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1 - 0
E. Bove (63)
Roma v Bayer Leverkusen Live Commentary,
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90' + 3'
1 - 0
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
That's all from Rome today, so thank you for joining us and goodbye!
Before the sides meet again, Roma will aim to end their sub-par form in Serie A by beating Bologna on Sunday; meanwhile, Leverkusen look to get back on track after successive defeats when they travel to struggling Stuttgart.
Bearing all the hallmarks of a Mourinho team in Europe, Roma drew the sting from their opponents early on in the first half, then assumed control and snatched a one-goal lead ahead of next week's second leg in Leverkusen - young Bove being the game's only scorer. While the Bundesliga side had more of the ball throughout, they rarely looked capable of threatening Patricio's goal, and a series of tactical fouls broke up any momentum they did have. The Giallorossi faithful leave Stadio Olimpico happy, then, but there's still plenty left to play for when the teams reconvene in a week's time.
90' + 5'
FULL-TIME: ROMA 1-0 BAYER LEVERKUSEN
90' + 3'
An ugly lunge on Frimpong results in the seventh booking of a niggly game: Spinazzola sees yellow on this occasion.
90' + 2'
An industrious shift for Andrich comes to its end; Amiri will replace him.
90' + 2'
After receiving the ball from Wirtz, Adli tries his luck from distance but sends the ball wide of the right-hand post.
90' + 1'
In the first minute of at least four added for stoppages, Bakker whips over a dipping cross from the left which rebounds out to Wirtz on the edge of the area. However, the latter finds himself crowded out by a dense forest of Giallorossi jerseys.
A clear foul on Azmoun brings Ibanez a yellow card just before the end of 90 minutes.
OFF THE LINE! Cristante saves Roma by producing a goal-line block with his chest! Patricio and Ibanez collide, causing the goalkeeper to spill the ball towards Frimpong, who shoots at goal but sees his shot kept out!
Leverkusen are having all of the ball now, yet look no more likely to break through and score their first goal of the tie. There's a lack of movement up front - and very little space to operate in.
Drawing a free-kick from Bakker, the wily Wijnaldum again breaks up Leverkusen's momentum. Roma's know-how - both on the pitch and in the dugout - have proved decisive so far. Can they now close this game out?
Pressure from Frimpong forces a corner, which Wirtz delivers from the right, but Roma ultimately manage to get the ball clear to safety.
Roma are controlling the game now, by slowing it down and keeping possession. They would be delighted to take this result to Germany next week.
The hosts' top scorer Dybala comes on for Belotti up front.
Roma make a double substitution, as expected. First, goalscorer Bove is replaced by Wijnaldum in midfield.
From his prone position on the ground, a tired flick of the foot towards Andrich sees Abraham booked.
The vastly experienced duo of Dybala and Wijnaldum appear on the touchline, receiving animated instructions from Mourinho. They'll surely play a part in the closing stages of this game, having just recovered from injury.
Then, Diaby - who has been booked - makes way for Adli.
Xabi Alonso decides it's now time to act, with his team trailing. First, Azmoun replaces Hlozek up front.
Following an error by Palacios in midfield, Tah makes a block to deny Abraham a clean shot at goal from inside the area.
Wirtz has an attempt from outside the box blocked by a Roma defender, as Leverkusen's attacking efforts again come to nothing. They simply can't crack their hosts open.
DOUBLE CHANCE! Fine work from Belotti on the right opens up space to shoot low and hard at goal, but Hradecky palms away his well-struck effort from a tight angle. On the follow-up Bove volleys over the crossbar by quite some distance!
After a dangerous delivery from the right causes chaos in Roma's defence, Andrich is left on the turf with an injury. He returns to his feet by the time Hicapie then heads off-target.
ROMA LEAD! The young Roman opens the scoring! Stadio Olimpico roars as one to greet Bove's first European goal - he charges through from midfield then lays the ball off for Abraham; the striker's shot is repelled by Hradecky but then slammed back into the net on the rebound! It's 1-0 to the Giallorossi, who now have a precious lead to defend.
It is now Leverkusen's turn to cycle the ball around inside the opposition half, faced by a massed defence. Their move ends when Hincapie makes the slightest of contact with Belotti, who takes the chance to tumble down and earn his side a free-kick.
Mancini's rugged challenge on Diaby - which provoked a reaction from the French winger - is punished by a yellow card.
