Roma positively surprised in their last European match on the road to Amsterdam, as they managed to be victorious over Ajax with a 1:2 result, in a very interesting and dynamic clash.
They were visibly pushed back during the first part and went on a break with a 1:0 deficit. Things could get much worse for the visitors from Italy, as the hosts missed a penalty in the 53rd, but with a great game in transition, Roma successfully managed to turn the result in their favor with goals over Pellegrini in the 57th and Ibanez in the 87th minute and punished the home side for their lack of sharpness at the finishing.
The Italians will miss suspended defensive midfielder Peres (24/1), plus injured central-back Kumbulla (16/1). Doubtful for the moment are central defender Smalling (14/0) and full-back Spinazzola (26/2).
Ajax had a good chance to enter this second leg with a much better result, but instead, they complicated things as much as possible, suffering a defeat last time out at home against Roma with a 1:2 result.
As mentioned, they opened the match in a more aggressive manner, and deservedly took the lead first in the 39th over Klaassen. A perfect opportunity for a 2:0 was missed in the 53rd when Tadic was inaccurate from the penalty, and as it usually goes, a punishment arrived only four minutes later.
The hosts were putting quite a pressure during the whole second part, and honestly deserved to score at least once, but in the end, it was the Romans who managed to add one more setting up a very difficult task in front of Ajax for the upcoming match in Italy.
Goalkeeper Onana (20/0) is suspended. Injured are right-back Mazraoui (15/0), central-back Blind (23/1) and goalkeeper Stekelnburg (6/0). Striker Haller (13/8) isn’t registered for this phase.
Goals all over again
Ajax was their own biggest opponent in the first leg and I expect them to have learned some lessons back then. Even if not, they do need to risk and they do have great offensive potential, while the Romans do look unreliable at the back. Even Ajax getting back into life here wouldn’t surprise me much, therefore I’ll be sticking with goals this time.