Roma were eliminated from Europe’s second tier club competition last night when they lost 2-3 to visiting Panathinaikos at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. The Giallarosso were again beaten by a similar margin which effectively knocked them out and handed Panathinaikos a comfortable 6-4 aggregate win.
A goal would have been enough to ensure a safe passage for the Romans and things were looking good for the Giallorosso when Riise gave them the lead in the 11th minute after his side were awarded an indirect free-kick. His goal bound shot however, deflected off defender Stergos Marinos to beat Alexandros Tzorvas.
Roma’s undoing came toward the end of the first half where they conceded 3 goals, 1 as a result of a penalty which Frenchman Cisse converted another from their teenage flanker Ninis, before Cisse sealed the win with his second of the night and Roma’s third. It was game set for Pana as they headed into the break.
Ranieri brought on Julio Baptista but the beast did not make any impact. With 20 minutes left on the clock, Daniele De Rossi added Roma’s second but it was not enough to undo their fate. Roma are now left with only 2 titles which they an possibly win the scudetto and the Italian league cup. Ranieri should take pride in the fact that he has managed to improve Roma’s fortunes this season.
After a terrible start to the season, no one thought that the Giallorosso would break into the top four ( i certainly didn’t) let alone having a go at the scudetto. However, Ranieri has patiently moulded his side to be one of the toughest teams to beat. With skipper Totti featuring regularly, the Roman side have looked every bit impressive so far.
As Roma slumped to defeat, their counterparts Juventus played out a draw with Ajax in Turin. The Bianconeri progress through with a 2-1 aggregate win as they hope to salvage their season with a trophy.
Photo credit: Stefano Principi