute of the second half is the minute of regret for the Olimpico. Alexander-Arnold first makes his mark on Schick by kicking it off the Czech, then blocks a shot from El Shaarawy with his hands from two yards out. It should have been a penalty and a red card for the full-back, but for Skomina it’s just a corner”.
In an opinion piece, Rome-based newspaper Corriere dello Sport describes “a fabulous Olimpico and a nightmare referee”.
Roma played “an almost perfect match, ruined by the referee” the sports paper says, noting what it saw as officiating mistakes in the first leg too.
For La Repubblica “the officiating was at a mediocre level in these semi-finals” and “at the Olimpico Skomina went with the trend, with decisions that were nothing short of penalising for Roma in the key moments of the match”.
“The miracle did not come true, hope did not materialise,” Tuttosport writes. “Roma remain anchored to the magical and crazy night of April 10, the one with Barcelona, but with the pride that belongs only to the heroes for what they showed in the second half”.