EL: Roma comfortable win at Cluj

Roma had a comfortable 2-0 victory away to CFR Cluj with Jordan Veretout creating one and scoring another, qualifying for the Europa League knockouts.

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The Giallorossi missed numerous players, above all in defence, including Chris Smalling, Federico Fazio, Roger Ibanez, Gianluca Mancini and Marash Kumbulla, so Leonardo Spinazzola improvised in the back three. Cluj had problems too, missing the likes of Vinicius, Cestor, Deac, Youssef and Hoban.

Gabriel Debeljuh failed to make the most of a free header, turning wide from the Camora cross when forgotten by the Roma defence.

Borja Mayoral sprung the offside trap on a smart Amadou Diawara through ball, but narrowed the angle too much and his powerful shot was beaten away at the near post.

Jordan Veretout came on at half-time and immediately made the difference, as his long free kick surprised everyone to go past a sea of players and slot into the far bottom corner. It was meant to be a cross, and got the final touch off Debeljuh.

Borja Mayoral thought he’d made it 2-0 on the hour mark when meeting the Gonzalo Villar cross, but forced a sensational save from point-blank range.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan came off the bench and immediately pounced on a poor back-pass only to go down in a collision with Balgradean. Veretout converted the somewhat soft penalty to double Roma’s lead.

Youth team player Tommaso Milanese came off the bench and straight away sent Bruno Peres clear on goal with a wonderful slide-rule pass, but the Brazilian ballooned horribly over the bar.

Cluj 0-2 Roma

Debeljuh og 49 (R), Veretout pen 67 (R)

Cluj: Balgradean; Susic, Manea, Burca, Camora; Itu (Chipciu 51), Djokovic; Rondon, Paun (Carnat 70), Pereira; Debeljuh (Vojtus 70)

Roma: Pau Lopez; Spinazzola (Mkhitaryan 64), Cristante, Juan Jesus; Peres, Diawara (Milanese 76), Villar, Calafiori; Perez (Tripi 84), Pellegrini (Veretout 46); Borja Mayoral (Dzeko 64)

Ref: Lechner (AUT)


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