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Friday April 16 2021
Roma ready for Manchester United

The English giants will provide a tough test in the Europa League semifinals, but Owen Diana argues La Lupa have the tools to hurt their illustrious foe after two impressive displays against Ajax.

Gdansk is calling for the Giallorossi. The capital club are on the doorstep of a first European Final since 1991 after overcoming Ajax, but they must first defeat a familiar foe. Manchester United favourites what promises to be a gripping tie, but La Lupa cannot be discounted.

The Eternal City slickers have already dumped the reigning Ukrainian and Dutch champions out of this competition. Their triumph over the latter was a particularly poignant demonstration of the belief that is coursing through a closely-knit changing room. Roma responded to adversity on multiple occasions over the 180 minutes against Erik Ten Hag’s men, with Pau López’s penalty save in Amsterdam and Edin Dzeko’s equalizer at the Stadio Olimpico the standout moments.

That perseverance will be crucial against the Red Devils, who are sure to give the Giallorossi their stiffest test yet. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have gone from strength since the start of February, with an FA Cup elimination at the hands of Leicester City the only blot on an otherwise spotless copybook.

The likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford are widely recognized as world-class talents, but despite that excess of quality, some weaknesses can be exploited. The right side of the Red Devils’ rearguard is the principal problem area, with Victor Lindelof a liability at centre-back.

Roma are likely to target the shaky Swede at every opportunity, and the return of Leonardo Spinazzola is a massive boost to the successful execution of that strategy. The Italy international is a constant threat going forward, and he has developed a telepathic understanding with ex-United man Henrikh Mkhitaryan since the Armenian arrived in 2019.

Those two are a terror on the flank, but they are not the only attackers that United should be concerned about. Dzeko has dominated the Red Devils down the years, with seven goals and two assists in nine matches.

The big Bosnian is in fine form after his crucial contributions over both legs of the quarterfinal. It appears that his row with Fonseca has been at least temporarily forgotten. They will almost surely part ways this summer, but both must be applauded for putting their differences aside for the greater good.

That mending of the fences could yet be the catalyst for the first trophy in 13 years. Roma’s struggles for silverware have earned them a reputation as a star-crossed side, but they have gone some way to reversing that narrative in recent weeks. Regardless of the result against the Englishmen, La Lupa can look back with pride on their brave battles in this Europa League.

@Forkicksblog

Have your say...
@The Anonymous One
I love it, cool nick! (So, an Inter fan! ;))

Congratulations, now people can properly track you, remember one tiny comment you'll post in the future (that they find offensive) & then resent/ hate you for the rest of your life! HAHAHA
(Hmm, maybe being anonymous isn't such a bad thing..?)

PS: Jez does have a "J" in it... LOL
on the 22nd April, 2021 at 12:43am
@ROMANtic
My words clearly showed I am not a Roma fan. But for you and others who may wonder which Anonymous writer I am I will now go by the name of 'The Anonymous one'. Just in case you were to mix up my very very blunt posts.
@Jez
What does your name make you? A milanista? Interista?
on the 21st April, 2021 at 6:59pm
@Jez
1. "ROMANtic" clearly tells you I support Roma, I'm romantic --cheer for smaller/ weaker teams & have values of heart & justice. + I love antics. :)
You can also remember/ track my nick &, after a while, get to know my "identity".

2. It's hard to reply to "anonymous" when there are 2 or even 5 posting under a single blog, let alone track their identities!

3. I scolded guys who use well-known nicks here... but post some things anonymously, usually when "stabbing others in the back". ;)
on the 20th April, 2021 at 3:25am
I hope to be proved wrong but I think Roma will lose home and away they simply lack real quality which is made worse with injuries.

As for those complaining about someone writing anonymously it's the same as someone coming on here and naming themselves after a beer! What diffrence does it make? I don't care if someone chooses not to give a name, if they talk sense or talk rubbish they are entitled to an opinion. ROMAntic? Coppainfaccia71? Are these 'names' really an identity?
on the 19th April, 2021 at 9:29pm
Still, people forget how GOOD Ajax is. Albeit lucky, Roma achieved a remarkable result!
I firmly believe Ajax would knock every Italian team out. (Well, except Atalanta --It would be 50-50 with these two.)

PS: Someone asked why Mancini cried after the Ajax game:
1. He's a proud ITALIAN & sees achieving semis as a victory for his country?
2. He regrets not being able to play in iconic Old Trafford (due to unjust yellow he received that day)?
3. He heard about the shambolic corrupt Super League??
on the 18th April, 2021 at 11:59pm
Like anony, I believe it will end badly for Roma:

1. United is second in EPL, has SUPERSTARS with better mentality.
2. They have found memories of playing Roma + no pressure to win EL.
3. They are shockingly favoured by refs in EL (Expect a penalty for them).
4. Their players (Cavani, Rashford, de Gea, etc...) have returned, while Roma lost players due to injuries/ bans.
5. Roma adopted horrible tactics of defending/ countering! How they survived Bologna & both Ajax games I still can't phantom!
on the 18th April, 2021 at 11:57pm
Bless you, TorreDG. I believe this anonymous person is someone who writes here under a familiar nick, but doesn't want to be blacklisted for his belief...

