In the final seconds of the thrilling game, star coach José Mourinho also gave the cheerleader. "An epic comeback", wrote the "Gazzetta dello Sport" after AS Roma's 4-1 win over Feyenoord Rotterdam. "Rome come back and beat Feyenoord in extra time," said La Stampa.
The Italians lost the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals 0-1 in Rotterdam. At home in the second leg, shortly before the end of regular time, they were already on the verge of being eliminated with a score of 1-1.
In the 89th minute, however, Argentinian Paulo Dybala made it 2-1. In extra time, Stephan El Shaarawy (101st) and Luca Pellegrini (108th) made it into the semi-finals. Bayer Leverkusen is waiting there.
"Keep up the good work, magical Roma"
"We all want to win. Mourinho told us that this would be the game," Dybala said. "Extra time was ours." The South American wrote a little later on Twitter: "Keep it up, magical Roma." The live ticker of the Europa League even gave the game the title "incredible drama".
After a good half hour things got so busy that Mourinho's assistant coach got a red card. Salvatore Foti had previously physically attacked a Feyenoord player in the neck. Shortly before the end of extra time, visiting professional Santiago Gimenenz was sent off.
Around the Olympic Stadium, the police wanted to prevent fan riots before and after the game with a large contingent. 1,500 officials had been assigned to intensify checks at train stations, airports and motorway access roads, among other things. Guest fans had been banned from entering the stadium by the Ministry of the Interior.
Ticket sales for the home game against Leverkusen on May 11th started on Thursday evening, as Roma announced on their website. The second leg in Leverkusen is on May 18th.