Raja Nainggolan’s Strike Enough as Roma Win again #49

Week 27A.S Roma 1 0 Udinese FT
-Dacia Arena, Udine

               Following Roma’s win against Genoa last weekend they would continue their Crusade In Serie A with their 20th game of the Serie A Campaign continuing their road trip to face Udinese for the second time this season Roma beat Udinese 4-0 on the opening game of the season this would be the final match between the two teams this season not the biggest game but still a somewhat of a key game as most games currently are Roma are in a continuous dog fight with Juventus for the top of Italian football Despite Juve having played one less game Roma can make it a point difference with a win and if Juventus losses to Fiorentina. 2017 started off well and in this game they would continue to stay the same it was a closer match up in this game it was back and forth early but Raja Nainggolan took his chance early in the 1st half beating the keeper to give Roma the early 1-0 lead. Than later in the 1st half Roma were given a Penalty due to a handball in the box but Roma failed to take advantage as Dzeko Skied it there were many more chances for both teams but neither was able to capitalize on them as Roma keeper Szcz?sny once again showed his brilliance as he kept his 8th clean sheet of the season to secure the three points for Roma as they continue to keep the Pressure on Juventus.

 

              A lot more transfer Rumors in the news this week regarding several names. Kosta Manolas has been a subject of many transfers Man United, Inter Milan, Chelsea and PSG are all in for Manolas being the best center back in Italy he often is the subject of Rumors but it very unlikely to leave has he desires to remain in Rome to help with the title race. The clubs plans to offer him a new contract although it is unclear when they will have the details together. He has been the main Transfer attraction so far Rudiger was also a name that was being thrown around but since the last week they have seemed to die down as he is also more than likely staying in Rome. It had looked like Roma would be bringing in West Ham outcast Sofiane Feghouli but it seems like it will not happen now as West Ham Rejected two different loan deals for the Algerian winger. The most likely player that Roma can bring in now seems to be Charly Musonda on a loan deal from Chelsea and even that is kind of up in the air at the moment so it’s possible that Roma may not sign anyone in this window however According to Luciano Spalletti it’s not necessary as he believes he still has a lot of quality in this squad to get good results despite not having Salah due to the African Cup but he will continue to try to bring in reinforcements. Also this week Roma reveled that they are ready to battle Arsenal for on loan Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny as he has been in really good form Roma are ready to pay the asking price of 16 million That would be all for the transfers this week. Roma Boss Luciano Spalletti once again went with the 3-6-1 Formation as they strayed away from their usual 4-5-1 possibly due the suspensions and the absence of Salah. Both Rudiger and Perotti would not make the trip due to accumulating too many cards both players would serve a 1 match suspension. Wojciech Szczesny would get the start in goal he has been in top gear over the last few games. Making up the defensive three would be Juan Jesus and Manolas making up the wings as Fazio would be deployed as the center back. In front of the defense would be the center midfield Unit of 5. On the wings just like last week would be the versatile Brazilian pair of Emerson and Bruno Peres both moving up once again from the defense as they would take on the wings. The middle would be Leonardo Paredes returning to the starting lineup after being for over a month due to injury joining him in the middle would be Kevin Strootman. Than two wingers playing underneath the striker would Stephen El Shaarawy playing on the left wing and Roma most inform player Raja Nainggolan playing on the right wing. Than up front would be the always dangerous Edin Dzeko Roma’s top goal scorer this season despite the absentees it’s still a strong team.

 

               2nd place Roma would continue their road trip as they headed down to Udine to face 11th place Udinese for their 2nd match up of the season between the two teams Roma faced them on the opening day of the season winning easily in a 4-0 thrashing at the Stadio Olimpico so Udinese would be a team that have a lot of fight in them despite not having a victory against the Giallorossi since 2012 they are a team that can be dangerous at times a very solid mid table team. It would be a bigger game for Roma than advertised beside the fact that they will be without winger Salah for this month due to the African Cup if Juventus lose to Fiorentina in the game later in the day Roma would be only one point out of 1st. After a week of preparation for the match it was time to kick off Roma got off to a great start Roma showed their quality early Edin Dzeko, Kevin Strootman and Stephen El Shaarawy all had great chances very early in they looked great early despite being without many of their key players. Than After just 13 minutes the moment arrived for the Romans and it was an absolute beauty of a scoring chance. Roma were attacking with a lot of bodies inside the box with Strootman, Bruno and Parades on the outside of the box trying to create something. Something caught Strootman eye he hit a cross from well outside the box as he saw Raja get free of the defender so Strootman sent the ball in from a long way out into the Tasmanian Devil as Raja Nainggolan hit the volley with fantastic timing putting in the back of the net to give Roma the 1-0 lead. It would be Raja Nainggolan’s 5th goal of the season he has been one of Roma most inform players this season he has taken on the role of captain in the last few games and he has proven that he has earned the armband delivering and leading the team from the front. He has scored several goals this season but this may be the best one this season the buildup was just pure class a fantastic finish as well. Not long after the opening goal of the game Roma had another chance to double it. Stephen El Shaarawy was in inside the box when his shot hit the hands of a Udinese defender he was called for the hand ball and Roma were given a penalty a chance to double their lead. Their Penalty specialist Diego Perotti was out due to suspension so Edin Dzeko stepped up to try an increase the lead he has only taken on penalty this season. It was a golden opportunity but the Bosnian Missed horribly as he skied it over the bar an awful kick. It wouldn’t be a good game for Dzeko but in football that happens from time to time. The penalty miss gave Udinese great confidence and all of sudden after not creating much in the game they starting attacking Roma’s goal with much more success they were causing them real danger but luckily for Roma Szcz?sny was in top form and prevented any chance of an equalizer the Udine attack was relentless but the defense and Szcz?sny were playing at another level. It became clear that it was going to be a tough 2nd half as Roma desperately wanted to hold on to the three points especially given what was at stake. after the 1st 45 minutes Roma went into the break with the 1-0 Lead.

