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Roma v HJK Live Commentary, 15/09/2022

3 - 0
P. Dybala (47)
L. Pellegrini (49)
A. Belotti (68)
Stadio Olimpico


Roma are off the mark in this season's Europa League then. They'll be confident of overhauling one of Betis and Ludogorets to make it into the knockout stage. That's all for now. Goodbye!
Roma stay third in Group C for now after Betis beat Ludogorets 3-2 in the group's other game. Mourinho's men attempted 29 shots in this game and were well worth their handsome victory. HJK stay bottom of the group. They've lost their last three Europa League games now, but they were always going to be up against it here after losing their captain Tenho.
Roma have strolled to an easy victory here against HJK. The Finnish champions were always going to struggle after going down to 10 men early on, and Mourinho's half-time changes gave the hosts the impetus they needed. Dybala and Pellegrini's one-two punch at the start of the second half put the game beyond the visitors' reach, before Belotti made it 3-0 later on.
90' + 2' Karsdorp holds up Abubakari, giving HJK a free-kick down their left and the chance to grab a consolation goal. It's swung into Roma's box and the hosts make light work of it. That's that!
90' + 1' Hazard makes a routine save from Dybala's shot from the centre of the box.
90' There'll be three minutes of added time before the final whistle. In truth, this game's been over as a contest ever since HJK first conceded.
89' With HJK's defenders all sitting deep, Camara decides to thump the ball at goal from way out. The Guinean's effort flies high and wide.
88' Abraham is the Roma player to take the direct free-kick. The Englishman's effort isn't too far from finding the target, whistling over the crossbar.
A. Halme
Yellow Card
87' Halme's booked for bundling over Belotti in a central position.
86' It's worth mentioning that HJK haven't had a shot on target all game. Patricio has had very little to do in Roma's goal.
84' Abraham's shot from the left of the box is an easy catch for Hazard. This game's starting to wind down.
82' Roma are still looking to score more goals. Bove has a pop from outside the box. It's blocked.
80' Browne plays a ball down the line for Abubakari to chase, but it ends up going out for a Roma throw-in.
78' HJK somehow win their first corner of the game. Boujellab swings it into the middle. Halme can't keep his header down.
T. Abraham
N. Zaniolo
76' Roma substitution. Zaniolo goes off. On comes Abraham, who's just been called up to Gareth Southgate's England squad.
75' Belotti is too boisterous and fouls Raitala in HJK's half. Pretty much all of this game has been in the Finnish champions' half.
73' HJK haven't even mustered a shot yet in this second half. Roma have thoroughly neutered them.
71' Dybala's latest shot is bravely blocked by Peltola, who requires some treatment in the aftermath. Thankfully the HJK defender soon recovers.
N. Boujellab
L. Lingman
69' HJK substitution. Boujellab replaces Lingman.
E. Bove
L. Pellegrini
69' Roma make a change with the three points all but secure. Their captain Pellegrini goes off. Bove is his replacement.
N. Zaniolo
68' Zaniolo's been heavily involved for Roma so far, and certainly played his part in that goal. It's been a good performance from the winger.
A. Belotti
68' GOAL! ROMA 3-0 HJK HELSINKI! Belotti gets in on the act, hitting Zaniolo's cutback from the byline into the turf and up into the net. Roma are showing no mercy to their depleted visitors.
A. Olusanya
P. Soiri
66' HJK make a substitution. Soiri, who's being overrun down his side, goes off. A forward, Olusanya, replaces him.
65' The corner comes to nothing. No matter. Matic unleashes a belter from distance that Hazard tips aside for another Roma corner.
M. Camara
B. Cristante
64' Roma make a substitution before they take the corner. Camara replaces the booked Cristante.
63' Roma keep on coming. Zaniolo has another shot blocked, and Belotti's scuffed effort from the left goes out for a corner on the opposite side of the pitch.
61' Dybala darts into space down the right and rolls a pass into the path of Zaniolo, who fires wide first time. Neither Roma player can believe Zaniolo hasn't scored.
B. Cristante
Yellow Card
60' Cristante lands his name in the book for a firm, and unfair, challenge on Abubakari.
