Rome, 23 Feb. Paulo Dybala completed this Thursday at Olímpico Roma the return of Olímpico Roma against Salzburg (2-0, 2-1 on aggregate) in the round of 16 of the Europa League football, in a match where the men of Mourinho, led by the ‘Jewel’ and a superb Spinazzola, presented one of his best versions against a rival who had just played in the ‘Champions’.

Mourinho smiled as the referee signaled the end and the ticket to the Europa League Round of 16 was certified, surely thinking of last summer when Juventus let slip a Dybala who to this day and with permission of the coach of Setubalense, is the emperor of this team.

Roma showed up in their private Colosseum packed for the twenty-fourth time in a row, a stadium and supporters ready for the challenge again. And it is that the team led by José Mourinho had to score two goals to reach the knockout stages, precisely the main duty of this team.

The ‘giallorosso’ team did not lack intensity. In fact, he jumped into the over-motivated green, something that intimidated Salzburg but resulted in too many inaccuracies, too many wide crosses looking for Belotti, when the real danger for the Roma team, as usual , always came from Dybala’s feet. .

Two shots against the crossbar in the same room set off alarm bells for the Austrians and laid the groundwork for what was to be the first act: an unmistakable monologue from the ‘Loba’ eclipsed only by a fine chance from Salzburg in boots from a Kjaergaard who failed to finish the loose ball well which ended up in the box.

The locals began to feel superior, to move with more rhythm, to sink their rival and, above all, to find Dybala between the lines. The “Bijou” improved every possession of his team, gave it meaning and began to feel important. The icing on the cake was not long in coming.

And it appeared in a way that the Romanists had long expected. With a flurry from Spinazzola with which he showed that he was once again at the level of this winger who amazed during Euro 2020. The Italian arrived at the bottom line and took a pass behind that Belotti brought in to level the game in the 33rd minute.

Roma burst under the heat of their supporters, felt the blood and did not miss the moment of discomfort of a Salzburg who found themselves overwhelmed, against the ropes. Spinazzola started again on the left wing, easily beating his pair and serving Dybala on a silver platter a ball which the Argentine struck from inside, almost like a pass into the net. He couldn’t miss his rendezvous with goal in a setting like this and he did it in style, with the return goal.

Salzburg tried to react in the second half with tentative approaches, but Roma were a solid block with Smalling, Mancini and Ibáñez at the back, and with Cristante and Matic in midfield.

Dybala completed the comeback, led the way and lit Roma’s way to the knockout stages. The Olympic matched it with the well-deserved ovation. The “Loba” leaned again on its fundamental pillar; and the ‘Jewel’ answered. As always so far this season.

— Data sheet:

2 – Rome: Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Zalewski (Karsdop, d. 81), Cristante, Matic, Spinazzola; Dybala (El Shaarawy, m. 92), Pellegrini (Wijnaldum, m. 81); and Belotti (Abraham, d. 87).

0 – Salzburg: Kohn; Dedic (Van der Brempt, m.75), Sun, Bernardo, Ulmer; Seiwald (Gloukh, m.75), Capaldo (Koita, m.83), Gourna-Douath, Kjaergaard (Sucic, m.46); Okafor and Adam (Sesco, m.75).

Goles: 1-0, m.33: Belotti; 2-0, m.40: Dybala

Referee: S. Vincic (Slovenia). He showed a yellow card to Ibáñez (m.4), Cristante (m.5), Spinazzola (m.54), Zalewski (m.74) from Roma; Already by Salzburg.

Incidents: Match corresponding to the second leg of the round of 16 of the Europa League, played at the Olympic Stadium in Rome.

Thomas Fruits

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