AS Roma suffer narrow Women’s Champions League defeat to PSG despite late pressure

AS Roma suffered defeat in Paris as they were beaten by PSG after going two goals down. It is a result that tightens up Women's Champions League Group C.

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AS Roma Women suffered their first defeat of the 2023/24 Women’s Champions League group stage under the Parisian rain as the Italian side were beaten 2-1 by Paris Saint-Germain in Group C.

It was a game that started with Roma enjoying plenty of the ball, but that possession decreased as the first half went on and by half-time, they had conceded from a penalty and had work to do.

Alessandro Spugna‘s side seemed to be sleepwalking as the second half began, quickly conceding a second amid some passive defending. The Giallorosse rallied though and ended the game feeling that they should have grabbed an equaliser.

Little to separate the sides in the first half

AS Roma Women’s Evelyne Viens in action against PSG. [@ASRomaWomen]

Roma impressed in the opening exchanges by having plenty of the ball and working a couple of good openings and limiting PSG to almost nothing in the final third. The confidence was not a surprise given the impressive win against Ajax in the last game.

The first clear chance came to PSG though as Roma got stretched at the back and Lieke Martens had a shot in the box that Camelia Ceasar saved.

That prompted a spell of dominance from the French side and a great cross from 7 was met at the back post by Marie-Antoinette Katoto but Ceasar did well to save her effort from close range.

The game had become very even and neither side was creating much. PSG‘s best route seemed to be Sakina Karchaoui to Tabitha Chawinga but it wasn’t quite clicking for the home side.

On the stroke of half-time, though, PSG got the opening they needed in the form of a penalty. Eseosa Aigbogun totally mistimed a challenge in the box on Katoto and it was always going to be a penalty.

Grace Geyoro stepped up to take the spot kick and made no mistake, stroking it into the bottom left with Ceasar diving in the opposite direction.

AS Roma caught napping but Giacinti offers hope

AS Roma Women’s Valentina Giacinti celebrates. [@ASRomaWomen]

The second half started as the first ended, with a PSG goal. Geyoro burst into the box on the right and played a quick pass across the face of goal which Katoto was able to tap in as she fell to the ground. It was slack defending and Roma were clearly caught napping.

Roma were soon offered a route back into the game when Giacinti appealed for a handball against Clare Hunt. She appealed for four or five seconds before the referee finally awarded the spot-kick. Based on the replays, it may not have even struck her arm at all. Giugliano stepped up but her penalty was saved, which was probably only fair.

It was soon forgotten, though, as Giugliano played a great little pass through for Giacinti who flew into the box and finished expertly past Katarzyna Kiedrzynek. With more than half an hour to play, Roma were back in it.

Roma were applying plenty of pressure to the PSG back line and there was some pretty desperate defending. It was another reminder that Roma do seem to have what it takes to mix it at this level. They were losing but there was every chance of an equaliser. Evelyne Viens, Di Guglielmo and Annamaria Serturini all had good shooting opportunities.

Roma pushed but the opening never came. The 2-1 loss means that Group C looks very tight now. Bayern Munich and Ajax drew 1-1 so the German side are top with five points, Roma sit second with four, Ajax also have four points and PSG are on three.

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