Toon Fans Remember 'Dodgy' Roma!

Last updated : 12 March 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor
Ahead of the Gunners' penalty shootout victory, a supporter was attacked, the British Embassy in the Italian capital claimed, when the minibus in which he was travelling lost its way close to the stadium.

In the latest worrying incident of football hooliganism in the city, it was suggested a group of home fans targeted the vehicle and attempted to force their way inside.

"One managed to get on to the bus and there was a fight," an embassy spokesman said.

"The driver managed to get away when the Roma fan was pushed out of the bus."

Arsenal's fans had already been warned to avoid certain areas of the city by their club after a string of ugly incidents over recent years.

We (Toon fans) found it dodgy during our trip there as far back as 1999, when several Geordies were attacked in pubs in the town centre and there was an ugly incident when we were queuing for a taxi in the market place to go to the ground.

We were set upon by 20-plus Italians wearing both Roma and Lazio shirts, after they had tracked us for half an hour ... and made contact with other gangs by mobile phone.

1999/2000 ROMA 1 NEWCASTLE UTD 0

ROMA: Antonioli, Rinaldi, Aldair, Zago, Cafu, Assuncao, Di Francesco, Candela, Totti, Montella, Delvecchio.
Subs Not Used: Lupatelli, Zanetti, Bartelt, Alenichev, Tommasi, Gourenko, Pereira.

NEWCASTLE: Harper, Barton, Charvet, Dabizas, Pistone, Hughes, Solano, Lee, Speed, Ketsbaia (Robinson 81), Shearer.
Subs Not Used: Karelse, Maric, Glass, McClen, Serrant, Caldwell.

Att: 45,655

Newcastle gave themselves a fighting chance of UEFA Cup progression as they left Rome with only a single goal deficit after a battling performance.
And the Magpies will consider themselves slightly unfortunate to be behind after seeing Francesco Totti win the game for Roma with a controversial 50th-minute penalty after Laurent Charvet was adjudged to have brought down Marco Delvecchio.
Totti later hit the post with the Italians looking to kill the tie off, but injury-ravaged United would simply not cave in despite having the odds seemingly stacked against them.
It was a brave defensive display from Bobby Robson's side, and although chances were few and far between for the visitors, the character they showed to cling on will give them plenty of hope for the return.
Their efforts were warmly appreciated by the magnificent travelling supporters among a crowd of 45,655, who applauded their side off the pitch believing that their European dreams are far from over.
Newcastle's changes were largely enforced as Spanish defender Marcelino added to their injury problems at the 11th hour with a thigh problem.
Frenchman Charvet, who had not started a game all season, took the former Mallorca player's place, while Warren Barton returned from suspension.
Temuri Ketsbaia, who played 80 minutes as a substitute at Watford on Saturday following a long lay-off with a knee injury, got the nod alongside skipper Alan Shearer, and midfielder Nolberto Solano returned for Franck Dumas.
Roma made just two changes to the side which beat top-of-the-table Lazio 4-1 on Sunday with Eusebio Di Francesco and Alessandro Rinaldi replacing Cristiano Zanetti and Amadeo Mangone.
If Newcastle had gone into the game in some trepidation in the midst of a crippling injury crisis, they showed few signs of fear as they defended more than competently in the early stages.
Charvet in particular looked comfortable despite making just one appearance as a substitute all season, while central defensive partners Nicos Dabizas and Barton handled all that was thrown at them.
In truth, that was not a great deal as 20-year-old Aaron Hughes stuck manfully to the task of man-marking midfield playmaker Totti.
Indeed, it was Newcastle who were the first to create a genuine chance as Dabizas and Solano played a neat one-two from which Vincent Candela was forced to concede a corner by Alan Shearer.
Solano's cross was half-cleared, but the ball fell to Ketsbaia, who drove in a low skidding effort which keeper Francesco Antoniola saved at the second attempt.
Brazilian defender Zago, who had earlier been fortunate to escape a booking after bringing Shearer down wide on the right, eventually had his name taken on 25 minutes when he upended the England skipper from behind.
But it was he who almost broke the deadlock two minutes later when he rose to head Cafu's free-kick just wide of Steve Harper's left post.
Barton produced a timely header 10 minutes before the break after Totti expertly brought down Aldair's raking pass and crossed towards Marco Delvecchio.
The defender was in action again five minutes later when he blocked Cafu's piledriver, and television replays showed that the ball had struck his arm as the Roma players converged on French referee Claude Colombo.
But Roma finally forced the breakthrough within five minutes of the restart when they were awarded a penalty.
Totti's ball over the top allowed Delvecchio to charge into the box, and when Charvet slid in with a challenge, the referee pointed to the spot.
It was Totti who stepped up to drive his spot-kick low to Harper's right, but although the keeper got a hand to the ball, he could not keep the ball out of the bottom corner.
Solano tested Antonioli with a well-struck shot from a tight angle two minutes later, but it was Roma who were causing all the problems, and Harper had to come from his line to keep out Montella after Dabizas had gifted possession to Totti.
The Roma skipper was starting to pull the strings, and he as unfortunate not to increase his side's lead on 57 minutes when he let fly from 25 yards but saw his effort come back off the post.
Barton provided the cover once again six minutes later after Cafu's low cross reached Delvecchio.
Shearer earned his second booking in the competition for a foul on Zago as his side become increasingly stretched, and Totti saw a 74th-minute effort slide just wide after he cut inside Hughes on the left.
To their credit, Newcastle pressed forward in the search of an equaliser, and Lee went just wide with a curling effort 10 minutes from time.
There was to be no late equaliser, but United left the pitch satisfied in the knowledge that they are still in with a chance.