For The First Time In 10 Years, Roma Are Through To The Quarterfinals

Daniele De Rossi was there doing work in 2008, and he’s here doing work in 2018.

AS Roma did just enough to overturn their deficit against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League Round of 16 on Tuesday, Edin Dzeko scoring the lone goal in the 52nd minute to put Roma through via the away goals rule, 2-2 on aggregate.

Shakhtar went about their business professionally in the opening 45, looking dangerous on the counter and assured in possession while Roma struggled to generate any chances of note.

Seven minutes after the restart, the tie was turned on its head when Kevin Strootman provided a wonderful through ball for Dzeko to poke between the legs Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov.

Any chance of a Shakhtar fightback was effectively doomed by a straight red card to center back Ivan Ordets in the 79th minute. Ordets pulled Dzeko back with the striker racing through on goal. 

The grand old Stadio Olimpico was rocking in Rome, and captain Daniele De Rossi will have delighted the spectators (including pal Francesco Totti) with an all-action display in the middle of the park.

Daniele De Rossi vs Shakhtar

Daniele De Rossi doing some crunching. Photo: @OfficialASRoma | Twitter

According to WhoScored, De Rossi won two defensive aerials and successfully crunched five of five tackles. That tackling statistic says it all — he didn’t put a foot wrong while shielding his backline. 

Roma will be the underdogs — regardless of the opponent — in the quarterfinals, but that’s the role they cherish. They've got nothing to lose, and everything to gain, in the elite eight (that's a little March Madness reference for ya).

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