As I’m still deliriously hungover (metaphorically speaking) from my beloved Chicago Cubs finally winning the World Series, and because covering midweek matches is a gigantic pain in the ass, this review will be rather terse, but hey, Roma won, so it’s all good, right?
While Roma’s Europa League life and death wasn’t necessarily on the line tonight in Vienna, a loss would have made advancing a hell of a lot harder for the Giallorossi, which would have been oh so Roma...shooting themselves in the foot in the middle of a competition that no one really cares about, but they didn’t, and you know why...
Edin Mother Flippin’ Dzeko, who bagged two more goals tonight, pushing his all competition total to 12, putting him one goal behind Cologne’s Anthony Modeste European lead. As he’s done many times already this season, Dzeko’s heroics masked a sometimes blundering performance from his teammates.
After Olarenwaju Kayode’s second minute goal, Dzeko wasted little time levelling the match, striking back a mere two minutes later.
Edin Dzeko: 4th Minute
While this wasn’t exactly a cracker, it stemmed from a fantastic bit of tandem movement between Dzeko and Lovely Leandro Paredes, the latter of whom set the ball up on a platter for the Bosnian Batistuta to slot home.
Although it wasn’t exactly how they drew it up, Dzeko would play a role in Roma’s second goal, forcing the keeper into an awkward save...of sorts.
Daniele De Rossi: 18th Minute
As Dzeko’s header sailed towards the short post, Roma was the beneficiary of a calamitous miscommunication between Wien’s back line, as the keeper moved to his left only to find the ball benignly bouncing off the defenders knees, rebounding past him and right into DDR’s willing arms.
Dzeko would grab the eventual match winner halfway(ish) through the second half, poking one home off an El Shaarawy feed.
Edin Dzeko: 65th Minute
We all know Stephan El Shaarawy for his fleet feet and nose for goal, but what a ball! SES took one touch and played a brilliantly lofted ball towards Dzeko, who burst past two defenders with an incisive and well-timed run. If these two are hitting on all cylinders at the same time, Roma will be very, very dangerous.
Roma would pour some salt on Vienna’s wound late in the second half, once again the beneficiary of a fortuitous bounce.
Radja Nainggolan: 78th Minute
It’s always hard to give proper credit on goals like these, simply because, let’s face it, they’re flukes, but Nainggolan was where he needed to be when he needed to be there, even putting a little bit of a bend on it to ramp the scoreline to 4-1.
The hosts would grab a late meaningless goal to make it 4-2, but thanks to Dzeko’s torrid fall, Roma are now firmly top of the group, three points ahead of Wien with two matches to play, and with Astra Giurgu and Viktoria Plzen behind by four and five points respectively, Roma looks sure to advance barring another Capataline Calamity.
Roma jumps back into the domestic dog pile on Sunday when they host Bologna, while their Europa League sojourn picks back up on November 24th when they welcome Plzen to the capital.