Roma 2-1 Lecce: Romelu Lukaku rescues victory for hosts in the Italian capital as the Belgian striker scores last-gasp winner after previously missing a penalty
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Roma 2-1 Lecce: Romelu Lukaku rescues victory for hosts in the Italian capital as the Belgian striker scores last-gasp winner after previously missing a penalty

Nov 12, 2023
  • The Belgian striker scored deep into stoppage time to seal Roma’s victory
  • Romelu Lukaku had already missed a penalty before his late winner
  • Big debates on Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal on It’s All Kicking Off podcast

Stoppage-time goals by Sardar Azmoun and Romelu Lukaku earned AS Roma a dramatic 2-1 home win against Lecce in Serie A on Sunday, their fourth victory from five league games to cut the gap to the top four to four points.

Lecce forward Pontus Almqvist put the visitors in front in the 72nd minute before Azmoun levelled for Roma with a powerful header and Lukaku sealed the win when he fired left-footed into the top corner.

Roma, who next face Lazio in a derby clash on Nov. 12 after their trip to Slavia Prague in the Europa League on Thursday, moved up to eighth in the standings on 17 points from 11 games.

They are four points adrift of fourth-placed champions Napoli and 11 points behind leaders Inter Milan. Lecce are 11th on 13 points.

‘We took the old philosophy that losing by one or 10 is the same,’ coach Jose Mourinho told DAZN.

Romelu Lukaku scored in the 94th minute to seal a 2-1 victory for Roma against Lecce

Romelu Lukaku scored in the 94th minute to seal a 2-1 victory for Roma against Lecce

Roma manager Jose Mourinho (left) shared a moment with Lukaku (right) at full time

Roma manager Jose Mourinho (left) shared a moment with Lukaku (right) at full time

Lukaku finished with a brilliant strike after previously missing a penalty in the match

Lukaku finished with a brilliant strike after previously missing a penalty in the match

‘In the first half the game could have been almost over for us, but in the end the team had put in the heart and responded to a very risky situation.

‘These three points were really important for us, now we are closer to the others.’

Belgium striker Lukaku had missed an early chance to give Mourinho’s side the lead from the penalty spot after they were awarded a spot-kick when a shot by Paulo Dybala struck Federico Baschirotto’s hand.

But Lukaku struck low towards the middle of the goal and Lecce keeper Wladimiro Falcone kept his effort out in the fifth minute.

It was the first time the 30-year-old had failed to convert a penalty in his Serie A career after 14 successful attempts for Inter and Roma.

Dybala, who returned to Roma’s starting lineup after a month out with a knee injury, narrowly missed the target after the half-hour mark.

Roma boss Mourinho had his side score twice in stoppage time to turn the match around

Roma boss Mourinho had his side score twice in stoppage time to turn the match around

Mourinho could be seen embracing Lukaku at full time after Roma's late victory

Mourinho could be seen embracing Lukaku at full time after Roma’s late victory

Roma enjoyed more possession and were the better side in the opening 45 minutes but failed to capitalise.

They survived a scare in the 54th minute when Marin Pongracic stormed past the defence and into the box to strike from close range but goalkeeper Rui Patricio was alert and caught the ball.

Lecce, however, took the lead through Almqvist when he latched onto a pass inside the box and sent a precise low shot into the bottom-left corner.

Dybala fired over the bar 11 minutes from time, but Mourinho’s men continued to push for an equaliser and substitute Azmoun thundered home a header in the first minute of stoppage time before Lukaku sealed the win with a close-range shot into the far top corner just over two minutes later.

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