the draw

Europa League play-offs: Roma will face Red Bull Salzburg

The Nyon urn has the Austrians in store for us, veterans of Milan's group. Away game on Feb. 16th at 6:45 p.m., and return at the Stadio Olimpico on Feb. 23rd at 9 p.m.

The moment in which Salzsburg was drawn

The moment in which Salzsburg was drawn (GETTY IMAGES)

09 Novembre 2022 - 13:17

The Austrians of Red Bull Salzburg will be Roma's opponents in the Europa League playoffs. This was sanctioned shortly after 1 p.m. Italian time by the Nyon urn. It is a draw not to be underestimated. But certainly the team from the Red Bull stable is an opponent largely within the reach of Mourinho's men. There were the Spanish pitfalls (Barcelona and Sevilla), Ajax and Bayer Leverkusen. After having avoided these, Salzburg is a "draw" that bodes well, but in any case, there will be a lot of sweat to get into the round of 16. Repeating the definition used by Jose Mourinho, they can be considered average-sized "sharks." The Austrians, who were in the same Champions League group as Milan, finished third (with 6 points) in Group E at the expense of Dinamo Zagreb. Being top seed, Roma will have the opportunity to play the return leg at home, at the Stadio Olimpico, on Feb. 23rd at 9 p.m. Also, a week earlier, on the 16th (6:45 p.m.), they will play the first leg at the Red Bull Arena. Roma, via a statement on its website, let it be known that "in the next few days, the timing and method of purchasing tickets" for the two matches will be announced. However, this announcement will include a specific bolded postilion that reads, "Attention: the sale will start soon...." In short, even though there will be a wait of about three months for the doubleheader, the tickets will be available soon. 

The pairing actually came "by exclusion," since all the other seven challenges had already been determined. Drawing the balls from the ballot box was Hungary's Zoltan Gera, Uefa ambassador for the final scheduled in Budapest and a Europa League finalist with Fulham in 2010. For Giallorossi fans there was also a bit of suspense when, at the penultimate pairing, Sevilla was drawn from the Champions League. Monchi's club, however, found PSV Eindhoven, and at that point, the Giallorossi were left with nothing but Salzburg. 

Unprecedented Challenge

The two teams have never crossed paths before in official matches. Roma, however, has faced other Austrian teams throughout its history, since the old Central European Cup. In 1931-32, the double semifinal with First Vienna was bitter (home defeat 3-2 and away victory 1-0), while in 1935-36 we overcame Rapid Vienna in the round of 16 (3-1 knockout in Austria and 5-1 success in Rome). In the 1992-93 Uefa Cup, there easy success with Wacker Innsbruck (4-1 and 1-0), but in the group stage of the 2016-2017 Europa League, Austria Vienna sold their skins dearly: 3-3 at the Stadio Olimpico, and it was a success for the Spalletti gang (4-2) in the North Tyrol. It was the same competition but a different opponent: in 2019-20 two draws with Wolfsberg (1-1 and 2-2). 

The Other Competitions

Prominent among them all is the match between Barcelona and Manchester United. Juve, the only other Italian in the running after relegation from the Champions, will face Nantes. The other pairings are Sporting-Midtjylland, Shakhtar Donetsk-Rennes, Ajax-Union Berlin, Bayer Leverkusen-Munich and Sevilla-PSV Eindhoven.