Score:Roma 0 Empoli 0 FT
– Stadio Carlo Castellani, Florence
Following three straight wins most recently beating Sassuolo Roma returned to Serie A action Sunday for their 11th match of the campaign Roma Traveled to Florence to take on Empoli to try to make in four in a row. With Juventus Winning the big showdown with Napoli on Saturday it put the pressure on Roma even dropping points would be bad news for the Romans as Juventus could take their lead to 4 or 5points at the top. Roma would be heavy favorites with RED HOT Dzeko leading the attack it appeared it should be no problem getting the 3 points. It was a largely important match to get a good result to keep the pressure on Juventus in what has seemingly looked like a two-team race at the moment. The match didn’t go as planned. Serie A’s scoring leaders and One of Europe’s highest scoring counter attack units’ shutout against Relegation side in a very disappointing 0-0 draw. The shots at Empoli came early and often but missed chances lead to only a point gained in Florence despite three players returning to the team they still struggled as it appears they will need to fill a void left by Alexandro Florenzi who torn his ACL last weekend. It was possibly the worst performance of the season they had to get back to work after this awful showing.
The day finally arrived Antione Rudiger would make his full return to the starting 11 after being brought on late in Roma’s 3-1 win at Sassulo last Wednesday. Due to the recent news of Captain Alexandro Florenzi injury tearing his ACL in the 2nd half of the Sassolo game Rudiger who just is coming off the same exact injury would somewhat be forced into the starting 11 despite not being at 100% quite yet this situation has given Spalletti no choice but to throw him in there. Roma manager Luciano Spalletti kept their usual 5-4-1 formation made some minor adjustments but much of the team remained the same. As I mentioned Rudiger returned to the lineup getting his 1st start since match day 34 from last season against AC Milan. He would start the game at Left back the other three defenders would stay the same. Manolas and Fazio would be the center backs and to complete the back line would be Emerson at Right back making his 2nd straight start. In the defensive midfield, there would be a sight change Youngster Leonardo Paredes would return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench last week the Paraguayan International scored in his last start so it seemed like a good tactic he would play on the left. Joining him on the right making 3rd straight start would be long time Roman Daniele De Rossi to complete the pair of their defensive midfield unit. Than up front the attacking Midfield unite known as the three-headed monster of Stephen El Shaarawy, Rajia Nainggolan and Mohammed Salah. With Raji playing the center midfield position and Shaarawy and Salah playing the wings. Than upfront the Boasian Tower the RED HOT Edin Dzeko who leads Serie A with 10 goals. Than In goal the Regular Wojciech Szczesny. After been given a two-week timetable Midfielder Diego Perotti and left back Bruno Peres would be on the team sheet as a possible early return. Not the strongest of teams but should be good enough to win.
2nd place Roma would continue their Road Trip heading to Florence to take on relegation side 18th place Empoli 1-3-6. The last trip Roma took to Florence ended in controversy and disappointment in their loss to Fiorentina in the very beginning of the season. It would a game that wasn’t the biggest of games but it would be important for them to get a good result here because they need to keep pace with Juventus who beat Napoli in the Game of the week in Serie A on Saturday. They need to win to their winnable games. A loss or draw would increase the point difference between Juve and Roma. The Romans would be huge favorites to win they have scored more goals than anyone in Italy as well as having one of the best counter attacks throughout Europe as well as the league top scorer in Dzeko Roma should make easy work of Empoli. The match kicked off in this afternoon fixture in Florence. Early in the 1st half Dzeko nearly scored after getting service from Salah he headed the ball at the goal but was saved. Than it was Salah’s turn after a deflection he fired a powerful shot but was once again saved. Roma was in much better shape controlling the game as the ball practically never left Empoli’s territory all half. Than roma would get another chance Parades chipped a ball into the box from far out where Dzeko attempt on goal misfired. Than Emerson, Raji and EL Shaarawy all had chances but failed to find the net. El Shaarawy might have had the best chance of the 1st half on a free kick he received a pass with space and shot on goal but was deflected and went wide. Empoli had one chance all half on a free kick but missed. After 45 minutes, it was 0-0 not a goal scored despite all the chances that roma had it could have been 5-0 after so many chances but failing to put them away was the reason a goal hasn’t been scored. It’s something roma has worked on this year but certainly some days are better than others today wasn’t a great day they struggled finishing off the chances. It was still one way traffic the teams are on different level of skill you could see it watching the game. One team was much better than the other it was clear Roma was dominating the game Empoli barely had shot or the ball for that matter. It would be a matter of time before they would break through at least it seemed that way.
Action would continue it would be the same story as the 1st half. Roma’s Scoring chances continued. Off a free kick delivery from El Shaarawy Greek CB Manolas nearly put it away on his diving headed but once again Roma failed to score. After the scoring attempt Roma looked to the bench as they would make a switch Bruno Peres would return from injury after missing 4 games coming in for the Brazilian Emerson. Roma would be delighted for his return he has been one of their best players this season and now with Rudiger back and Florenzi’s injury he will play a really important or I should say continued to play an important role in Roma’s season. Bruno made his impact on the game right away he beat two defenders he took a long shot from outside of the box nearly scoring but once again Roma failed to score. Empoli had a few more chances but Szczesny made some great saved down the stretch. Roma would make a few more Subs Juan Jesus would replace Rudiger, the German would impress in his full return seemingly remained in the top form that he displayed a season ago he played excellent in the game but Spalletti decided to save him for another game giving him the rest making the sub. Another player would also making their return to the side. Diego Perotti would come back after being injured coming in for De Rossi. Before the Injury he was one of Roma’s best players Roma were thrilled to get him back in there. A few more El Shaarawy scoring chances would be it as it would end 0-0 in Florence.
Roma would fail to score against a team that will likely be in Serie B next season a very disappointing result. Roma had 23 shots and still couldn’t score against a team not in the same class it just seems every time they have a chance to jump on Juventus they fail to do so. There were some positives in the match the defense stood strong the entire game and with the few players they have gotten back could really help them going forward. Roma didn’t drop out of 2nd we still are within striking distance of Juventus. Despite the Draw Roma remain as the biggest threat to the title defense. With Napoli losing their best player with AC Milan inconsistency play with Inter Struggling Roma seems like the team with the best chance to take them down with Lazio as an outside shot. Although it still is slightly concerning it’s not over for Roma but they shouldn’t be shutout by Empoli especially since they are one of the highest scoring teams in Europe only Real Madrid and Barcelona have more goals. I’m worried about Juve but only from a far regarding how other teams perform against them. Individual they don’t scare me Roma think can beat them or at least get a point from them. Roma must play better going forward. Roma will try to rebound next week going back home to Host Bologna after their mid-week Austria trip. There next two games are must win games against Bologna and Atalanta before there big match on Derby day against Lazio. Roma can come back from this they need to go back to training and fix the mistakes to move forward….
Man Of the Match: Stephen El Shaarawy
NEXT In Serie A: vs Bologna November 6th
NEXT In Europa League: @ Austria Wein
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 5
Pass Accuracy: 83%
On Target: 3
Pass Accuracy: 70%
TOP OF THE TABLE
1.Juventus 9-0-2 27pts
2. Roma 7-2-2 23Pts
3. AC Milan 7-1-3 22Pts
4. Lazio 6-3-2 21Pts
5. Napoli 5-3-2 20pts
BOTTOM OF THE TABLE
16. Caglari 4-1-5 13Pts
17. Pescara 1-4-6 7Pts
18. Empoli 1-4-5 7Pts
19. Palermo 1-3-6 6Pts
20. Crotone 1-2-8 5Pts