AS Roma were able to turn the match at Wankdorf on Thursday. While Young Boys led, the Italians finally won for Matchday 1 of the Europa League.
Young Boys is a good team. It can compete with some clubs from the biggest European leagues. But it must mainly rely on the carelessness of these, even their negligence. To say that there were two different AS Roma on the lawn at Wankdorf on Thursday night is not even a way to denigrate the three-time defending Swiss champion. Simply to measure the gap that there is between the only Swiss representative in European Cups this year and an opponent who no longer even contests for the title in the Italian championship.
Because when Paulo Fonseca, the Portuguese coach of Rome, brought in Edin Dzeko, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jordan Veret all on the hour mark, the signal was clear: led 1-0, the Romans intended to reverse the balance. A quarter of an hour later, it was done: Dzeko had launched Bruno Peres towards the goal (69th) and Mkhitaryan had deposited the ball on the head of Marash Kumbulla (73rd). A good way to forget the first period in which Fonseca had lined up nine players who had not played four days earlier in Serie A. To the dismay of YB and Swiss football.
The responsibility that weighs on the shoulders of Young Boys is not negligible. The Bernese do not have much to do with it if our football gradually disappears from the map of Europe, but the task incumbent on them is in the general interest. History to save what little Switzerland has left on the UEFA index. Having to fight alone, YB will indeed not be able to offer better days to the Super League, unless an improbable and extraordinary feat.
Then any point will be good to take. And the one Gerardo Seoane’s side missed against Rome on Thursday is frustrating. Especially since Jean-Pierre Nsame opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the first quarter of an hour. It was Fabian Rieder who got it. The 18-year-old midfielder, who was only playing his second professional match after that at Servette last Saturday, testified to his ability to set pace and take certain responsibilities in the game of the three-time Swiss champion. In contrast to the age pyramid, the solidity and serenity of Fabian Lustenberger (32) in the heart of central defense have long done a lot of good, although it is he who cuts offside on the 2- 1. These are the two main satisfactions of the performance of the club of the capital.
As for the results, we will have to be patient, even if Meshack Elia was not far from grabbing a point in the 86th minute, but Pau Lopez slammed his recovery. It wouldn’t have been stolen. It should be noted that Seoane’s men applied the recipe that so often succeeds them in the league. Beyond the chosen system, there is always the impact.
Not far from working
It is indeed to be noted, to face the approach of Paulo Fonseca, Seoane had changed disposition, opting for a 3-4-3 which was modeled perfectly on that of his adversary. Convenient for pressing high, with almost individual marking at times. But the key ingredient is obviously intensity. With Young Boys, the word is never overused: these are excessive races, a desire to always push back the opponent, a big presence in duels and a vice whose objective is to never loosen him.
It was not far from working. There is nothing to be ashamed of for this defeat, even if, like Servette, he mainly lacked realism. It would be wise to find him next week in Cluj and then against CSKA Sofia. This group is playable for YB. Swiss football would be grateful to him to see it shine there.