59' Browne's poor touch gets him into trouble and Dybala nips in, colliding with him and the onrushing Hazard. After some treatment Dybala looks good to continue.
57' Cristante's effort from outside the box bounces wide of the left-hand post. Roma are in complete control of this match.
55' HJK manage to deal with the corner. They haven't been able to handle Roma's switch to 4-2-3-1 at half-time. Mourinho made the right call to ditch their three-man defence once it became clear HJK wouldn't be attacking much.
53' Spinazzola's right-footed shot from the left of the box is blocked. It briefly looks like dipping past Hazard into the net, but instead goes out for a Roma corner.
51' Roma have scored in their last 14 Europa League games now. They're a huge attacking threat at this level.
L. Pellegrini
49' GOAL! ROMA 2-0 HJK HELSINKI! Pellegrini fortuitously chests the ball into the net from close range as Belotti's left-wing cross deflects into his path. We're only a few minutes into the second half, but it feels like HJK have been sunk.
L. Pellegrini
47' Pellegrini knew he had Dybala behind him, and the Argentine made no mistake with his first-time shot. That'll ease Roma's nerves!
P. Dybala
47' GOAL! ROMA 1-0 HJK HELSINKI! Dybala makes an instant impact from the bench! The substitute latches onto Pellegrini's lay-off to find the bottom right corner from the edge of the box.
46' Roma get the second half started. Will their tactical changes bear fruit?
A. Halme
P. Hetemaj
46' Hetemaj also makes way. On comes Halme for HJK.
P. Arajuuri
A. Hoskonen
46' HJK make two changes too. Arajuuri replaces Hoskonen, who's had arguably the game's best chance so far.
C. Smalling
46' Smalling also comes on to replace the booked Ibanez. Roma are taking no chances when it comes to losing a player themselves.
P. Dybala
M. Viña
46' Mourinho makes some proactive tweaks to his team at half-time. Dybala replaces the now unnecessary centre-back Vina.
Roma had 12 shots to HJK's three in the opening 45 minutes. They'll be confident of taking the lead eventually if they can keep putting pressure on their visitors. The Finns haven't missed Tenho that much, but they are working hard to maintain parity and will tire as the game goes on.
A frustrating first half for Roma comes to an end. The Giallorossi were licking their lips after VAR intervened to dismiss Tenho after just 15 minutes for a professional foul, and the hosts have dictated the play since. HJK have responded well to going down to 10 men, though, and even hit the post through Hoskonen. A win for Mourinho's men isn't a given yet.
45' + 2' Belotti reaches Matic's cross to get a header off from the centre of the box. It bounces wide. That'll be that for now.
45' There'll be three added minutes at the end of this first half. HJK will be pleased if they go in at half-time with their clean sheet intact.
43' Abubakari tempts Ibanez into handing HJK a free-kick in their own half. It's one-way traffic at the moment, but not very fast traffic.
41' Roma force a corner down their right. Hazard saves Cristante's blast from distance, handing the hosts another corner. Cristante flicks it on to Belotti, who heads wide. The pressure is building on HJK.
39' Zaniolo and Belotti combine to allow the former to test Hazard. Zaniolo's powerful effort is straight at the man between the sticks.
37' Soiri wins possession for HJK and looks to carry the ball away from goal. Spinazzola unfairly stops his run and gives the visitors the chance to escape their defensive third.
35' HJK have switched to a 3-5-1 formation. They're inviting Roma onto them, but they don't look too uncomfortable yet.
33' Hazard comes away with the ball as Cristante's low cross is too close to him. Belotti was sniffing around hoping to get on the end of it.
31' Belotti lashes straight at Hazard from the edge of the box. The HJK goalkeeper dives to his right to keep the shot out of his net.
P. Hetemaj
Yellow Card
29' Hetemaj lands his name in the book for a bad challenge on Vina.
27' Roma retaliate straight away. Zaniolo has a shot closed down, Vina picks up the pieces and picks out Pellegrini who nods wide from near the penalty spot.
26' Roma don't fully clear the free-kick. Browne swings in a cross for Hoskonen, whose header grazes the woodwork!
Yellow Card
25' HJK are holding their own for now. Ibanez picks up a yellow card for a crude challenge on Hetemaj.
