Score: A.S Roma 4 Torino 1
Following Roma’s udder domination In the first leg of the Europa League Round Of 32 against Villarreal in Spain they would return to action In Serie A after their midweek game on Thursday for their 25th match in their Crusade in Serie A. As they would face off against Torino for the second time this season. They would be looking for Revenge on the Turin side after Torino beat Roma 3-1 in September another important match against a decent team as they continue to attempt to chase down Juventus at the top of the table Roma unlikely to catch them but they got a chance so every game becomes important regardless of the opposition Roma’s dominate form Thursday continued Dzeko broke open the scoring just 10 minutes in scoring his Roma record eighth goal in eight straight games becoming the first Giallorossi player to do that. Mohammed Salah would get is first goal his returning from the African cup scoring not long after Dzeko Roma jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. In the second half they continued to pile it on. Leandro Paredes scoring a magical goal to increase the Roma lead to 3-0 Torino would get one back late with a Maxi Lopez getting a consolation goal for Roma before Raja Nainggolan finished them off with a stoppage time goal to secure an easy 4-1 win for the Giallorossi collect all three points as they retain 2nd in Serie A.
No big news this week in fact there was barely any at all since my last article the team did however prior to the match visit Roma Captain Alexandro Florenzi in the hospital after he torn his ACL for the 2nd time this season. The team went to see him after his surgery before heading to the Stadio Olimpico for the match. Roma manager Boss Luciano Spalletti would make four adjustments from Thursday’s big win in the Europa league. Roma would keep their customary formation going with the 3-4-2-1 once again. Wojciech Szcz?sny would return to his post as starting keeper after being rested as Allison got the start on Thursday getting a clean sheet Roma’s #2 did well. There would be one change in the defensive trio. Antione Rudiger would be given rest so he can be fresh for Thursday night. Juan Jesus would take his place at left-back. Kosta Manolas would remain as Roma’s right-back and Fazio as usual would control the middle as the teams center-back. Than in front of the back three would be the defensive midfields unit Emerson would play on the wing as the left wingback on the opposite side would be Bruno Peres playing against his old team, he would play as the right wingback so the outside would stay the same. Than the left center midfielder would be Kevin Strootman, joining him in the center midfield playing on the right side coming in for Danielle De Rossi would be the Argentine Leandro Paredes. Than it would be the return of the three headed monster in the attacking midfield it would be Raja Nainggolan playing on the left side this time. On the right side coming in for Stephen El Shaarawy would be Mouhamed Salah than completing the three headed monster up top as the striker would be the big man 6’4 RED HOT Edin Dzeko Who has scored in 7 games in a row one shy of the Roma record the Big Bosnian has 28 goals this season in all competitions. Roma putting out a strong team but allowing a few key players to get some rest.
It would be 2nd place A.S Roma welcoming 9th place to the Stadio Olimpico for the second meeting of the season between the two Serie A sides. The teams played back in September in Turin a game in which Torino deservingly won 3-1. Roma was given a chance for redemption a chance to get revenge on the earlier loss against them this season. Roma would come into this game in great form playing just last Thursday in the Europa league round of 32 against Spanish side Villarreal a game where Roma won very convincingly in a smashing 4-0 result highlighting an Edin Dzeko 20 minute Hatrick. Roma come into this grudge match in fantastic form the team is really coming together the last few weeks with Mouhamed Salah return to the side the Egyptian has 3 assists in two games since returning to the team. Like I mentioned earlier Roma are in the title race but only just as it appears Juventus has the title under control but Roma isn’t out of it yet so it’s very important that the Giallorossi win as many matches as they can. Even if they don’t win the Scudetto Napoli is in great form and remains on Roma’s tail also Atalanta and Inter aren’t far behind so its important that they at least hang on to the automatic champions league spot. Roma will play both Inter and Napoli over the next few weeks so its important Roma keep in a good form. From the outside it doesn’t seem like it but this was a pretty massive game in an individual aspect with Serie A’s two best strikers going head to head in this match. It would be Roma’s Edin Dzeko (35 for Club and Country) vs the Torino youngster Andréa Bellotti (21 for Club and Country). Two top quality strikers going at it after preparation for this game both teams were ready for kickoff in a Sunday afternoon fixture between two top quality teams.