Tah also has his name taken by the referee, in his case for dissent.
Causing an angry confrontation between several players, Diaby lashes out with a kick at Mancini's legs. Though he barely makes contact, that's worthy of a booking.
Spinazzola breaks into the box from his wide position but is unable to make his way through a white wall of Leverkusen shirts, as Roma's second-half supremacy continues.
Following a header clearance from Pellegrini's corner, a wild volley by Belotti sends the ball spiralling way over the crossbar from the edge of the box.
With a deft header, Tapsoba has to flick the ball behind for a Roma corner, following Pellegrini's whipped cross from a free-kick on the left. Ibanez then claims he was struck in the area, but the officials are not interested.
Receiving the first yellow card of the game, Andrich blocks off Abraham outside the Leverkusen box and also concedes a dangerous free-kick.
Frantically pressing in tandem with Belotti, Abraham almost steals the ball from Tapsoba deep in the Leverkusen half. Then, Roma regain the ball and the England striker lays it off for Celik, who drags his 20-yard shot well wide of the target.
Leverkusen kick off, and we are back under way at Stadio Olimpico!
Roma have now failed to score a first-half goal in nine of their 13 Europa League matches this season, but they have also stopped the opposition from scoring before the break in 10 - more times than any other team in the competition.
Neither side has given much away following a brief flurry from Leverkusen early in the first half, and a cagey affair blighted by breaks in play remains goalless at the break. Roma have grown into the game after a passive start - though Belotti and Abraham have rarely threatened up front - while their visitors faded after a bright beginning. With next week's return by the Rhine still to come, there's a long way to go in this tie, and Mourinho is certainly not one to show his cards too early - perhaps we can expect more of the same after the interval.
45' + 3'
HALF-TIME: ROMA 0-0 BAYER LEVERKUSEN
45' + 2'
In the second of three minutes added for several stoppages in play, Pellegrini sends over a high corner from the right, but Belotti's leaping header is cleared away from danger - it looks as if the half will end goalless.
Wirtz wastes a free-kick opportunity from the left by swinging his cross straight into the waiting gloves of Patricio. It has now been almost 40 minutes since Leverkusen last attempted a shot.
On as substitute earlier in the first half, Bakker intervenes to deny both Celik and Abraham access to his area and also avoids conceding a corner.
Since the latest restart, Leverkusen have begun to build some momentum and have their hosts penned back inside the defensive third. They're struggling to break through Roma's dogged resistance though.
As tackles continue to fly in, Ibanez now sends Frimpong crashing to the ground. Again, the game must be paused until the injured man can continue.
The latest stoppage in a growing series sees Ibanez caught in the face by Diaby's stray boot and staying down hurt as a result. After a short delay, though, he is able to play on.
Kossounou's unfortunate injury means he cannot continue. Bakker will replace him and Hincapie is set to shuffle across to centre-back.
Grimacing in pain, Kossounou drops straight to the turf grasping his hamstring - this does not look good for the Leverkusen defender. He receives treatment as more drinks are taken by both sets of players.
Good reading of a dangerous dipping cross by Wirtz sees Ibanez clear the danger deep inside his own area; an increasingly rare Leverkusen attack comes to its end.
Another Roma man hits the deck, as captain Pellegrini goes down under a challenge in midfield. No free-kick is awarded, though, and when he gets up and the game goes on, Belotti then has an optimistic penalty claim turned down.
Having shaken off the effects of his fall, Celik rejoins the fray and the action resumes. Still, Roma are in the ascendancy and their visitors sit back and wait to break.
Celik is writhing in apparent agony after falling awkwardly following an aerial duel with Wirtz. As he lies prone, the game is paused and both teams take on drinks in the sultry Roman heat.
The Giallorossi faithful are roused now, and they roar their side on as several challenges go flying in. Roma are certainly up for the fight today, but can their misfiring strikers make or take any chances?
Too eager to keep a promising Roma move going, Bove leaps and uses his arm to control the ball; conceding a free-kick that will ease the growing pressure on Leverkusen.
SAVE! Leverkusen captain Hradecky keeps his side level! Diving to his right, the goalkeeper repels an Ibanez header from close range, following Pellegrini's free-kick delivery. Super stop!
Tah avoids a booking for fouling Abraham in midfield, but does concede a free-kick around 35 yards out from goal, which Pellegrini is likely to take.
