Roma embarrassed by Bodø in 6-1 Conference League thrashing

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While it seems like we’ve talked a lot about team rotation during our coverage of the Europa Conference League, there’s a good reason: no one was quite sure how the biggest clubs would approach this new tournament. The natural assumption was that the most renowned clubs in the last UEFA international club tournament, clubs like Roma and Spurs, would treat this third-tier competition like a Petri dish for team rotation and compositional experimentation.

However, for the most part, Jose Mourinho has offered a mixed line-up to provide some rest for his regulars while ensuring Roma dominate their Group C opponents. But not today. Today, with a trip to the Arctic Circle on file and Napoli waiting in the wings on Sunday, The Special One dug deep into their bench, handing rare starts to the likes of Gonzalo Villar, Bryan Reynolds and Ebrima Darboe, between others.

And that pick would come back to haunt Roma sooner than any of us could have imagined. Just three minutes into the game, midfielder Patrick Berg played a perfect through ball into the box – a ball that could easily have produced a simple touch goal – but Rui Patricio had a beat, calmly recovering the ball before Bodø could do so. inflict no damage.

Despite Patricio’s sweep at the back, it was a signal of intention from Bodø: they were coming for Roma. The Giallorossi responded in a similar fashion, pulling off a lightning-fast break down the right flank through Bryan Reynolds, but the young Texan’s last ball, although well placed, was wasted as Bodø’s defense crumbled around the 18-yard penalty area, stifling the opportunity. before it really takes root.

After the initial setup period, Bodó drew first blood with a beautifully orchestrated streak at the edge of the box.

Erik Botheim: 8th minute (Bodø/Glimt 1, Roma 0)

Unfortunately, there really wasn’t a secret recipe for achieving this goal. Despite Roma’s defense swarming around the left edge of the box, Bodø’s quick and precise passing and movement opened up enough space for Botheim to follow up his pass with a quick diagonal run into the box. Rui Patricio could have done a little better with the final product, but with at least three free runners in the box, he really had no choice but to guess when/where the kick was going to be placed. But it was just a brilliant streak here from Bodø, who did well to not only surprise Roma but also draw several defenders out of position with the initial ball and keep them out of control with several attackers in running to Patricio.

Considering how quickly this game went, you could almost forgive Roma’s momentary lack of concentration, but the game continued to play into Bodø’s hands as the first half progressed. With Roma struggling to find their footing on the artificial surface, the Giallorossi struggled to mount a consistent attack down either flank as final ball after final ball was wasted on the surface plastic, exceeding its targets.

Meanwhile, Bodø continued to find a surprising amount of space in the final third and continued to shower Patricio with shots, including a quick flurry of chances around the 15 minute mark. While Patricio managed to thwart those attempts, he was not so lucky in the 20th minute.

Patrick Berg: 20th minute (Bodø/Glimt 2, Roma 0)

No, it wasn’t the same sadistically rehearsed clip. Working a series of quick back and forths, Bodø again kept the Roma defense at six and seven, but this time, instead of a swarm of yellow shirts bombarding Patricio in the box, Patrick Berg fired from the edge of the area, beating Patricio. up and left to double Bodø’s lead.

Shock does not begin to describe emotions at this point. Seeing Bodø score an early goal was not the end of the world, but the confidence with which they played for the first 20 minutes seemed to take Roma by surprise. Bodø didn’t just hang on and fight their way to a goalless draw at home, instead he snatched the initiative from Roma upfront and rarely relented as they went on. as the first half wore on, attacking in waves down both flanks while doing well to guard Roma. curled up at the other end.

But sooner or later, Roma’s depth had to find a breakthrough.