It was time to kick off in Rome as the match begun Roma wasted no time putting their best foot forward from the start of the game they were brilliant. Just minutes into the game Juan Jesus tried to hit from close range after a corner but it went high. It was clear in the game that Torino could be very vulnerable at the back as they defenders aren’t very tall and they will have to defend 6’4 Edin Dzeko, 6’5 Fazio and 6’2 Strootman it will be really hard for them to defend the size of Roma. Few minutes later Bellotti tried an attempt on goal but Fazio got in the way of the shot. Roma were playing exceptionally well their vain of form has carried over from Thursday’s performance in fact 10mintues in the game Roma put away their first real chance of the game as Dzeko would make Roma history making it 8 goals in 8 games. Dzeko had the ball moving towards the Turin danger area he then quickly hit it out to Raja Nainggolan; the Belgium International would give the ball right back to Dzeko and the striker would hit it from distance firing it from right outside the box putting it in the bottom right corner giving Joe Hart no chance as Roma took an early 1-0 with only 10 minutes gone. It would be Edin Dzeko’s 29th goal of the season and 19th goal in Serie A as he tops the scoring charts in serie a. Roma was only getting warmed up the Giallorossi was playing with a certain confidence that couldn’t be matched. No more than two minutes later Raja took a shot but was saved. Torino defense was facing immense pressure. Dzeko wasn’t done yet he got himself in position to score another. Bruno crossed it in and using his height Dzeko got up and attempted to head it home but it went a little bit high but then Dzeko got into position again hitting a right footed shot but was saved in the bottom corner by Joe Hart. Torino could only hold the Roma attack for so long and just like that Roma doubled it as Mohamed Salah put away his first goal since his return to the side, in the 17th minute Emerson on the wing sent a through ball out to Kevin Strootman who sent a cross into the box with Dzeko and Salah running up, Dzeko missed the ball as the defender headed out only for Mouhamed Salah to catch it and hit in past Joe Hart in the bottom right corner to double Roma’s lead making it 2-0 with less than 20 minutes gone Joe hart was heavily criticized for the goalkeeping on the play. It would be Mouhamed Salah’s 9th goal of the season an 10th total. Since his return Salah has one goal and three assist clearly he makes quite a bit of a difference. Two minutes later Salah was nearly in again coming from the wing Salah dribbled through two defenders to than take a shot from the corner of the box. The shot was hit perfectly but unfortunately hit the crossbar denying Roma a possible 3rd goal. Torino finally came alive in the back half of the first half with attempt from Benassi but it went too high Torino was still struggling to get the ball in good space as they were unable to attack the roma goal with very much success. Roma was still in firm control both Raja and Paredes had scoring attempts but weren’t able to convert but the important thing was they were getting in good space and opportunities to score despite some of their shots being of poor quality. Than Torino was give on last chance late in the second half off a corner that failed to superb defending by Fazio off a few headers Saša Luki? would hit off the bounce with a very powerful striker but went wide. An Excellent strike from 20-year old Serbian midfielder it would be as close as Torino would get in the first half. Bellotti only getting one sniff in the first half with a shot missed over the center of the goal a frustrating half for him and Torino as Roma lead after 45 minutes 2-0.
Based on the first half Roma was flying easily could have been 4-0 after 45mintues Torino was in serious trouble very early in the game. Spalletti kept the same team decided against making any changes with the team playing so well why he would. Torino also decided against making any changes in my opinion that was a mistake not making any changes Torino had no answer for Roma’s attack a poor decision. Roma’s quality continued to display nothing short of football brilliance as Dzeko’s continuous pressure was strangling them; Torino had no answer for anything Dzeko was doing. Fairly earlier in the 2nd half Dzeko had another great chance on the Break Peres passed to Paredes who sent a beautiful cross into Dzeko; the Bosnian controlled it with his chest before firing it at the goal from a tough angle but Dzeko did a tremendous job getting into space to score he may be big but he has good speed for a big man. Torino got another chance to try to comeback but miscommunication cost them a cross came in for Bellotti but it was mistimed not the best game for him but he was trying to do everything he could to bring them back but it just seemed like they were too overmatched by Roma. Torino would come to their senses and go to their bench on loan Roma player Juan Iturbe would come on for Former Roma player Falque. Torino needed to make a change what they were doing clearly wasn’t working. After the sub they started looking a little better but it still was quite a big mismatch, Andrea Bellotti continued to try to break the Roma defense as he has the capabilities to do that as he fired a shot from outside the box but was saved by Szcz?sny. Roma’s moment arrived again as they would just continue to pile it on as they would get a magical goal from the most unlikely of sources. Off a corner that was headed out by the Torino defense causing a bouncing ball and Leonardo Paredes ran up and smashed it from well outside the box blasting it in to the bottom corner all joe hart could do is watch. To make it 3-0 possibly Roma’s best goal this season I jaw literary dropped when I saw the goal and absolute magical touch. It would be Leandro Paredes 2nd goal of the season he certainly as shown deserves a few more starts for Spalletti’s side. Roma kept on pushing there was clear dominance Torino had the weapons but they just weren’t enough for Roma’s fire power however they didn’t give up. In the last 20 minutes or so Roma went to the bench brining on Roma Legend the one and only Francesco Totti making his 774 appearance for the Romans. Not long after he came on Torino would finally break through scoring with a sub of their own. Maxi Lopez put one past Szcz?sny for a constellation goal to make it 3-1. Than late in the game in stoppage time Roma would add one last goal to their total While in the danger area Totti passed it out to Raja Nainggolan who made a captain’s contribution smashing it in from right outside the penalty area to make it 4-1. It would be Raja Nainggolan’s 10th goal of the season as roma would cruise and pick up a very important three points.
Following the Victory Roma retain 2nd in Serie A still remain 7 points from the top but had made good progress over the last few weeks. Roma return to Europa league play for the 2nd leg of their Europa League tie against Villarreal they play that game on Thursday taking a 4 goal lead into the match. Beyond that they will travel to the San Siro to take on Inter Milan a massive game trying to make in two wins out of two against them. Than after that game Roma take on Lazio in a derby cup semifinal so a lot of big games coming up from the Giallorossi. The man of the match for me was Leonardo Paredes he displayed a great performance besides scoring a screamer he did thing defensively very well too was the best player on the pitch along with Dzeko. Dzeko made history so I decided to give him the man of the match as well. The next few weeks will be a test but I’m not too worried about Inter they are a great team but they don’t have our quality.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Edin Dzeko, Leonardo Paredes
NEXT GAME IN EUROPE: @ Villarreal Thursday, February 23rd
NEXT GAME IN SERIE A: vs Torino Sunday, February 26th
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 7
Passing Accuracy: 83%
On Target: 4
Passing Accuracy: 85%
TOP OF THE TABLE
1. Juventus 21-0-4 63Pts
2. A.S Roma 18-2-5 56Pts
3. Napoli 16-4-3 54Pts
4. Inter Milan 15-3-7 48Pts
5. Atalanta 15-3-7 48Pts
BOTTOM OF TABLE:
16. Genoa 6-7-11 25Pts
17. Empoli 5-7-12 22Pts
18. Palermo 3-5-16 14Pts
19. Crotone 3-4-17 14Pts
20. Pescara 2-6-16 12Pts