Tammy Abraham grabbed the winner as AS Roma booked a place in the inaugural final of the UEFA Conference League with a 1-0 victory over Leicester City.
The former Chelsea forward crashed a brilliant header beyond Kasper Schmeichel on 11 minutes to net his 25th goal of the season and secure a 2-1 success on aggregate for Jose Mourinho’s men.
Mourinho had called upon the home support to play their part and they duly responded with a partisan atmosphere that helped inspire their side to a super-charged start.
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Leicester gradually improved but struggled to test Rui Patricio and did not muster a shot on target until the 79th minute when James Maddison’s tame strike was easily saved.
Roma seemed content to drop deep and defend through to the final whistle as the Foxes simply did not do enough to truly threaten a comeback.
I Giallorossi will now meet Feyenoord in the final in Tirana, Albania on May 25.
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The fortress that is the Stadio Olimpico did the trick for Mourinho’s men as they stretched their unbeaten run in European competition on home turf to 19 matches to reach a first European final since 1991.
The Portuguese coach got the fervent support he had wanted as he outfoxed his one-time apprentice, Brendan Rodgers to add another European final to his glittering CV.
Leicester simply did not do enough in the final third while their fragility when defending set pieces once again came back to haunt them in their biggest match of the season.
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Man of the match - Tammy Abraham (AS Roma)
It was a toss up between the two Englishmen in Roma’s starting XI. Abraham led the line superbly and was clearly out on his feet when he was replaced in the dying moments, such was his work-rate throughout the contest. He just pips Chris Smalling who was imperious at the back as Roma kept the door firmly shut to deny Leicester any significant chances of note.
ROMA: Rui Patricio 7, Ibanez 7, Smalling 8, Mancini 7, Karsdorp 7, Cristante 7, Sergio 8, Pellegrini 8, Zalewski 7, Zaniolo 7, Abraham 8*. Subs: Veretout 6, Vina n/a, Shomurodov n/a.
LEICESTER: Schmeichel 7, Pereira 6, Evans 6, Fofana 7, Justin 7, Tielemans 7, Dewsbury-Hall 6, Maddison 6, Lookman 6, Barnes 6, Vardy 6. Subs: Amartey 6, Iheanacho 6, Castagne 6, Perez 6.
05’ – LEICESTER CITY PENALTY APPEAL! Roma look uncomfortable defending a left-wing corner that sees Fofana fall to the floor. Replays show Smalling is all over him but the referee isn't interested – and it seems neither is VAR.
11’ – GOAL! – Roma 1-0 Leicester City. Abraham bullets a thumping header through Schmeichel from a right-wing corner (Roma lead 2-1 on aggregate).
17’ – ROMA CHANCE! Pellegrini races into the left channel to reach Zalewski's raking pass ahead of Evans, but he can't quite connect fully with his strike and Schmeichel is able to block.
33’ – ROMA CHANCE! Abraham turns brilliantly on the far right and then slips a delightful pass to Zaniolo who sees his low shot blocked by Fofana.
60’ – LEICESTER CITY CHANCE! A short corner routine almost pays off for the Foxes. Maddison cuts it back low to the mid-point of the area but Vardy's first-time strike is well blocked.
79’ – LEICESTER CITY CHANCE! Maddison curls a tame shot straight at Rui Patricio from 25 yards. It's the away side's first shot on target.
Abraham has scored nine goals in this season's Europa Conference League. The only English players to score more in a single season in a major European competition (excl. quals) are Alan Shearer (11 in 2004-05 UEFA Cup) and Stan Bowles (11 in 1976-77 UEFA Cup).
Roma have won seven of their last eight home meetings against English sides.
Mourinho is the first manager to reach the final of a major European competition with four different clubs, having done so with Porto (UEFA Cup & Champions League), Inter (Champions League), Man Utd (Europa League) and now Roma (Europa Conference League).
AS Roma reached the final of a European competition for the first time since the UEFA Cup 1990-91, when in the semi-final they eliminated Brondby IF, whose goalkeeper was Peter Schmeichel, father of the actual Leicester goalkeeper.
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