The Biancocelesti completed their domination over Rabotnici with a 3-1 victory (9-1 in aggregate), while the Giallorossi only managed to pick a 1-1 draw against Slovan Bratislava (1-2 in aggregate) resulting in the former to smoothly cruising into the next round while the latter crashed out in the competition’s early phase.
Impressive Lazio Keeps On Flying
Playing away to Rabotnicki, Lazio didn’t really have any problem whatsoever as the 6-0 win in the first leg simply made the second match nothing more than a formality for Edy Reja’s side, who rested some of his key players for this game. Veteran striker, Tomasso Rocchi, becomes the key player in the second leg against Rabotnicki as he scored two of the Biancocelesti’s three goals, with Brazilian star, Hernanes, adding the other goal.
This success pretty much showed Lazio’s potential strength this season as they looked ready to continue last season fine performances in Serie A, especially with the arrival of several important players that simply improve the team’s quality. Purchasing the likes of Senad Lulic, Loik Cana, Djibril Cisse, Federico Marchetti. Miroslav Klose and others, definitely added new dimension that the Biancocelesti were lacking last season as they looked to be a strong contender for at least getting a Champions League spot this season.
Disappointing Roma Enraged Fans
Meanwhile, in the other part of Rome, the Giallorossi fans were left with heavy disappointment as crashing out this early from Europa League doesn’t seem to be something the Romanisti had in mind especially with the new management’s promises. Needing a 2-0 victory to overturn their1-0 defeat in the first leg, Luis Enrique’s team actually encouraged their fans as Simone Perotta opened the score in the first period, making the agregrate 1-1 and simply increasing the confidence of the capital squad players on the pitch.
However, combination of poor finishing and tired legs in the later part of the second period, simply finished off Roma’s participation in Europa after Slovan Bratislava grabbed an important equalizing goal from Stepanovsky in the final 10 minutes of the match. The fans’ disappointment pretty much turned into anger when Slovan scored their goal as previously, Romanisti were already questioning Enrique’s decision in replacing their captain, Francesco Totti, with young striker Stefano Okaka, despite Totti was actually playing really well on that game.
Although, the absence of several important players could be made as the reason for Roma’s defeat, still they should have defeated their opponents, who were not actually a better team than the Giallorossi. The huge trust in young players that Enrique have are currently being questioned as playing too many inexperienced players doesn’t seem like a wise move in an important game such as the second leg. However, what’s done is done now for Roma and at least now Enrique can focus on building a side competitive enough to compete in Serie A and Copa Italy.
Rabotnicki v Lazio 1-3
Goals: Lazarevski 39 (Rabot); Rocchi 23, 76 (Lazio), Hernanes 73 (Lazio)
Rabotnicki: Dimitrievski (Siskovski 89); Todorovski, Kumbev, Bogdanovic, Lazarevski; Muarem (Nastevski 60), Micevski, Vujcic, Petkovski; Manevski (Trajkovski 63), Velkoski
Lazio: Bizzarri; Scaloni, Diakite, Dias (Biava 36), Zauri; Lulic, Matuzalem, Cana, Mauri (Hernanes 57); Rocchi, Kozak (Ledesma 70)
As Roma v Slovan Bratislava
Goals: Perrota 11 (Roma); Stepanovski (Slovan)
Roma: Stekelenburg; Cicinho (Rosi 7), Cassetti, Burdisso, José Angel; Viviani, Perrotta, Simplicio; Bojan, Totti (Okaka 74), Caprari (Verre 69)
Slovan Bratislava: Putnocky; Cikos, Dobrotka, Had, Pauschek; Bagayoko, Zofcak (Dosoudil 92), Grendel (Stepanovsky 66), Guede; Kladrubsky, Sebo (Lacny 88)
photo credit: prettyfriendship