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Bittersweet Athens outcome gives Roma heart

AS Roma may have lost for the first time against Greek opponents in their round of 32 opener against Panathinaikos FC, but the two away goals they picked up could help them progress in the home decider.

Bittersweet Athens outcome gives Roma heart
Bittersweet Athens outcome gives Roma heart ©UEFA.com

Two away goals will be a substantial comfort for AS Roma as they go in to their UEFA Europa League round of 32 decider against Panathinaikos FC trailing 3-2 from the first leg in Athens.

• Mirko Vučinić (29) put Roma ahead but Dimitris Salpingidis responded (67). David Pizarro restored the visitors' lead (81p) but Lazaros Hristodoulopoulos (84) and Djibril Cissé (90) struck late on to win the game.

Previous meetings
• The first leg was the clubs' first competitive meeting. Panathinaikos's record from 19 matches against Serie A opposition is W5 D5 L9; away it is W1 D2 L6.

• In the opening leg Roma lost their first game against Greek opponents in seven UEFA club competition games. Their record reads W2 D4 L1, with one win and two draws at home.

• In addition to those six matches, Roma faced Aris Thessaloniki FC in the 1964/65 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – the non-UEFA affiliated forerunner of the UEFA Cup – drawing 0-0 in Greece and winning 3-1 at home.

Match background
• Panathinaikos have not prevailed in five two-legged springtime UEFA club competition ties since beating RSC Anderlecht in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup fourth round.

• Roma have won their last eight home games in Europe since losing 2-1 to CFR 1907 Cluj in their first 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage game.

• Panathinaikos's five European away games this season have ended in two wins and three defeats. Only one goal has been scored in each of their last three away games; two of them winners for the Greens.

• Roma last appeared at this stage of the UEFA Cup in 2005/06, beating Club Brugge KV before losing out to that season's eventual runners-up, Middlesbrough FC, in the last 16.

Team facts 
• Giorgos Karagounis is the only Panathinaikos player with experience of Serie A, having played for FC Internazionale Milano from 2003 to 2005. He was a team-mate of Nicolás Burdisso and Marco Andreolli in his second season in Milan.

• Gilberto and Júlio Baptista are team-mates in the Brazil national team and also played together at Arsenal FC in 2006/07 season.

• Gilberto faced Roma twice with Arsenal in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League second group stage, winning 3-1 in Rome before drawing 1-1 in London.

• Júlio Baptista faced Panathinaikos with Sevilla FC in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup round of 32, winning 2-0 at home and losing 1-0 away.

• Cissé won two French Cups alongside Philippe Mexès at AJ Auxerre from 1999 to 2005, and then claimed the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League and 2005/06 FA Cup with John Arne Riise at Liverpool FC.

• Riise also rubbed shoulders with Sebastian Leto at Anfield in 2007/08.

• Panathinaikos have yet to score in the first half of a game since entering the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Cissé was ruled offside more times than any other player in the UEFA Europa League group stage, with the referee's assistant's flag being raised 18 times.

• The winners in this tie face the victors of the contest between R. Standard de Liège and FC Salzburg in the round of 16 on 11 and 18 March, playing the first leg at home.

• Roma have taken part in four European penalty shoot-outs, losing all but the first; a 4-2 success against IFK Norrköping in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup. They lost 4-2 to Liverpool FC in the 1983/84 European Champion Clubs' Cup final at their own Olimpico Stadium, went down 4-3 at Real Zaragoza in a 1986/87 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup tie and last season lost 7-6 to Arsenal FC in a UEFA Champions League first knockout round decider.

• Panathinaikos have never participated in a shoot-out in UEFA club competition.

Suspended: none
Misses next match if booked: Nikos Spyropoulos
Players added to squad: Giourkas Seitaridis, Cleyton, Anastasios Lagos, Fontas Fetsis
Players removed from squad: Georgos Machlelis

Suspended: none
Misses next match if booked: Alessio Cerci, Daniele De Rossi, David Pizarro
Players added to squad: Luca Toni, Ricardo Faty
Players removed from squad: Stefano Guberti, Artur, Leandro Greco, Andrea Bertolacci, Stefano Okuka, Valerio Frasca