Raja Nainggolan’s Wonder Strike Buries AC Milan #43

Week 20Score: A.S Roma 1 A.C Milan 0 FT
– Stadio Olimpico
                Following Roma’s recent derby success and their draw in the final game of the Europa League they would return to their Serie A Crusade in their 16th match of 2016-2017 campaign in Serie A facing off in one of the most anticipated fixtures of the season so far with an Emotional battle between 2nd and 3rd as Roma would welcome A.C Milan to a sold out Stadio Olimpico a vastly important match for both team as the league title would continue to be a three team title race Roma and AC Milan were even on points going into the game a loss would be costly either way and a draw would maybe kill both their seasons. It would be a close game throughout it was never going to be a wash it was a back and forth 1st half But a missed Penalty by AC Milan kept it even Bruno would come off with an injury right before halftime could potentially be a big blow for Roma the game would stay close until very late the deadlock would be broken in the second half when the Tasmanian Devil (Raja Nainggolan) hit a wonder strike to propel Roma to another victory closing their gap on Juventus to 4 points setting a huge Primetime match on day 17 as they will visit Turin to take on the Defending champions and league leaders Juventus with only a 4 point lead a good result there could change the power structure of the league this season so this was an absolute massive win for Spalletti and his men.

 

 

               It was revealed shortly before the game that one of Roma’s best players Mohammed Salah could be looking at a possible return from his injury next week in Turin against Juventus. Salah’s absence from the team somewhat has messed with the formation that Roma has been using they have had to change it due to him being out not that’s it’s a bad thing but you kind of want that consistency it’s probably not ideal to having to change up the formation too much. They would go back to the 5-4-1 formation after playing an odd formations against Lazio and Astra but they would still mix it up a little bit it wasn’t a standard Spalletti team had the pieces they were just moved around a little bit. The keeper as usual would be Wojciech Szcz?sny. It would be a somewhat similar look to the defensive line we have seen this before in the back line Roma would go with Emerson at right back moving back to defense after playing midfield on Thursday. The center backs would stay pretty similar with Kosta Manolas and Fazio. Than on the opposite side of Emerson at the left back position would be the German International the Berlin Wall Antione Rudiger a very solid defensive unite. The defensive midfield unit would remain untouched from the derby. Kevin Strootman who wasn’t expected to be a part of this game due to the water bottle incident after he scored the opener in the derby against Lazio he was going to miss the next two games but he appealed it and won the appeal so as usual he would lineup on left side of the defensive midfield. Joining him on the right side would be Roma’s Current captain Danielle De Rossi. Than would be Roma’s three headed monster as they attacking midfield unit but it would have a different look. In the center as usual as the QB of the Midfield was the Raja “The Tasmanian Devil” Nainggolan who has been in great from recently. Than on the left wing would be Argentine International Diego Perotti. Than it gets a little odd the final head of the monster attacking midfield unit would be Bruno Peres who is played in the back most of the time I somewhat get it though he is a very versatile player. Than finally up front would be the big man top scorer in Italy the Bosnian Tower Edin Dzeko who has netted 17 goals in all games for roma this season. Than El Shaarawy would be used as a key sub from the bench. An unusual look but a very strong team and it’s exactly what they would need to take down AC Milan.
                The Day finally arrived two of Italy’s best team on Serie A’s an Addition of MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL in a sold out jam packed Stadio Olimpico between two title chasers probably the biggest game in the Italian top flight this season it would be 2nd place Roma 10-2-3 (32Pts) taking on 3rd place AC Milan 10-2-3 (32Pts) in an absolute massive match in Rome. It would be especially important for Roma a win in this match would take them within real striking distance of Juventus, Juventus had a 7 point advantage at the top before the match as Roma with a win here and a win against Juventus next week could make it only a one point difference. There was a lot of hype surrounding this fixture the game of the week in Serie A match day 16. AC Milan got 1-1 draw the last time they were here it’s been quite some time since Milan has won here so for that reason and for that reason alone Roma would be very slight favorites. Roma would take their #1 ranking attack in Italy to AC Milan as the Milan giants would attempt to hold off the charge as well as having weapons of their own. The two teams would face off in what would surely be a fantastic game. It would get Rolling and Roma would waste no time getting things going in the just the 2nd minute Roma got on the attack with Nainggolan creating space giving Dzeko a fantastic opportunity to score but it was saved right out of the gate Roma looked like they were mentally and physically ready for the match. Both teams were trading chances but I’d say Roma looked slightly better but a very hard one to call. AC Milan had a very good chance with Suso leading the charge nearly setting up a goal but Szczesny came to play a lot of attacks back and forth but the defenses were playing at a high level. Dzeko made several good chances but was unable to score. Than a huge moment came in the 26th minute AC Milan put together a tremendous attack Roma goalkeeper Szczesny came out to defend the box and in the process tripped the Milan striker as the referee pointed to the spot to give AC Milan the penalty a huge moment in the game the game was 0-0 at the time. It was a massive mistake from the Roma keeper a foolish decision by the Polish International Szczesny doesn’t make very many mistake so it became a crucial moment in the game. Niang would step up to take it the shot to the right side as was Denied by Szcz?sny saving his 2nd Penalty this season making a fantastic save. Niang would miss his 2nd penalty in a row after missing last week at Crotone he surely has to be taken off PKs he clearly isn’t up for the challenge so with the miss it would remain 0-0. It would be Milan’s 1st shot of the game. The game became very defensive they were not a lot of shots taken in the 1st half especially by AC Milan. Roma were finding much easier as the Romans seems like they had the control. The missed PK seems to boast their confidence no less than 10 minutes after the Penalty Dzeko received a long ball into the box hitting it with near perfection nearly scoring the opening goal he was within inches of scoring. Despite not scoring yet Dzeko, Serie a’s best was having an outstanding game every shot he took in the 1st half was on target he was continuously punishing the defense. Shortly before the end of the half Bruno Peres picked up an Injury he was taken off on a stretcher hopefully isn’t not to serious we still don’t have all the details on how severe the injury is or a timetable. Former AC Milan player Stephen El Shaarawy would come on to replace him. AC Milan was winning the possession battle but it really didn’t seem to matter as Roma looked like the far better side the 1st half ended 0-0.
                So far it was a very exciting game Roma surly looked better but for an Away team AC Milan was doing a wonderful job. There were no subs made by either team at the start of the 2nd half. The game continued the live up to the hype. AC Milan needed to create more and Roma needed to take advantages of the chances they were getting. it looked like the prime time match up it was cracked up to be both teams were playing at a very high level it was a largely important match as I mentioned earlier they weren’t taking it lightly. Milan started looking more of the part early in the 2nd half challenged Szczesny but still seemed to be Forcing it a little too much it’s been a slight problem lately with Carlos Bacca still out they have had to rely on young players to get the job done for them and they have had success with some of their youngsters but young players tend to force it at times which is why we continue to see chances like this wasted at times for Milan. Roma would continue to take their chances too as well Diego Perotti had his chance shortly after the Milan miss but completely spooned it. Perotti wasn’t discouraged though he continued to play exceptionally well in the second half he has been in pretty good form lately. He later had a shot that he took at a tight angle that barely missed he’s done well He has been filling in for Salah during his absence. His importance will become much bigger when Salah will miss time for the African Cup. After 60 plus minutes of a hard fought football match they would be a breakthrough in the 64th minute. Kosta Manolas hit a deep and long distance header near Raja who was set up very near the box just from outside he hit a stunning shot from the outer circle into the back of the next hitting the top left corner with ease hit a near perfect shot. He slipped as it came off his foot beating Gianluigi Donnarumma may be 17 but he is one of the hardest keepers to beat in Serie A. it would make it 1-0 with a little under 30 minutes to go it would be a very important goal now Roma just had to hold off Milan for the rest of the game and it would set up a power structure game with Juve next week. It would be Raja Nainggolan’s 3rd goal of the season every goal he has scored this season has been fantastic like I tell my Inter friend all the time he either scores a crazy goal or not at all. It would be his 2nd goal in a row he scored the 2nd goal in Roma’s derby win against Lazio. He has scored against Milan, Napoli and Lazio he may not be a 30 goal scorer but he scores in the big games he has been one of Roma’s best players this season very glad he rejected a move to Chelsea over the summer. Roma would hold down Milan the rest of the game beside a few other chances Roma were holding them off than in stoppage time Milan would have one more chance to get something from the game as a Milan sub Fernandez gave Milan one last chance to get something from the game as he hit a great ball from the corner of the box but Szcz?sny would make the save crushing them of any hope of getting a point. It would end as 1-0 to the Romans Raja’s strike would be enough to secure all thee points.
                After the victory it would take Roma to stand alone in second with 35Pts winning their 11th game of the season. Now only four points behind Juventus who they play on Match day 17 a win in Turin against the Champs would take them within 1 point of the top in Serie A. Roma haven’t done well on the road this season but If they can find a way to get at least a point it could change the entire outline of the season Roma is the biggest threat to Juventus’s title defense. Won the Derby Won against 3rd place Milan won against Napoli won against Inter they have fared very well against top competition this season so I’m optimistic of their chances but again a huge win for Roma. On top of the Juventus game Roma had the Europa league Draw this week after winning the group they Drew Villarreal in the Round of 32 absolute Rotten luck Roma are the better team but Villarreal are one of the best teams in the Europa league this season none the less some great games in the near future.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Raja Nainggolan, CM
NEXT GAME: @ Juventus Saturday, December 17th

BY THE NUMBERS
A.S Roma
Shots: 13
On Target: 4
Possession: 48%
Passes: 303
Passing Accuracy: 77%
Corners: 8

A.C Milan
Shots: 8
On Target: 4
Possession: 52%
Passes: 337
Passing Accuracy: 76%
Corners: 4

TOP OF THE TABLE
1. Juventus 13-0-3 39Pts
2. A.S Roma 11-2-3 35Pts
3. A.C Milan 10-2-4 32Pts
4. Napoli 9-4-3 31Pts
5. S.S Lazio 9-4-3 31Pts

BOTTOM OF TABLE
16. Bologna 4-5-7 17Pts
17. Empoli 2-5-9 11Pts
18. Crotone 2-3-11 9Pts
19. Pescara 1-5-10 8Pts
20. Palermo 1-3-12 6Pts

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