A.S Roma 1 Genoa 0 FT
Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
Happy New Year and welcome to the 2nd half of the Season in Serie A. Following Roma’s win over Chievo right before the winter break they would return to their Serie A crusade in their 19th game of their campaign going on the road to face Genoa. Roma would start 2017 in good form coming off a good ending to 2016 beating Chievo a few weeks back to create some real separation from 3rd as they continue to try to fight Juventus for the title. Juventus went into the weekend with a four point lead but only because they have played less amount of games than Roma. 2017 got off to a good start wasn’t the best performance I’ve seen them play but none the less they got off on the right foot Roma’s high power attack showed there strength attacking the goal with great success but it would be an own goal in the 1st half that would make the defense as they would narrowly beat Genoa 1-0 to pick up the three points. Despite not playing their best it was great to see some Italian football once again but a nicely little road win was good to see and with the transfer window open it looks like it could be a promising 2nd half of the season not a great start but a good one.
A lot of team news surrounding the Romans prior to the game with the transfer window open Roma are on the cusp of several moves West Ham winger Sofiane Feghouli is expected to make his loan move with buy option to Roma possibly in the next few hours as a possible replacement for Mohammed Salah as he wasn’t selected for the African Cup. Roma also are keen on a loan deal for Chelsea youngster Charly Musonda as well as potentially interested in bringing in the Everton pair of Ross Barkley and Deulofeu as well they appear to be interested in Sassuolo striker Gregoire Defrel. Roma officials have been in London this week to discuss all three deals. So far in the transfer window Juan Iturbe has left for Torino and Sharks are swirling for Greek Defender’s Kosta Manolas and Antione Rudiger. I’d say those two are the only players on the team that have a chance to leave. Chelsea also went in for Raja Nainggolan yet again but Raja rejected the move for the 5th time Raja I’d say is 100% not leaving. Beyond the Transfer window Mohamed Salah would not be in the side for this match as he is on international duty to with Egypt preparing for the African Cup it is possible Salah won’t be in the team for a while. Also Leonardo Paredes returned to lineup after being out injured for over a month but they were still several injured players most notably Kosta Manolas but he had a small chance to play despite the injury. Anyway Luciano Spalletti would again make major changes to his team due to what I’ve just mentioned. Roma usually runs a 4-5-1 in most cases as it has been a very effective formation for Roma this season. However Spalletti would lineup a lot differently going with a 3-6-1 (3Defenders, 6 Mids., 1 Striker) the change was due to not having all his players’ available so they went with a more of an defensive team but in a different way. Wojciech Szczesny would stay as the #1 keeper as he has done the job well all season. Than Juan Jesus, Rudiger and Fazio would make up the back line with Juan and Antione playing the defensive wing and Fazio lining up as the Centre back. Roma would than take a defensive stance going with four defensive midfielders. The versatile Brazilian pair of Emerson and Bruno Peres would move up from the back playing on the two wings than in the middle would be the usual defensive midfield pair of Kevin Strootman and Danielle De Rossi controlling the center. Lining up in front of the defensive midfield line would be Diego Perotti on left and Raja Nainggolan on the right the team would play without a central midfielder which is probably why Roma put out as many midfielders as they did. Than finally in the front would be the big man the 6’4 scoring machine Edin Dzeko. A very different Roma team but a fairly good team.
