The memories of the memorable spring of 96 seemed so old years later. A 2-0 home win over AS Roma in the first quarter-final of the then UEFA Cup? After more than a quarter of a century, the Slavists managed to repeat the wonderful result. They were honest defensively and added two goals in the second half.
50th minute: Mojmír Chytil found Václav Jurečka in the small area, who luckily poked the ball into the net over a falling defender. And in the 74th minute: Lukáš Masopust swung his right foot just beyond the edge of the penalty area and fired the ball towards the post. By the way, only 2-0? The win could have been even more impressive, Slavia had more goals.
The expectations of coach Jindřich Trpišovský, who made four changes in the starting line-up after the collapse with Pilsen, were perfectly fulfilled: “We want to see emotions, stubbornness and the desire to leave everything on the field again.”
The Slavists were hungry from the start and avoided repeating the dark scenario from Rome, where two weeks ago they lost the match after only 17 minutes (0:2). They were good at pressing, staying in the opponent’s half and getting to the end. However, the balls first flew near the goal and goalkeeper Mile Svilar caught Jurečka’s weak shot. And Chytil sent the ball over the crossbar from a small goal.
The celebrants shone despite the fact that the favorite played almost a full lineup. Coach José Mourinho, who was last absent from the bench due to a punishment for swearing at a referee after the spring Europa League final, spared only a few names before Sunday’s league derby with Lazio. Offensive aces Romelu Lukaku and Stephan El Shaarawy were also included in the starting line-up, who left the field after a lackluster first half. Would you have thought that Mourinho’s boys would not have their first shot after 52 minutes?
Thanks to this, there was a euphoric mood in Eden, which was multiplied by goals after the break. Even before the start, a reduced Ave Slavia choreo appeared in the Slavist cauldron, with which the fans of the Vršovice team were not allowed to enter the Olympic Stadium in Rome. Red and white flares glowed around the great sail.
In the first half, a draw seemed to suit the Roman team. The men in orange and black jerseys were in no hurry, even the goalkeeper Svilar delayed the play. He only kept a clean sheet until the beginning of the second half: first he headed Masopust, but he could no longer reach the goal shots.
On the other hand, the Slavist goalkeeper Aleš Mandous caught everything, surprisingly he had only three difficult saves. What will it be like in three weeks in Tiraspol? Sheriff lost 1:2 at the Servette Arena in Geneva and remains last with one point.
|Matches of the 4th round of Group G of the European Football League:|
|Slavia Prague – AS Rome 2:0 (0:0)|
|Goals: 50. Jurečka, 74. Masopust. Referee: Lexetier – Mugnier, Rahmouni (all Fr.) – Kajtazovič (video, Slovenia). ŽK: Masopust, Ševčík, Van Buren – Paredes, Ndicka. ČK: Houštecký (assistant coach of Slavia). Spectators: 19,265.|
|Slavia: Mandous – Masopust (78. Vlček), Ogbu, Holeš – Douděra, Zafeiris (78. Ševčík), Oscar (89. Van Buren), Bořil – Provod, Jurečka (87. Wallem) – Chytil (90.+5 Hromada ). Coach: Trpišovský.|
|Rome: Svilar – Mancini, Llorente (77. Sanches), Ndicka – Celik, Bove, Paredes (84. Costa), Aouar (46. Cristante), El Shaarawy (46. Karsdorp) – Lukaku, Belotti (68. Dybala). Coach: Foti.|