My God, the things I have written & still signed under!
...The incredible stuff CoppaInffacia71 says & still doesn't hide his identity!!! (That's the only thing I respect about you, Coppa.)

I just don't see why people are affraid to speak up. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE LIKED BY EVERYONE & the worst that can happen is someone will change your mind!
on the 18th April, 2021 at 11:53pm
I wish I could be optimistic but anytime I hear Man United v Roma, I think 7-1. Pretty hard to be optimistic though. For one, I can't remember the last time a Serie A club knocked out a PL team in Euro competition. Doesn't help that a large chunk of Roma's team is made up of PL rejects all on the wrong side of 30. This includes two United rejects in Smalling and Mkhitaryan. Would be great to see an Italian team in a final for a 2nd year running but not getting my hopes up. United are favourites.
on the 18th April, 2021 at 3:08pm
Often many FI readers blog as "Anonymous",a reader and writer that lacks identity and seeks to remain in a nebulous haze where criticism doesn't stick to a real personality or tag name. As such the quote below seems to be applicable:

"Anonymity is an abused privilege, abused most by people who mistake vitriol for wisdom and cynicism for wit.'

No perhaps Roma won't win the EL but have given fans of Serie A, Italy & Rome something to be proud of and cheer for. Bless them and I wish them Luck!
on the 18th April, 2021 at 1:50pm
Romanista
Sorry. You're right. Lets pretend Serie A is in great form and all the Italian teams are still in and a Serie A team is garenteed to win champions league and the Europa league. Is that better? We'll all do what you do and pretend that Serie A clubs are brilliant.
on the 17th April, 2021 at 4:50pm
I sincerely hope Roma can go all the way. Best of luck!
on the 17th April, 2021 at 12:12pm
It would be so sweet for Roma to do it. Those of us who can remember the 90s when we had a team in the CL or UEFA cup finals every year have not had much to rejoice since, save some bitter final defeats at the hands of lucky Spanish opposition. A Roma win in the final against Villarreal would be special. For one an Italian team wins a trophy, we'd have beaten good opposition on the way, and defeated the Spanish at last. Too much to hope for? Well, we wouldn't be Italian otherwise!
on the 17th April, 2021 at 10:07am
Odd calling Lindelof a liability. He isn't great, but neither is Maguire or Wan Bissaka

And if Lindelof is poor, then so are most of the Roma centre-backs, Mancini (missing 1st leg) excluded

MU are favs, but like all epl sides, tend to be over-hyped beyond belief

If Roma aren't scared, go at them, and don't make those silly mistakes "playing out" (or not, as it happens) from the back, then they have a good chance

Milan were better than MU with their reserves out, so there's hope for Roma
on the 17th April, 2021 at 9:53am
I still cannot understand why the politicians in Rome didn't allow Roma to build a new 52.000 seater stadium. That way they would be able to compete financially with the bigger clubs. I hope they change their minds.
on the 17th April, 2021 at 8:26am
I remember Roma were like 3rd or 4th but no one took them seriously as they were expected to fall. Now they are the last club in EL and still not taken seriously. They need to make a statement and beat the overrated Man U and win the competition. But the issue for them is always the same selling their best players for other top team. You do that long enough then no one will take you seriously.
on the 17th April, 2021 at 7:19am
Roma never fail to disappointed, so I'm hoping for another 7-1 where players will be begging the opposition to stop attacking...
on the 17th April, 2021 at 6:04am
@Anonymous - which team you support? Oh wait, it's irrelevant, whatever that team is, they are not in the European competition.

If you don't want to support Serie A club in the European competition, why the hell you are on the football Italia website???
on the 17th April, 2021 at 5:53am
another embarrassment? facing this kind of Man utd?
LOL heell no...
on the 17th April, 2021 at 3:39am
They’ll fail like all other useless Italian teams ...... forza Roma
on the 17th April, 2021 at 12:59am
This will be another Serie A embarrassment.
on the 16th April, 2021 at 9:12pm
Well, they weren't supposed to knock out Shakthar, neither Ajax, so for the third time we're the underdogs. Roma have played with a lot of maturity in Europa unlike in the league when they've folded facing the bigger teams. We'll see. I didn't believe they'd get past Ajax, so who knows at this point. The belief might be stepping in
on the 16th April, 2021 at 5:56pm
Hope they do it. They can do it. Italian football really needs it. Juve, Inter and Napoli have been embarrassing in Euro Competitions. This might also help push Roma's stadium.
on the 16th April, 2021 at 5:52pm

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