From the start, the Slavists made a much better impression than the opponent. But they decided on a well-deserved victory only in the second half, when Václav Jurečka and Lukáš Masopust scored. The Prague team avenged the 0:2 loss from the opening match two weeks ago to the finalist of last year’s Europa League, and thanks to a better score, they reached the top of the table.
“The Romans showed the worst that is in them against Slavia Prague. So the fans can be calm enough because they won’t be able to repeat it in Sunday’s derby (with Lazio) even if they wanted to,” Corriere dello Sport said on its website.
Maurizio Sarri, who leads the rival Lazio, spoke rather contemptuously of Slavia before their match with AS. He described the duel in Prague as a friendly match, against which the coach of the Romans, José Mourinho, strongly objected. “Mourinho was right, not Sarri. The problem was that the AS players, instead of their own, listened to the Lazio coach,” aptly noted the portal La Gazzetta dello Sport.
According to the Italian media, there was a big difference between Thursday’s opponents from the start of the duel. “The Romans were forced to surrender to the dominant Slavia. The first half was already difficult for them, because the home team pressed the saw,” wrote the newspaper Tuttosport in its online edition.
“The Romans fell in Prague and had to postpone the progress celebrations. The Giallorossi didn’t shoot at Slavia’s goal in the first half and started the second half by conceding after Jureček’s strike,” added the Italian version of Sky Sports television.
Most of the visiting players, including Belgian gunner Romelu Lukaku, received criticism for their lackluster performance. “He didn’t look good at all. He was often predictable, at best overlooked. El Shaarawy went into hiding during his time on the pitch, while Aouar didn’t appear at all. We also saw a very sad version of Paredes from Juventus,” pointed out Corriere dello Sport.
The others were similarly indiscriminate. Gazzetta, for example, singled out the only man from the Roma squad who received at least a hint of praise. “Only goalkeeper Svilar performed sufficiently. Aouara Slavia overplayed in the middle, Mancini was not in the match at all,” evaluated one of the largest Italian sports websites.