After two weeks without any Italian football serie a action it would return 2nd place Roma (12-2-4) would go on the road to face Genoa 12th place (6-5-7) as they would welcome them to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. For the 1st match for both teams in 2017 the big news coming into the game was Genoa would be without their two best players as Leonardo Pavoletti (left for Napoli) and Tomás Rincón (left for Juventus). Genoa would be playing without any identity it would be almost like an entire new team as those two were a vital part of their game plan each week so they went into the game as a slight disadvantage against one of the most dangerous teams in Serie A. Roma would go into the game as heavy favorites despite being without Salah and Manolas Roma were still unquestionably the better team. Roma were looking for back to back wins Roma have struggled away from their home ground this season. It might not appear this way but this was kind of an important game to win to get off to a good start. The favorites arrived in Genoa, the day had finally arrived it was time to kick off 2017. Roma got off to great start they would control the pace of the game from the very start of the game. They would control possession they were far better from the very beginning and were attacking the goal very effectively the first real chance came in 13th minute when Danielle De Rossi sent a perfect through ball into Raja Nainggolan who had a good attempt on goal but went a bit wide it seemed like Raja rushed it a bit too much as he misfired in front of goal. To be honest there wasn’t a lot of action in the 1st half there were several good chances in front of goal by both team but mostly had lead to wasted opportunities. Despite that Roma were still controlling the game but they weren’t dominating in the way they typically do not really a cause for concern they just need to make their runs a little bit sharper. It turned out being kind of a very physical battle after many missed chances Roma finally broke through in the 35th minute after several good opportunities near the goal Raja crossed in a ball in the box intending to hit Dzeko inside the box but the ball was cleared out by the defender but Bruno Peres got the rebound at shot at the goal the shot deflected off Genoa defender Izzo’s foot as it hit the back of the net to give them the Roma the 1-0 lead it was counted as an own goal I’m not sure whether it just hit his foot or he kicked it in it was a little hard to tell but either way it gave Roma the lead. Genoa had one more chance in the 1st half but was denied by Szcz?sny the polish international was superb in this game one of his best performances of the season the 1st half would end as 1-0 Roma.
They would be no chances from either team going into the 2nd half. The 1st half wasn’t Roma best but they were doing enough to deserve the lead despite the circumstances. The two clubs would resume play to kick off the 2nd half in Genoa. Early in the 2nd half they would be a scuffle in the box when Fazio was elbowed in face inside the box when he was attempting to get the head on the ball. Danielle De Rossi was very unhappy with the situation as he got into the face of the ref the Roma captain would receive a yellow card for challenging the call that was made. Szcz?sny continue to put on a wonderful display as he would deny Darko Lazovic’s shot in the 55th minute than would make yet another saves a few minutes later. Roma would have get the chance of the game in the 58th minute Raja Nainggolan sprinting down the wing hit a cross inside do Edin Dzeko the Bosnian would hit the ball with his left foot as the ball would hit the post he was very unlucky not to score it was a mere perfect chance. Had yet another chance to score in the 64th minute Dzeko received a cross from Bruno but his header went just wide. Dzeko minute later would have another chance but again couldn’t hit the target despite not scoring Dzeko was getting in position to score on nearly every play. After the shot it went Genoa’s way for a little while with Szcz?sny standing out at the hosts just couldn’t find a way to get past the Polish International very deserving man of the match award. Roma would make three subs late brining on Steph El Shaarawy, Manolas who got a few minutes as well as Paredes’s return who hadn’t been on the field for quite some time. They were a few more chances late but it would end as 1-0 Roma win not the most exiting of games seemed dull at some times but a win is a win.
Roma would start 2017 with a win on the road as they would get back to back games. Roma will stay on the road to face Udinese a very winnable game for Spalletti’s Army than a few days after that game they will face Sampdoria in the Coppa Itaila Round of 16. Over this stretch of games Roma don’t really have a challenging game this month’s so its very important they continue to play to continue to put the pressure on Juve. Juventus currently are in 1st by one point but they have played two less games for than Roma have Juve are currently winning their game so will likely take a 4 point lead despite still needed another game after this to be equal on games. Roma does continue to put the pressure on though no other team in Italy has a real chance to challenge a good start for 2017.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Wojciech Szczesny, GK
NEXT MATCH IN SERIE A: @ Udinese, January 15th 2017
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 3
Passing Accuracy: 73%
On Target: 4
Passing Accuracy: 72%
TOP OF THE TABLE
1. Juventus 14-0-3 42Pts (Still In Progress)
2. A.S Roma 13-2-4 41Pts
3. Napoli 11-5-3 38Pts
4. S.S Lazio 11-4-4 37Pts
5. AC Milan 11-3-4 36Pts
BOTTOM OF THE Table
16. Sassuolo 5-3-11 18Pts
17. Empoli 4-5-10 17Pts
18. Palermo 2-4-13 10Pts
19. Crotone 2-3-13 9Pts
20. Pescara 1-6-11 9Pts (Game Postponed)