Lukaku redeems himself as he scores a late Roma winner

AS Roma staged a remarkable comeback against US Lecce, scoring two stoppage-time goals and extending their unbeaten head-to-head run at the Stadio Olimpico to 17 matches (W15, D2).

Under the watchful eye of José Mourinho, Roma quickly asserted their dominance, earning a penalty within two minutes when Federico Baschirotto’s arm deflected Paulo Dybala’s goal-bound shot. However, Romelu Lukaku’s spot-kick was saved by Wladimiro Falcone. Undeterred, Roma continued their offensive onslaught, with Dybala orchestrating the attack. He came close to breaking the deadlock with a sublime flick and volley, narrowly missing the target.

Despite Lecce weathering Roma’s storm, the first half ended goalless, with neither side creating clear opportunities. The second half started more evenly, with Lecce maintaining their positive momentum and Roma posing threats on the counter. Lukaku, denied earlier by Falcone, faced another thwarted attempt as his shot was saved.

In a surprising turn, Lecce took the lead when Pontus Almqvist capitalized on a loose ball in the box, beating Rui Patrício near his post. Roma, stunned by the setback, made strategic substitutions, bringing in fresh players from the bench. Two substitutes, Nicola Zalewski and Sardar Azmoun, combined effectively, as Azmoun headed in Zalewski’s delivery, setting the stage for a tense finale in stoppage time.

The equalizer shifted the momentum drastically, and Roma seemed destined to secure a late victory. In the 94th minute, Dybala found Lukaku, who displayed remarkable composure in the box, holding off a defender and slotting the ball past Falcone. This last-minute triumph propelled Mourinho’s team to eighth place, trailing the European spots by just one point.