 

              Going into the 2nd half they were no changes for either team Roma were potentially 45 minutes away from going just 1 point from the top of Serie A. Roma were the better team and controlling possession but the Undie side was not backing down from the challenge a much improved team to the team Roma saw in their 4-0 win against them in the opening game of the season. The 2nd half would resume in Udine. It became a back and forth affair in the 2nd half Roma still looked the better outfit but Udinese did good on the chances that they had been given but again Szcz?sny was showing his brilliance continuing to show why Roma want to sign him permanently. Than in the 63rd minute Roma went the bench to try to inject Roma with energy. Roma’s longest serving player and legend Francesco Totti would check into the game making his 770th appearance in the Roma shirt coming in for Stephen El Shaarawy he had a pretty good game so far but Replacing him with Totti would give Roma a different element. Pretty much from moment he stepped on the pitch he made an instant impact. When Roma went on the attack he hit a near perfect cross to Raja but went a little too deep Totti continued to show his skill even at a distinguished age of 40 he began to control the Roma attack everything was flowing there him. It continued to be a back and forth game a lot of action and chances but not a lot of shots on goal in the second half with both team really pressing and defending to a high standard it was difficult for both teams to break through. The Roman defense did a great job of controlling the box getting in the way and defending the shots that have come their way preventing a legitimate shot on goal which is why Szczensy praised his defense so much in his post-game interview. On the Offensive end Raja Nainggolan was controlling the attack from the very beginning of the game he continued to get into the space he was a big part of opening the game again after not a lot of goal scoring chances. In the 80th minute Totti gave great service to Dzeko with a great cross but Dzeko’s header misfired. Once again Totti gave Edin Dzeko a wonderful pass into a dangerous era creating a one on one chance with the keeper but another poor finish as the keeper saved it. Another scoring chance for Dzeko minutes later but after receiving a header from Strootman the header missed again than another shot minutes later again missing not a good day for Edin Dzeko but no need for panic it happens. It looked like it was going to stay the same Udinese had one more chance to draw even in the 87th minute But Super Szcz?sny saved Thereau left footed strike. The game would end 1-0 to Roma with the Giallorossi picking up all three points.

 

               It would be Roma third win in a row as they have done fairly well without Mouhammed Salah. It was later revealed that Fiorentina had beaten Juventus in Florence with Juve putting together one of the worst performance of their season. With the Juventus loss Roma would jump to 44Pts in the table taking them just one point behind Juventus despite Juve having played one less game Roma have closed the gap on the top. Roma resume play on Thursday night taking on Sampdoria in the Round of 16 in the Coppa Itaila. As well returning home to play Cagliari on Match day 21. Roma must continue to take advantage on their momentum but they are doing all the right things Juventus’s supremacy at the top of Italian football isn’t as secure as they may think.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Raja Nainggolan CM and Wojciech Szczesny GK (Shared)
NEXT MATCH: V.S Sampdoria Coppa Itaila Round Of 16, January 19th
NEXT MATCH IN SERIE A: vs Cagliari, January 22nd

BY THE NUMBERS:
A.S Roma
Shots: 13
On Target: 4
Possession: 53%
Passes: 427
Passing Accuracy: 84%
Corners: 7

Udinese                                                                                                                                                       Shots: 10
On Target: 5
Possession: 47%
Passes: 361
Passing Accuracy: 82%
Corners: 4

TOP OF THE TABLE
1. Juventus 15-0-4 45Pts
2. A.S Roma 14-2-4 44Pts
3. Napoli 12-5-3 41Pts
4. S.S Lazio 12-4-4 40Pts
5. A.C Milan 11-4-4 37Pts

BOTTOM OF THE TABLE
16. Sassuolo 6-3-11 21Pts
17. Empoli 4-6-10 18Pts
18. Palermo 2-4-14 10Pts
19. Crotone 2-3-14 9Pts
20. Pescara 1-6-12 9Pts

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