In life, three years could flash by in the blink of an eye. In the big picture, it really is not a long time. Just think about how quickly your four high school or college years may have flown by. But, in football, it’s an eternity.
Flashback three seasons to 2017-18 and Roma looked a lot different—from the top levels all the way to the playing field. Jim Pallotta was still firmly entranced as the owner. There was excitement for the new sporting director, Monchi, and optimism for the promising young manager, Eusebio Di Francesco. Meanwhile, on the pitch, captain Daniele De Rossi led a Roma roster brimming with top-class veterans and some promising talents.
The Giallorossi were coming off a club record-breaking season the year prior; only losing out on the Scudetto to a near unbeatable Juventus. And after winning a group of death, the Giallorossi were looking good heading into the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
Of course, in the two months or so that separated the end of the group stage and the round of 16, some of Roma’s usual winter issues again reared their ugly heads. But, all in all, things were good for Roma.
And just three years ago, when Roma lined up for the first leg of the round of 16 encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk, there was another promising young manager down the touchline from EDF, a relatively unknown Portuguese manager named Paulo Fonseca.
Now as Roma prepares to host Shakhtar, this time in a Europa League round of 16 tie, Fonseca is Roma’s manager and EDF is unemployed for the third time in three seasons. How quickly things can change.
With Shakhtar looming on the horizon, we present to you the second episode of our retrospective miniseries on the 2017/18 Champions League. In this episode, we look back on all the key moments from Roma's narrow victory, as well as some key talking points that are relevant even three years later. Plus, we quickly look ahead to this season’s matchup.
So, join us as we embark on a look back at Roma-Shakhtar 17/18 and look ahead to Roma-Shakhtar 20/21.
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