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Roma hold Ajax to advance to Europa League semi-finals against Man Utd

Unai Emery is on course to claim his fourth Europa League crown as a coach after his Villarreal team made short work of Dinamo Zagreb.

Edin Dzeko celebrates his goal.
Edin Dzeko celebrates his goal.
Image: Fabrizio Corradetti

ROMA’S EDIN DZEKO scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Ajax on the night to advance to the Europa League semi-finals 3-2 on aggregate in Rome tonight.

The last Italian team left in European competition held off the Dutch to set up a final-four clash with Manchester United who beat Granada.

Roma had won the first leg 2-1 in Amsterdam, but the Dutch dominated early in the Stadio Olimpico taking the lead after the break with a Brian Brobbey goal.

Dzeko tapped in with 18 minutes to go as the hosts held on to reach the final four of a European competition for the second time in four seasons after the Champions League in 2018.

Roma’s hopes of reaching the Champions League next season could depend on their success in the Europa League as they sit seventh in Serie A.

Jordan Veretout had an early chance to put the hosts ahead but his effort was ruled offside after eight minutes.

Roma goalkeeper Pau Lopez’s clumsy pass almost handed Ajax their first goal before Amadou Diawara blocked a Dusan Tadic effort.

Ajax lost defender Sean Klaiber to a muscular injury after 22 minutes with Perr Schuurs coming on in his place.

But Ajax controlled possession in the first half without being able to break through against a solid Roma defence and Lopez.

The breakthrough came four minutes after the break when Schuurs sent the ball over the top for second-half substitute Brobbey who beat the out-rushing Lopez.

italy-soccer-europa-league Ajax's Brian Brobbey celebrates his goal. Source: Alessandra Tarantino

It was 19-year-old’s third goal in the competition since the Dutch side joined the competition in the knockout stage.

The Roma keeper denied Brobbey a second ten minutes later before Tadic sent in the rebound which was ruled out after a VAR review for a foul on Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the build-up.

Roma were on the scoreboard after 72 minutes with Bosnian Dzeko tapping in off a Riccardo Calafiori cross to beat Maarten Stekelenburg.

Four-time European champions Ajax were unable to snatch another goal which would have pushed the game into extra-time.

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esp-villarreal-cf-dinamo-zagreb-europa-champions-league-quarters-final-second-leg Villarreal's Gerard Moreno celebrates. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Unai Emery is on course to claim his fourth Europa League crown as a coach after his Villarreal team made short work of Dinamo Zagreb in a 2-1 win to qualify 3-1 on aggregate.

Paco Alacer opened the scoring nine minutes before the break when he finished off a superb team move and Gerard Moreno continued a career-best season shortly afterwards, firing home his sixth goal in the competition after Dominik Livakovic’s save.

Mislav Orsic salvaged some pride for Dinamo with 16 minutes left, but it was too little too late to save the Croatian champions’ European campaign.

© – AFP, 2021


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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