Roma beat Austria Wien 4-2 in Europa League

Vienna, Nov 4 (IANS) Edin Dzeko’s brace helped Roma move to within one win of the knockout stages of the Europa League football tournament with an emphatic 4-2 victory over hosts Austria Wien here.

Gaining a measure of revenge after last month’s collapse to a 3-3 draw with the Austrian side, on Thursday there were no such mistakes as Dzeko continued his brilliant goal scoring form with a brace and both Daniele De Rossi and Radja Nainggolan got on the scoresheet.

The game was not without some nervous moments for Roma coach Luciano Spalletti — the hosts took the lead after barely a minute, although Dzeko equalised soon after. But De Rossi, Dzeko and Nainggolan scored to give Roma a 4-2 victory.

The result leaves the Giallorossi top of Group E with eight points, with Austria Wien second on five. Elsewhere, Viktoria Plzen and Astra Giurgiu drew, meaning a win for Roma against Plzen at the end of November will send them into the knockout rounds.

Spalletti-coached Roma, however, got off to the worst possible start at the Ernst Happel Stadion as Austria forward Olarenwaju Kayode managed to tap home from five yards out with barely 60 seconds on the board.

The visitors responded well, however, and on four minutes they were level — as Dzeko tapped in after another great low cross from Bruno Peres.

Fifteen minutes later they were ahead, as captain De Rossi tapped home from a corner after defender and goalkeeper had failed to deal with Dzeko’s header.

And when the Bosnian scored again — cleaning up his own rebound after a brilliant ball from Stephan El Shaarawy — the win looked secure.

Last time Roma led 3-1 against the same opposition they contrived to squander their lead. But this time there was no such drama as Nainggolan slotted home brilliantly with 10 minutes remaining to wrap things up.

Wien midfielder Alexander Grunwald scored a late strike to change the scoreline slightly, but it was nothing more than that.

–IANS

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