Enjoying a bit more of the ball, Roma patiently probe around the compact Leverkusen midfield seeking an opening - but to no avail, as yet.
Having taken a blow to the midriff, Spinazzola is temporarily left down on the turf. The Roma wing-back still seems winded but drags himself back to his feet and resumes his wide role.
Roma are now camped inside their own half, with both Belotti and Abraham no further than 40 yards from their own goal. They are being pinned back by the confident style of their opponents, who have been very comfortable in possession.
As Roma have lost just one of their last 25 European matches at Stadio Olimpico, they may be confident of taking a first-leg lead today - despite their visitors' positive start to proceedings.
CLOSE! After exchanging quick passes with Hlozek on the edge of the area, Wirtz finds himself clean through on goal. However, Leverkusen's young star drags his shot just wide of the left-hand post from 10 yards!
Another Leverkusen move is thwarted by a close offside call on Hlozek, and it has been the away team on top for the first five minutes; slightly quitening the rowdy Olimpico crowd.
Frimpong tests Spinazzola with a direct run down the right and earns a throw-in deep in Roma territory, as Leverkusen continue to impress in the opening stages.
After good work by Diaby and Hicapie on the left opens Roma up almost from kick-off, Andrich fires a shot straight at Patricio in the hosts' goal. That was an excellent chance for the Leverkusen midfielder, and represents quite an escape for the home side.
The hosts kick off, and we are under way in Rome!
The players are out on the pitch at a packed Stadio Olimpico, and kick-off in this Europa League semi-final is now just moments away!
With ex-Roma striker Patrik Schick out for the rest of the season, Hlozek starts up front for Leverkusen today, supported by Diaby and Wirtz - the latter has been directly involved in more Europa League goals (five) than anyone else since the group stage. Elsewhere, Kossounou returns in defence while Hincapie is preferred to Bakker on the left.
Though Dybala, Smalling and Wijnaldum returned to training this week and are fit enough to feature on the Roma bench, defensive duo Marash Kumbulla and Diego Llorente are still absent today; once again, Cristante fills in at the back. After serving his Serie A suspension, Celik is now available and starts on the hosts' right flank, while Abraham partners Belotti up front.
SUBS: Niklas Lomb, Maximilian Neutgens, Amine Adli, Kerem Demirbay, Ayman Azhil, Sardar Azmoun, Nadiem Amiri, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mitchel Bakker.
BAYER LEVERKUSEN (4-3-3): Lukas Hradecky; Odilon Kossounou, Edmond Tapsoba, Jonathan Tah, Jeremie Frimpong; Robert Andrich, Exequiel Palacios, Piero Hincapie; Moussa Diaby, Adam Hlozek, Florian Wirtz.
SUBS: Mile Svilar, Pietro Boer, Mady Camara, Georginio Wijnaldum, Nicola Zalewski, Chris Smalling, Stephan El Shaarawy, Giacomo Faticanti, Filippo Missori, Benjamin Tahirovic, Paulo Dybala, Rick Karsdorp.
ROMA (3-4-1-2): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Bryan Cristante, Roger Ibanez; Zeki Celik, Edoardo Bove, Nemanja Matic, Leonardo Spinazzola; Lorenzo Pellegrini; Andrea Belotti, Tammy Abraham.
Bayer Leverkusen have eliminated Monaco, Ferencvaros and Union Saint-Gilloise to recover from their Champions League group-stage exit and reach this stage of the Europa League - the club's first UEFA semi-final since 2002. Die Werkself travelled to Rome having seen a 14-game unbeaten streak finally ended last Friday, with a 2-1 derby defeat to Koln leaving them sixth in the Bundesliga standings. Coach Xabi Alonso was managed by Mourinho for three seasons at Real Madrid, between 2010 and 2013, but today aims to seize a first-leg advantage over his old boss.
After Roma reached a European semi-final for the third successive season by beating Feyenoord in extra time, they now aim to progress to the Europa League final, which takes place in Budapest later this month. The Giallorossi have also overcome RB Salzburg and Real Sociedad during the knockout stages to make the final four and have come through 10 of their last 11 ties in continental competition. Last year's Europa Conference League winners, Jose Mourinho's men have recently fared far worse in Serie A though, having gone four games without a win following last week's 2-0 loss to Inter.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of today's Europa League semi-final first leg between Roma and Bayer Leverkusen at Stadio Olimpico!