The Lombards moved to the Olimpico with a penalty from Dessers and an own goal from Celik and won a semi-final (against Fiorentina) which they hadn’t seen since 1987. The Giallorossi comeback stopped with Belotti’s goal in added time
After Napoli, Cremonese surprises Roma too. Who in reality – compared to the Neapolitans in the round of 16 – also put a lot of himself into it, playing a horrendous game and deserving of leaving the Coppa Italia early. The 2-1 of the Lombards was sealed by a penalty by Dessers and an own goal by Celik, in an once again very full Olimpico (60,557 spectators, the Giallorossi’s twentieth sold out of the season), while Belotti’s final goal was useless. For Roma, the first objective of the season thus vanishes, for Cremonese there is a historic semi-final, a goal achieved only once in its history. It was 1987: knockout against Atalanta.
Never so bad
One hundred and seventy-one days after his last official time (which was also the first), Gini Wijnaldum sees himself again, even if only on the bench. For the Dutchman an injection of confidence, for Mourinho a sweet hope. Also because what he sees on the pitch in the first ‘5’ is the worst you can see. A very ugly, incoherent Rome, never capable of setting up a noteworthy action, if not only a launch from Cristante for Tahirovic (in the 13th minute), whose volley was rejected for a corner by Sarr. For the rest, total darkness: Celik is unwatchable, Tahirovic gets everything else wrong, Belotti and Volpato in front are impalpable and Kumbulla makes the crash. The advantage of the Cremonese in fact stems from a sensational error in the clearance of the Albanian defender: Dessers goes off alone, Rui Patricio lands him in the air, penalty by the Belgian attacker (with Nigerian passport) and guest advantage. With Cremonese who then got there, with a three-man defense that often became 5, almost incredulous of so much yellow and red inconsistency. So much so that Mourinho himself left the field before the 43rd minute to go straight to the locker room and try to straighten the situation.
Kicks and goals
So in the interval Roma returned to the field with Matic, Smalling, Zalewski and Dybala, switching to a 4-2-3-1. Ballardini instead puts in Valeri (to lengthen the defensive line and 5) and a counter-attack like Okereke, to try to hurt in the spaces. And already in the 3rd minute Cremonese made it 2-0, with an awkward own goal by Celik following a shot by Pickel destined to go out. El Shaarawy tries a couple of times from outside, Abraham also goes inside, Ibanez almost scores with his header, then Sarr says no to Pellegrini’s overhead kick and Belotti heads high. In short, Roma reacted above all on nerves, but at least now there is a bit of electricity in the Giallorossi. Also because from a tactical point of view any logic has been skipped. So Smalling has the right ball to reopen the game, but who spoils it outside we don’t even know how. Then it was Abraham (an offside was called that didn’t exist) who hit the post with the goal wide open. The second red card also arrives on the Giallorossi bench (in Foti, previously it was Rapetti’s turn), Benassi and Ghiglione on the other side scare Rui, but now it goes on like this, in jolts. With Okereke also touching the 3-0. Then, in full recovery, Belotti’s goal from the flag and a protest from Dybala in the penalty area. Thus ends, with Roma booed by the Olimpico and Cremonese in celebration.
February 1, 2023 (change February 1, 2023 | 23:18)
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