Italians criticize Feyenoord's play: 'Unwatchable'

AS Roma's qualification for the Europa League round of 16 is nothing short of deserved. That's the conclusion drawn by various Italian media after the nerve-wracking evening at the Stadio Olimpico, where Feyenoord had to capitulate after penalties. The Italians are critical of Arne Slot's team's style of play.

SoccerDino, Website Writer
Published: 10:51, 23 Feb 2024

From the Italian viewpoint, the match between Roma and Feyenoord was a showcase of technical superiority from the home side, which, however, struggled to convert their dominance into a decisive victory.

The Italian media, notably Corriere dello Sport, was particularly critical of Feyenoord's approach, highlighting a lack of initiative that is uncharacteristic for a Dutch team. The observation was stark, noting that Feyenoord's cautious and at times passive play, filled with back-passes, was so contrary to the attacking ethos traditionally associated with Dutch football that it would have dismayed the legendary Rinus Michels. It was only in extra time that Feyenoord began to assert more pressure, albeit too late to change the narrative of their performance.

La Gazzetta dello Sport echoed these sentiments, praising Roma for playing with heart and courage, attributes that were highlighted by a crucial equalizing goal from Pellegrini. The report detailed how close Feyenoord came to deepening their lead before Roma's comeback, with a shot from Lukaku being cleared off the line and a save from Svilar denying Wieffer. The critique extended to Feyenoord's inability to create significant opportunities after their initial advantage, suggesting that a 0-2 lead for Feyenoord would have been almost laughable given the flow of the game.

The spotlight then shifted to Daniele De Rossi's influence on Roma, particularly his decision to promote Mile Svilar as the first-choice goalkeeper. Svilar's performance, especially during the penalty shootout, vindicated De Rossi's choice, casting him as a hero for Roma. This decision and Roma's subsequent qualification for the next round sparked comparisons with José Mourinho's tenure, under whom Roma reached two European finals. Despite concerns over the team's balance and the high-risk nature of their play, De Rossi's tactical adjustments and emphasis on minimizing counter-attacks were highlighted as strategic moves that could shape Roma's future successes.

Rick Karsdorp's low rating by Corriere dello Sport contrasted sharply with Gianluca Mancini's praised performance, illustrating the varied fortunes of Roma's players in the match. Mancini, in particular, was lauded for his defensive prowess, embodying the spirit required to counter Feyenoord's threats.

This in-depth analysis from the Italian press not only critiques Feyenoord's conservative play but also illustrates the nuanced strategic battles and individual performances that defined this European encounter, highlighting the contrasting fortunes and tactical decisions that shaped the outcome of the match.

Updated: 10:51, 23 Feb 2024