Carles Pérez: 28th minute (Bodø/Glimt 2, Roma 1)

Photo by Fabio Rossi/AS Roma via Getty Images

Roma might have been trailing 2-0 at this stage, but what a way to score the first colt of the game. The forgotten Amadou Diawara reminded us all of perhaps his greatest attribute: the long overtaking. Diawara served that ball on a plate from midfield, finding Pérez in stride in midfield, leaving the Spaniard with little more to do than take a throw-in, and just a small left kick , Pérez pulled Roma back in the game. And even better, his goal seemed to lift Roma’s spirits, fueling the Giallorossi’s best streak of the match, where Mourinho’s men showed more energy and determination than at any other point in the game.

While Roma certainly looked the part in the final moments of half-time, with Stephan El Shaarawy scoring almost straight from a corner then, moments later, finding Borja Mayoral in the box, the Giallorossi were unable to finding an equalizer in the first half and came inches short of a 3-1 drop just before the half-time stroke when Amahl Pellegrino’s free header went over the crossbar.

Despite the surprising half-time score, Roma did just enough in the final 10 minutes to give hope of a second-half comeback, but would Bodø comply?

Second part

No. No, they wouldn’t. In fact, Bodø got that elusive third goal. And one Fourth. And one fifth. And yes, even one sixth– the most scored against a side managed by José Mourinho – embarrassing Roma in an overwhelming display of attacking football.

But it didn’t start like that. With a one-goal deficit to clear and his side ending the first half on a relatively high note, Mourinho gave it his all on the hour mark, bringing on Bryan Cristante, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eldor Shomurodov, Tammy Abraham and Lorenzo Pellegrini at the 60th. minute.

Although Mourinho went full throttle with attacking changes, using his five substitutions per hour, Roma were unable to breach Bodø’s line of defense. And the dim hope Roma had of catching and overtaking Bodø in the second half was completely dashed by the hosts, who overwhelmed Roma in almost every facet of this game.

Erik Botheim: 53rd minute (Bodø 3, Roma 1)

Botheim’s name ended up on the scorer sheet here, but the real credit goes to Alfons Sampsted, who did an incredibly good job of separating two Roma defenders while keeping the ball in bounds and then managed to outplay Diawara on the baseline before finding Botheim in the box for the tap-in.

While that goal was the proverbial nail in the coffin of that game, Bodø weren’t done by a long shot.

Ola Solbakken: 71st minute (Bodø 4, Roma 1)

Marash Kumbulla will take the lion’s share of the responsibility for that goal, and he certainly couldn’t match Solbakken’s pace down the right flank, but just look at the space Bodø has left throughout this streak. . Early on, deep into their defensive third, Bodø met little resistance from Roma and had ample time and space to set up Solbakken’s goal, with Morten Agnes Konradsen slotting in a through ball. just past Kumbulla to find Solbakken bursting on the right. flank.

At this point in the match, the CBS production team decided not to beat a dead horse, thus sparing us all the heartache of watching replays of Bodø’s fifth and sixth goals, including the final bit of Botheim’s hat-trick. , so we’ll follow suit and spare you any further trauma.

Final Thoughts

Considering the hangover from the controversial loss to Juventus last weekend, the long trip to Norway, the freezing weather and Roma’s impending game against Napoli on Sunday, you might almost forgive Roma for conceding one or even two early goals against Bodø. But what was most impressive from their perspective, and disturbing from ours, was how completely dominant Bodø was that night.

With 53% possession and twice as many attempts on goal, including nine attempts on target, it was no accident for Bodø, they were better in every way imaginable; more organized in defense and faster and much more effective in attack. It was simply a complete stripping of José Mourinho and AS Roma.

With the defeat, Roma now sit second in Group C, one point behind Bodø. The group stage winners go straight to the round of 16 while the runners-up must face one of the Europa League’s third-place clubs, so Mourinho will likely have extra incentive to play his regulars when those clubs meet on 4 November, and maybe in subsequent matches against Zorya and CSKA Sofia.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. Will Roma forget this game and focus all their energy on Napoli this weekend, or will this disaster haunt them in the Derby del Sole?

Following

Roma host Napoli in a top-flight clash on Sunday.


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