We only had a few days to reflect on our 1-0 home win against AS Roma and what we could learn from it. We don't have long at all to take our findings on board, as this Thursday 23 February at 21:00 CET in Rome's Stadio Olimpico our decisive second leg starts. To get us in the mood, we are taking a look back to analyse last week's encounter in Salzburg.
Look back on first leg against AS Roma
Keeping a clean sheet was definitely a big aim of ours - and no small achievement as we ended a run of 33 consecutive European matches with goals for Roma. Our Red Bulls provided an impressive sense of calm from the start, despite their underdogs tag, and we held a clear upper hand from the opening stages against the rather passive visitors.
Star attack lacking firepower
Shooting star Paulo Dybala made no impact before coming off injured at half-time. Strike partner and talented marksman Tammy Abraham also struggled to get into the game for long periods, threatening just once before the break from a long ball but troubling us with two headers. The visitors proved to be more of a threat from set pieces. That is no great surprise as Mourinho's Wolves have become known for their clinical touch from dead balls.
The biggest chances for the visitors fell to Bryan Cristante (73' post) and Andrea Belotti in the 80th minute (with an expected-goal value of 0.87!) both from corners. The second effort saw Philipp Köhn clear the ball away just in front of the goal line.
Should the ball have made it into the net, VAR would likely have ruled it out anyway as the Italian was standing offside. On the subject of VAR, it remains a mystery how a foul on Sekou Koita in stoppage time did not result in a spot kick.
Another sore point amid the excellent result came in the yellow card for Strahinja Pavlovic in the 84th minute. That leaves the Serb suspended for the second leg, and we will be forced to make a defensive change.
We can expect a very different game this week. Defensive compactness was the focus a la Mourinho at the Red Bull Arena. We managed to dominate possession but found it hard to create a goal threat in the final third. The hosts must come out and attack more in Rome - which should give us more space to threaten on the break.
As ever, we shall see what transpires on the pitch!