Thursday, February 17, 2011

Delicious Shakhtar Blast Past Roma

Shakhtar Donetsk's Douglas Costa celebrates his goalIn the build up to AS Roma's Champions League home tie against Shakhtar Donetsk, all the attention was focussed on a Shakhtar team which hadn't played a competitive fixture since December. The Ukranians appeared ripe for a beating, and what chance would they stand against 11, wily, Romans?

As it happened, Roma started the better team, taking the lead through Mancunian born Simone Perrota's deflected header. Unfortunately for the Italians, it was a lead which lasted all of 67 seconds as Jadson's deflected effort from the edge of the box gave Shakhtar Donetsk a precious away goal. With Douglas Costa running Claudio Ranieri's defense ragged, and Luiz Adriano causing all kinds of problems inside the penalty area, it seemed only a matter of time before Brazil's Ukrainian colony struck what would surely be a knock punch.

After a brilliant counterattack, Shakhtar struck with Douglas Costa, performing like the player that Sir Alex Ferguson admired so much during his time at Gremio, scoring Shakhtar's second away goal. Upon receiving the ball on the left wing Costa cut inside before rifling a curling, left footed shot into the top corner of Doni's net. Still reeling from Costa's effort, Roma were caught out again before half time when Riise's slip presented Douglas Costa with an opportunity to square for Adriano, who slid the ball into the net via a slight deflection off the Roma goalkeeper.

Though Jermey Menez pulled a goal back for the Giallorossi in the second half, one struggles to see a Roma side, devoid of any confidence, scoring twice in Ukraine. As the final whistle blew, Roma were greeted with whistles by their vociferous home following, and a banner was unfurled, questioning whether the current crop of  Roma players' were fit to where the shirt.

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