Roma 7-1 Kosice (10-4 Agg): Giallorossi In Europa League Group Stages After Thrashing Dire Slovakians

tottii Roma have booked their place in the Europa League group stage in style following an impressive win over Kosice at the stadio Olimpico.

A quick fire double from Francesco Totti got the Italians on their way. Stefano Guberti made it comfortable as he added a third. Kosice knew they were in trouble and panicked, making it worse in the process. Alessio Cerci was on fire and he burnt Nikola Schreng’s fingers with a powerful strike to leave his mark on the game. Jeremy Menez wanted a piece of the action and he galvanized his side, before Jan Novak pulled one back, and that was just the first half action. The glint in Luciano Spalletti’s eyes was there for all to see. John Arne Riise made it 6-1 before Totti grabbed his hat-trick to complete the rout.

Roma were off to a flier against Kosice. The Slovakian side were a goal down before the crowd at the Olimpico had taken their seats. Totti fired his side ahead after 60 seconds when he finished well from an Alessio Cerci assist.

The captain, who scored a double in the first leg last week, emulated his performance in Slovakia by grabbing his second minutes later. ‘Er Pupone’ stamped his hallmark on the game when he headed home as the away side capitulated. Kosice, who were struggling from the outset, were found wanting on a night they hoped would be easy following the Giallorossi’s less than convincing performance last week. How wrong the players would be.

Stefano Guberti rubbed salt into the wounds as he trebled his side’s lead. Schreng knew he was in for a hard night, and it soon became further evident. Roma’s dominance on the game made it look like target practice to the unaware fan. Guberti’s shot from distance beat Schreng with relative ease as the goalkeeper made a horrible mistake.

With the result safe enough and their passage into the group stage guaranteed, it was no surprise that everyone wanted to get on the score sheet. Cerci, who was in form and played with panache, grabbed the fourth. Jeremy Menez saw the midfielder’s run and fed him the assist he called for. Cerci pulled the trigger and the ball rifled itself into the net as the Giallorossi sped further out of sight.

The Olimpico crowd could barely blink as another goal lit up the  growing scoreboard. The voice blurring out of the stadium speakers had barely finished announcing Cerci’s goal as Menez grabbed his. With a party score line, Totti brought out all the tricks. His show piece back heel encouraged Menez to strike, and Kosice were further behind.

It was just too easy for the Italian side. Their passing and movement was effortless and free flowing. Chances were being created with style and finesse. Totti should have had his hat-trick when he lobbed Schreng. The Giallorossi captain could be forgiven for trying, but failing to score as his effort went over.

Kosice did pull one back seven minutes before half time. Their best player on the night Jan Novak reminded Roma of his prowess. The forward skipped into the box and drilled home, beating Artur at his near post.

Roma players were unfazed though. Their minds already on the game against Juventus this weekend. Totti’s hat-trick was there for the taking.  A left foot effort rippled the net, but just when the captain thought he was taking the match ball home with him, he was flagged for offside.

Spalletti had demanded for extravagance prior to the game and he got it. The excessive score line threatened to get further out of hand. Menez should have grabbed his second when he was fed through by Totti, but the hitman failed to navigate his way around Schreng as the ‘keeper scrambled the danger.

The Giallorossi continued to roll forward with imaginative ideas, but the formal duties of putting the ball into the net failed to paint another glorious picture. Roma were hungry, not satisfied from their heavy lead, they continued to eat away at Kosice.

Mirko Vucinic, who came off the bench to mark his return from injury, should have made it 6-1. The Montenegrin failing to beat Schreng from close range as the pressure gauge moved back into Kosice’s half.

It was easy for the home side as the away team continued to toil. The Slovakian side had their noses to the grindstone, but it was the Italians who generated further misery upon their opponents. John Arne Riise added a sixth after being fed by Guberti. The Norwegian delighting the crowd with a trademark finish.

Roma’s enthusiasm showed no signs of being curbed as they continued to press their opponents. Totti ensured he would be taking the match ball with him as he scored his hat-trick. It was always coming as he volleyed in from Guberti’s assist.

Kosice’s coach Kozak ordered for some house-keeping, but it was a little late for that. The mess had already been made earlier during the game.


~ by footballdirecta on August 28, 2009.

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