24' Chance for Roma! Belotti darts to the byline and cuts the ball back for Zaniolo, who fires wide on the volley.
M. Peltola
S. Hostikka
23' HJK decide to make a change to adapt to being down to 10 men. Peltola, a centre-back, replaces Hostikka.
21' Zaniolo latches onto Belotti's cross and blasts it against Hetemaj from the edge of the box. Roma get a corner which HJK defend capably.
19' HJK are now playing a 4-4-1 formation, so not a total restructure. Zaniolo is too forceful in challenging Hetemaj for the ball and fouls him.
17' Once Tenho's left the pifch, Pellegrini blasts the free-kick into HJK's defensive wall. The Finns take their time to restart play, prompting Mourinho to point at his watch.
M. Tenho
Red Card
14' RED CARD FOR TENHO! The referee looks at the pitchside monitor, wipes out Tenho's yellow card, and shows the defender a red one! The barge on Belotti wasn't so bad, but Tenho was the last man so he has to go. What an early blow that is to HJK.
13' Lingman hands possession to Belotti, who's barged over by Tenho. The referee shows the HJK centre-back a yellow card. Hang on though! VAR has told the referee to review the incident...
11' Belotti's shot from distance is blocked. Spinazzola reaches the byline and tries to find a team-mate. The Italian's unable to prevent his cross from going out for a goal-kick.
9' Vaananen is penalised for handball in midfield. Roma go on the attack and cross the ball to the edge of the D. HJK are able to cut the pass out.
7' Hetemaj wins a free-kick down HJK's left as he's impeded by Mancini.
5' Zaniolo's shot from outside the box misses to the right. Up the other end of the pitch, Hostikka has his own attempt at goal blocked before he blazes high and wide from the centre of the box.
3' The game gets off to an easy start as Cristante's cross from the left sails out of play for a goal-kick.
1' HJK get this game underway!
This will be the first competitive meeting between Roma and HJK, with the Serie A outfit meeting a Finnish side for only the second time. HJK won their last match against an Italian side, defeating Torino in this competition in 2014. However, Roma are unbeaten in their last 19 home games in Europe, a run that dates back to February 2019. They'll fancy their chances of continuing that run here.
HJK boss Toni Koskela makes seven changes to his team from their own 2-1 league win over Honka last weekend. Hazard, Tenho, Vaananen and Abubakari keep their places.
There are four changes to Roma from their 2-1 victory away to Empoli three days ago. Karsdorp, Vina, Zaniolo and Belotti come into the starting lineup.
SUBS: Johannes Yli-Kokko, Matias Niemela, Joona Toivio, Aapo Halme, Murilo, Jakob Tannander, Atomu Tanaka, Casper Terho, Anthony Olusanya, Matti Peltola, Paulus Arajuuri, Nassim Boujellab.
HJK HELSINSKI (3-4-3): Conor Hazard; Jukka Raitala, Miro Tenho (c), Arttu Hoskonen; David Browne, Santeri Vaananen, Lucas Lingman, Perparim Hetemaj; Santeri Hostikka, Malik Abubakari, Pyry Soiri.
SUBS: Pietro Boer, Edoardo Bove, Filippo Tripi, Giacomo Faticanti, Paulo Dybala, Cristian Volpato, Mehmet Zeki Celik, Tammy Abraham, Eldor Shomurodov, Mohamed Camara, Mile Svilar, Chris Smalling.
ROMA (3-4-3): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Ibanez, Matias Vina; Rick Karsdorp, Bryan Cristante, Nemanja Matic, Leonardo Spinazzola; Nicolo Zaniolo, Andrea Belotti, Lorenzo Pellegrini (c).
The Italians will be looking to make amends against Finnish champions HJK, who started their campaign with a 2-0 defeat at home to Real Betis last week. The Finns lost all three of their away matches in their only previous Europa League campaign in 2014-15, so would be delighted to pick up a result here.
Roma's Europa League campaign got off to the wrong start last week as they lost 2-1 to Ludogorets in their opening match. Jose Mourinho may have now lost two straight games in this competition, but his strong record at this level suggests that his team will quickly bounce back.
Hello! Welcome to our live text commentary of this UEFA Europa League Group C match between Roma and HJK Helsinki at the Stadio Olimpico.