Roma have ensured their name is in the hat for tomorrow’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final draw thanks to a 2-0 aggregate victory over Real Sociedad, with 0-0 draw on the night extending Sociedad’s winless home run in post-group stage UEFA knockout games.
With a two goal cushion from the first-leg last week, the onus was on Sociedad to take the game to Roma, but it was the visitors who came closest to finding an early breakthrough when Paulo Dybala’s goal bound effort was deflected inches wide by Alexander Sørloth.
You did start to wonder whether lady luck was shining down on Sociedad as just moments later Roma had a goal disallowed, with Chris Smalling bundling the ball over the line with his arm from Dybala’s wicked delivery to hand the hosts yet another lifeline.
Those let-offs ensured Sociedad remained firmly in the tie and shortly after the break they were handed a golden chance to halve the aggregate arrears.
Despite the fact they had managed to get the ball into the net, the 80th minute arrived without Roma mustering a shot-on-target, somewhat symptomatic of a José Mourinho side away from home on a big European night.
It was immaterial though, with Roma doing the heavy lifting in the first leg as they progressed through a UEFA Europa League tie after winning the first leg for the fifth successive time.
As for Sociedad, their night was soured by the dismissal of Carlos Fernández but their attention must now quickly switch back to their top-four push in La Liga, starting with the visit of Elche on Sunday.