If Roma's first two Europa League matches are any indication, Paulo Fonseca plans on treating the group stage like the first few weeks of kindergarten: just put the kids outside, toss them a ball and let them have at it; let them burn off some energy first and worry about the teaching later. By starting his B-Team against CSKA Sofia, Fonseca followed the precedent he set against Young Boys last week—only this time, there was no second half bailout and no plastic grass to blame.
With Borja Mayoral, Carles Pérez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan lacking in chemistry, Roma's attack was about as stagnant as football can get, which was only exacerbated by Sofia's low-block defense.
However, unlike last week's fixture against Young Boys, the second half inclusion of Edin Dzeko and Pedro wasn't enough to rescue the Giallorossi, who had no choice but to fling desperate shot after desperate shot at the Sofia goal from 18 yards out and beyond. And when they did muster a clear-cut chance, they missed it—badly; see Dzeko's whiffed attempt at a Pedro low cross late in the match.
It was a frustrating evening in many respects, but with four points from their first two group stage matches, Roma remain in good shape, level with Cluj on points but trailing in goal differential.
So, just in case you missed it and are feeling particularly masochistic today, check out the highlights: