Europa League: AS Roma sees off Real Sociedad at the Stadio Olimpico

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AS Roma on Thursday secured a significant victory against Real Sociedad in the first leg of the Europa League Round of 16.

The Gialorossi will go to Spain in seven days with a commanding lead courtesy of goals from Stephan El Shaarawy and Marash Kumbulla.

Having disposed of Real Sociedad at the Stadio Olimpico, the latest win is expected to gear them to win more as they will now direct their attention to the top-four chase in the Italian Serie A.
Roma showed their intention by making their first opportunity count by taking the lead with the first actual attack of the game.

It was a classic counter from the hosts as Rick Karsdorp robbed Diego Rico of the ball. He sent Paulo Dybala running down the right. As the Argentine released a pass to Tammy Abraham, his cross found Stephan El Shaarawy for an acrobatic volley at the back post to hand Real Sociedad their first conceded away goal in the Europa League this season.

Reacting strongly to the setback, Real Sociedad’s Takefusa Kubo got away from Lorenzo Pellegrini to thump the upright base from the tightest of angles.
Roma had the chance to double their lead, but Dybala and Pellegrini failed to punish the visitors for poor back-passes.
They almost drew level when Chris Smalling risked an own goal anticipating David Silva at the back stick.

Pellegrini failed to score after he couldn’t redirect a Dybala strike on target at full stretch.
Real Sociedad continued to take the risk with a pass from behind as Abraham almost caught goalkeeper Alejandro Remiro napping when trying to play out from the back.

Sociedad continued the search for an equaliser, with Rico producing a scorcher from a distance that Rui Patricio fingertipped around the post.

Substitute Andrea Belotti made an immediate impact as he thumped the frame of the goal after he had been sent running by Gianluca Mancini down the right.

Real Sociedad failed to level matters with their best chance on 82 minutes. Brais Mendez floated a ball over the top for Mikel Merino, whose volley went wide from close range.

Roma then doubled their lead through another good work from Rick Karsdorp. He suddenly burst off the pace to win a corner, from which Dybala found Marash Kumbulla at the back post for a free header.

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