Roma …

The walking wounded came, they saw and they so nearly conquered the warriors from across the shores. They were true gladiators, true Romans. What did I expect with half the team on the treatment table, what did I hope for with De Rossi suspended and a limping Totti? Did I expect a crooked Juan, or a struggling Pizzaro to start? What more could have I asked from a hugely unproven and untested defender making his first champions league start? I could go on and on, and if truth be told, I expected them to falter, and yet hoped for the Romans to show up.
But they did not falter. They belied me, they exceeded the faintest of my expectations and continued to do so for over 120 minutes. This was a performance to be proud of, a performance to be recorded in the annals of history, a performance to remember and cherish. This was one of those performances where the result was inconsequential.
Did they deserve more? Yes they did! A kid making his second champions league appearance had his more accomplished counterpart in his back pocket (Motta vs. Clichy). A debutatnt (Diamoutene) had an accomplished champion (Van Persie) shackled. A truly good player was reborn (Riise as centre back), an injured soldier gave us the early goal that we wanted (Juan) and a legend walking on crutches inspired us all (Totti). And a man kicked, pushed and repeatedly fouled just refused to say no, he kept coming back (Pizzaro).
But we had to bow out, because in life there are no happy endings like fairy tales.

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