Coppa Italia | Roma 1-2 Cremonese: Giant-killers reach semi-final

Giant-killers Cremonese have done it again, beating Roma 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico to set up their first Coppa Italia semi-final since 1986-87 against Fiorentina.

The Giallorossi were still shaken by the chaos over Nicolò Zaniolo and Rick Karsdorp, who were still frozen out after failing to find new clubs in January, but Georginio Wijnaldum was back on the bench. Cremonese surprisingly knocked Napoli out in the Round of 16 and started former Roma youth product Felix Afena-Gyan, though Leonardo Sernicola was suspended, with Giacomo Quagliata, Cristian Buonaiuto and Luka Lochosvhili injured.

Mouhamadou Sarr used his legs to parry a Benjamin Tahirovic low volley at the back post on Bryan Cristante’s cross-field pass, but Roma shot themselves in the foot.

First Marash Kumbulla was caught napping in the centre-circle and Cyriel Dessers robbed him to sprint towards goal, then he was brought down by Rui Patricio for a penalty. It was a yellow card and not a red because some defenders had got back in time, but Dessers blasted the spot-kick into the roof of the net.

Roma gave it away cheaply again to make Jose Mourinho so angry that he left the field several minutes before half-time. He therefore missed Lorenzo Pellegrini’s penalty appeals when he was caught by Ferrari, but VAR had a look and waved play on, possibly because the contact was outside the box.

Mourinho made four changes at the break, but Cremonese instead doubled their lead. Roger Ibanez slipped over this time, so David Okereke rolled across for Charles Pickel’s wayward shot and Zeki Celik accidentally turned it into his own net.

Stephan El Shaarawy’s volley was deflected just wide by Paolo Ghiglione and Ibanez nodded a free kick off target, while Sarr flew to beat away an acrobatic Lorenzo Pellegrini bicycle-kick.

Paulo Dybala’s free kick took a deflection off the wall to go wide, then Chris Smalling blasted off target from 12 yards after good work from Andrea Belotti to chest down a ball over the top.

Tammy Abraham did not appear to be offside on 77 minutes when he controlled and released a right-foot curler that bounced off the inside of the far post.

Marco Benassi attempted a cheeky back-heel flick straight at Rui Patricio and Paolo Ghiglione stung the goalkeeper’s gloves, as Roma poured forward with very little organisation.

Okereke curled inches wide and Dybala fired over when leaning backwards, but in stoppages Belotti finally got one on Abraham’s assist, a half-volley into the far bottom corner.

There were penalty appeals too, but Dybala’s effort hit Emanuele Valeri on the back.

Roma 1-2 Cremonese

Dessers pen 28 (C), Celik og 49 (C), Belotti 94 (R)

One Comment on “Coppa Italia | Roma 1-2 Cremonese: Giant-killers reach semi-final”

  1. Who would’ve thought Cremonese could win a game?

    I wonder will Mourinho last much longer at Roma. Top 4 and/or EL success will probably determine whether he lasts into next season.

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