AS Roma is one of the more successful football clubs in Italy, and after hundreds of matches throughout its history, there has been a handful that really stood out as the best. Here are our picks for the five greatest AS Roma matches of all time and what made them so impactful.
Reaching the European Cup Final
Whether it’s known as the European Cup or the UEFA Champions League, the title has been hard to come by for AS Roma. Throughout the club’s history, Roma has never won the Champions League and has been to the finals just once. That came during the 1983-84 edition of the tournament when the club lost to Liverpool in penalty kicks. Though the loss hurt, the ride there was a lot of fun.
Roma started off the tournament by defeating Gothenburg, then took care of CSKA Sofia and BFC Dynamo. In the first leg of the semis against Dundee United, Roma lost 2-0, setting up a nearly impossible situation to advance to the final. The club needed to win by three goals but did just that thanks to two first-half goals by Roberto Pruzzo and a 58th-minute penalty kick by Agostini Di Bartolomei. The Roman crowd was going wild for the brilliant comeback to send the home team to its first finals appearance.
Roma 6-2 Inter
Though they aren’t as frequent as they once were, AS Roma were once perennial contenders for the Coppa Italia title. This was especially true during the 1980s as the club won the tournament four times throughout the decade. After 1986, Roma would win just one Coppa Italia (1991) before returning to glory in 2007. That Coppa Italia marked the last time that the final would be two legs, and the first one was a sight to behold.
In front of nearly 40,000 people at Stadio Olimpico, Roma essentially clinched the title thanks to their performance which started with a Francesco Totti goal in the first minute. In total, they scored four times in the first half hour, then Christian Panucci scored twice in the second half. Herman Crespo added two goals for Inter, but it was too late as Roma secured a 6-2 victory, giving them an insurmountable lead in the second leg.
In the 2007-08 Coppa Italia, the format changed so that the finals would be just one leg. Inter got a second shot at Roma in a winner-take-all match. Roma reached the final by defeating Torino (in an impressive comeback), Sampdoria, then Catania. For Roma, the match was a home game as it was played in Stadio Olimpico in front of a sold-out crowd of 60,000 people, and they didn’t disappoint.
Philippe Mexes got the scoring started in the 36th minute, with neither team scoring in the rest of the first half. Simone Perrotta then made it a 2-0 Roma advantage in the 54th minute, but it wouldn’t hold for long. Pele scored for Inter, making it a 2-1 nailbiter, but the Roma defense held strong and the 2-1 score would be the final, giving Roma its second straight Coppa Italia title.
Clinching Serie A
AS Roma won the Serie A title during World War II in the 1941-42 season, but it would be a long time before that happened again. Fast forward to the 1982-83 campaign, and Roma was still searching for its second title. Roma got off to a solid start, winning five of its first six matches. After a loss to Sampdoria in the third match of the year, Roma would lose just two more times, both to Juventus.
Juventus also happened to be the team that was hot on Roma’s heels in the table the entire season. Roma needed a win on the 28th matchday to clinch the Serie A title and was facing off against Avellino at Stadio Olimpico. Falcao netted a 38th-minute goal to put Roma ahead, then Agostino Di Bartolomei made it 2-0 in the second half to give Roma the Serie A crown for the first time in more than four decades.
Then Doing it Again
After winning the 1982-83 Serie A title, it was another long stretch for Roma until they were able to hoist the trophy again. In the 2000-01 season, Roma was once again battling with Juventus for Serie A supremacy, and things got a little dicey toward the end as Roma started collecting more draws than wins. Because Juventus won its final match, the road for Roma was simple: defeat Parma and win the title.
A loss or a draw would have given Juventus the Serie A title, but Roma came prepared. Francesco Totti and Vincenzo Montella scored in the first half while Gabriel Batistuta made it a 3-0 match. Marco Di Vaio netted a late goal for Parma, but Roma won 3-1 and the league title.