Late collapse dents AS Roma’s confidence ahead of Europa League final

AS Roma threw away the win at the Stadio Artemio Franchi as their preparations for the Europa League final were scuppered by Fiorentina.

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AS Roma collapsed late on to fall to defeat in their last Serie A match before the Europa League final, as Fiorentina snatched a 2-1 win at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Saturday, with attention now turned to Wednesday’s final.

After lifting the inaugural Europa Conference League last season, Roma are aiming to secure continental trophies in successive seasons when they face Sevilla for the Europa League title.

The Lupi have been targeting a return to the Champions League and have viewed winning the Europa League as their best chance, with coach Jose Mourinho‘s team selection proof if it was needed that Serie A have become an afterthought in the capital.

Roma changes pay off

With a season plagued by injury problems, Mourinho was reluctant to risk too many of his stars and so youngsters Mile Svilar, Filippo Missori, and Benjamin Tahirovic all started, whilst Lorenzo Pellegrini, Gianluca Mancini, Roger Ibanez, and Tammy Abraham were amongst the key players rested.

The changes did not appear to hamper the Lupi though, with the in-form Stephan El Shaarawy netting his third goal in as many games with an early strike. As victory was in touching distance, Luka Jovic tucked a low cross away before Christian Kouame stole the points for the Viola.

Mourinho mixed up his team and brought on likely starters for Wednesday’s final in Budapest in the second half, whilst Chris Smalling added a further 45 minutes as he builds up his match fitness following a recent injury, but the Giallorossi switched off to concede two late goals.

A top four finish in the league looks beyond them, although Roma appear to be hedging their bets on victory over Sevilla, and in Mourinho they have a master of European competition.

AS Roma forward Stephan El Shaarawy scores against Fiorentina (@ASRomaEN)

Fiorentina building up to their own final

Fiorentina, meanwhile, have a European final of their own to concentrate on as they look to follow in Roma‘s footsteps by lifting the Europa Conference League. Their clash against West Ham United comes a week after the Lupi’s game, and so there was less rotation on coach Vincenzo Italiano‘s part.

Having lost the Coppa Italia final to Inter in midweek, the Viola bounced back with their late impact and the victory saw them regain much-needed momentum ahead of their match against the Hammers.

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