Three takeaways from AS Roma 2-1 Lecce: Zero to hero for Lukaku, Falcone impresses again

It looked to be another extremely disappointing evening for AS Roma as they stumbled towards a defeat against Lecce, but two very late goals from Azmoun and Lukaku rescued the points at the Stadio Olimpico.

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It was far from a textbook victory for AS Roma against Lecce on Serie A Matchday 11. The Stadio Olimpico was left rocking given how the hosts ended the game to win 2-1 with plenty of drama in stoppage time.

Roma could’ve taken the lead early on in the game after being awarded a penalty. However, Romelu Lukaku couldn’t convert the spot-kick, much to the despair of the Olimpico. 

After that point, the game was a stalemate. Neither side looked like scoring until Pontus Almqvist finished well to give the visitors the lead with less than 20 minutes to play. It looked as though the game wouldn’t see any further goals, at least until the 90th minute. 

Roma levelled in the second minute of additional time through Sardar Azmoun. In the fifth minute of added time, cometh the man, cometh the moment. A great ball from Paulo Dybala fell to the feet of Romelu Lukaku, who dispatched a lovely curling effort past the flailing Wladimiro Falcone

Lecce will struggle to keep Falcone beyond this season

At the height of Lecce’s great start to the season, reports emerged that European clubs were already circling the Salentini for their key players. One of those listed, Pontus Almqvist, was on the scoresheet on Sunday evening. However, it was Wladimiro Falcone who would have taken the headlines had Roma not gone on to win. 

The elephant in the room is the goals conceded, which he was not at fault for. Roma‘s quick double came through two high-quality goals, and the visitors could not ride their luck any further on their goalkeeper, who had been magnificent until then. 

The Giallorossi, who reportedly led the line of clubs interested in Falcone, got a great chance to look at how good the Italian shot-stopper could be. With a clear need to upgrade the ageing Rui Patricio, there is a chance that they may now go all out for Falcone after such a performance. 

AS Roma have got to be better, for longer

AS Roma’s Paulo Dybala after a goal. [@OfficialASRoma]

For the majority of the game, Roma were uninspiring and looked a million miles away from a side that is aiming to finish in the Champions League spots at the end of the season. 

It’s not the first time that this has happened. Roma have been flat on several occasions this season, and had this game been played at the Stadio Via del Mare, they likely wouldn’t have earned a result. 

With that being said, the power of the Olimpico showed in full force. In the dying embers of the game, the Giallorossi found a new gear within themselves – as a result of the stadium’s outpour of emotion for a show of something. 

Two goals in five minutes is an incredible feat, but in a game where the Lupi were expected to, and should’ve dominated, improvements have to be made if they are to end the season where they want to be. 

Romelu Lukaku – From zero to hero

AS Roma players celebrate. [@ASRomaEN]

Before facing Falcone from 12 yards, the Belgian boasted an 89% conversion rate from the spot – scoring 35 of his 41 penalties. 

Following the saved penalty, the striker struggled to get a foothold in the game. In the first half, he was quiet and looked a distance away from the striker he has shown himself to be this season. 

However, in the second half, he grew into the game. It wasn’t massive, but an improvement was clear. This is a trait that Jose Mourinho needs in his side – players who can adapt themselves during the game are so valuable, and it proved through Lukaku

The 30-year-old’s late winner put the cherry on the cake, and it showed his expertise and value to the Lupi. A beautifully curled effort past Falcone, putting a dagger in the hearts of Lecce, much to the delight of an already bouncing Olimpico. 

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