EL: Roma manita mauls Cluj

Roma steamrollered past CFR Cluj to go clear at the top of their Europa League group with a 5-0 victory, including Borja Mayoral brace.

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The Giallorossi went head-to-head with joint group leaders Cluj, as both were on four points, with Gianluca Mancini suspended, while the Romanians were in turmoil after coach Dan Petrescu threatened to walk away.

It barely took a minute to break the deadlock, as Leonardo Spinazzola’s cross from the left found Henrikh Mkhitaryan for a free header from six yards.

Damjan Dokovic’s daisy-cutter had to be fingertipped round the far post by Pau Lopez, and he also got down to palm away the Mario Rondon angled drive.

However, Cluj clearly had an issue with marking and went 2-0 down when Roger Ibanez was allowed a free header on a corner.

The Giallorossi got the third with a well-worked goal, as Mkhitaryan’s cross to the back post was knocked down by Bruno Peres for Borja Mayoral to turn in from six yards, his first goal in the Roma jersey.

He very nearly got another in the second half, set up on a plate by Bruno Peres, but the tap-in was cleared off the line by Cristian Manea.

There was also a goal-line clearance at the other end, as a corner came to the back post for Rondon’s volley, Pau Lopez got the slightest of touches to slow it down, allowing Marash Kumbulla to clear.

Lorenzo Pellegrini was fortunate not to give away a penalty for a late tackle in the box, but there’s no VAR in the Europa League.

Borja Mayoral completed his brace late on, as the Bruno Peres cross was flicked on by a defender and he was ready to fire in at the far post.

There was also a fifth for Pedro Rodriguez, who ran on to the assist from youngster Milanese to beat the on-rushing goalkeeper from a tight angle.

Roma 5-0 Cluj

Mkhitaryan 2 (R), Ibanez 24 (R), Borja Mayoral 34, 84 (R), Pedro 89 (R)

Roma: Pau Lopez; Fazio, Ibanez (Smalling 61), Kumbulla; Bruno Peres, Veretout (Pedro 46), Cristante (Milanese 74), Spinazzola (Juan Jesus 46); Villar, Mkhitaryan (Pellegrini 46); Borja Mayoral

Cluj: Balgradean; Susic (Lavtovlevici 78), Manea, Ciobotariu, Camora; Hoban; Deac (Pereira 46), Itu (Paun 46), Dokovic; Rondon (Joca 90), Debeljuh (Carnat 67)

Ref: Jug (SVN)


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