Mohammed Salah Shines In Return as Roma Drown Crotone #56

Week 34

Score A.S Roma 2 Crotone 0 FT
– Stadio Ezio Scida, Crotone

 

              Following Roma’s big win last weekend against Fiorentina They would continue their title push as they were awaiting their 24th match of their Serie A campaign. As Crotone would welcome the Giallorossi to the Stadio Ezio Scida for their second meeting this season Roma are looking to make it two wins against Crotone after their 4-0 win in Rome back in September. Much like many games this season games like this would be important given the distance at the top of the table beating teams at the bottom is essential for Roma despite being on the road where they struggle it is a must win Roma shouldn’t find much trouble against a team lurking in the Relegation zone. Mohamed Salah’s return to Roma came at an opportune time as the game got underway Roma were the better team from the start they controlled the game and gave Crotone big problems near the end of the first half Roma broke through When Salah found Raja Nainggolan giving Rome the goal and the lead. Roma continued to outclass their opponents Salah created another chance finding Dzeko late as the Bosnian made it four in four games Salah getting the assist once again as it would be the nail in the coffin as Roma cruised to an easy 2-0 win on the road.
                Not a lot of big news from this week just a few small things in from Striker Edin Dzeko has been tracked by one of the biggest clubs in the world as Spanish Giants Real Madrid have taken an interest in him but both Edin Dzeko and his agent have said that Dzeko is not Interested in Real Madrid as he prefers a Roma stay. The Striker has scored 24 goals this season for the Giallorossi he is vital to Roma and is happy so it’s very unlikely to happen. It was reported that Manolas has agreed to join Inter at the end of the season however Roma are preparing a final offer to convince him to stay but it does seem like he will be off to Milan. Raja Nainggolan has also been in the news this week after him comments about his hatred for Juventus. “I’m against Juve, have been since I was born. I’m not joking. Before arriving at Cagliari, I hated them regardless of anything else. I’m telling you that I hate Juve. I would have given [anything] to beat Juve with Cagliari, because I hate Juve. I hate Juve because they always win with a penalty, because of a free kick I came to Rome because I wanted to win, wanted at least to try and win, against Juve, who have always had a helping hand.” Said the Midfielder. There was also a surprising development Luciano Spalletti has been a favorite as potential replacement for Arsen Wegner at Arsenal but we will see what happens. Despite Salah’s return to the side Spalletti and Roma kept the same formation as they continue to lineup with the 3-4-2-1. Roma would keep very much the same team as their previous match only two changes to the team. The Keeper as usual would be Wojciech Szcz?sny; the back three of the defensive line would as well stay exactly the same with Fazio at Center back Antione Rudiger the big German staying at right-back and Kosta Manolas as the left-back. The defensive midfield line would stay mostly the same but had one change. The Brazilian pair of would remain on the outside of the defensive midfield respectively with Emerson playing on the right-wing and Bruno Peres playing on the left. Those two have done really well the last few games from their spot; than in at the Left center midfielder would be once again Kevin Strootman making another start than joining him in the center replacing Danielle De Rossi would be young Argentine midfielder Leonardo Paredes. Roma would make one change to the Attacking midfield as usual Raja Nainggolan would play in left midfield than on the right returning after being gone during the African cup of nations making his return to the team Mohamad Salah replacing Stephen El Shaarawy. Up top in the striker position would be held by one of the hottest strikers in Europe Edin Dzeko who leads serie a with 17 league goals. With Salah back into the team it makes Roma very dangerous especially with good options on the bench such as El Shaarawy and Totti.
                It would be 2nd place Roma going on the road very briefly before returning home next week. As they would travel to Crotone to face relegation threatened 19th place Crotone for the second time this season as they welcomed their home to Roma. Roma have struggled a lot on the road this season all five losses have come away from home. However Roma and Crotone are about 40 points apart in the table. Roma coming off a big win against a very strong Fiorentina side as they cruised to a 4-0 victory would be ready for this game the team were also given a boast as Mohamed Salah Roma’s most creative player returns he will open up a lot of scoring options for Dzeko and allow more activity from Bruno and Emerson on the wings. Roma were looking to win their second game against them this season after beating them 4-0 in Rome back in September, The Giallorossi would be heavily favored in this game Crotone hasn’t scored a single goal in 2017 Roma struggle on the road but they should have no issues breaching their defense. With the title chase being what it is its very important to win every game they can especially against the lower ranking teams with Juventus well in front and Napoli not far behind every game has become more important. After all the preparation for this match it was time to get this match day 22 underway as they kicked off on this Sunday afternoon. The game didn’t start out in a Roma fashion the attack didn’t burst out of the gate like you would expect given the team started out as quite a physical battle the one advantage Roma did have is possession they were in control in that sense but in the usual sense they attack had not picked up quite yet, it was very defensive to start in fact there were 11 fouls before the first shot. Finally in the 11th minute we had our first shot of the game Aleksander Tonev hit a ball from outside the box for Crotone but Szcz?sny was able to deal with it. Than in the 16th minute Roma was given a great opportunity, Salah while in the box was tripped and feel over the referee the referee pointed to the spot as Roma have been given a Penalty a harsh call in my opionion. Edin Dzeko would step up to try to give Roma the lead but yet again a missed an embarrassing attempt as he missed the goal completely his second penalty miss this season it seems like Roma need a better penalty taker to back up Perotti. After the miss play would resume slowly the action would pick up a bit Crotone would get another chance shortly after the penalty miss but they skanked it. It kind of began to go back and forth, Salah started to make his impact in the game he nearly scored just shy of the 20 minute mark he received a cross from Emerson’s cross from the wing found Salah in the center of the box but the Egyptian’s header went a little high. As the game progressed Roma started looking a lot better despite a slow start but the game continued to be very physical despite no cards shown they were a lot of fouls called in the first 45 it was a physical but clean game. Roma would get another chance near the end of the half when Strootman strike from outside the box misfired. Than very late in the first half Roma would finally break through Mouhamed Salah split the defense as he put a ball in-between two defenders finding Raja Nainggolan and the Belgium delivered hitting it in the bottom left corner to take the 1-0 lead. It would be Raja Nainggolan’s 9th goal of the season and his second goal in two games they would be one last chance go Crotone but it would end 1-0 Roma after the first 45 minutes.
                The second half would go in as a narrow 1-0 lead to Roma despite being in front Roma weren’t at their very best. Luciano Spalletti wouldn’t go to his bench he would keep the same core as his Roma side would prepare for the second half as they looked to add to the lead. Two minutes into the second half Salah got Roma going threating the goal showing Roma the player that they missed. As he took a cross from Kevin Strootman and hit a powerful shot from the center of the box but the keeper handled it. This is when Roma started to take over in a big way they started dominating the game it was no longer a close affair. However Crotone defense was doing A GREAT job of getting in the way of the shots Roma were taking. Roma had several shots blocked throughout the first ten minutes of the second half. They would continue to create chances with Mohamed Salah as the catalyst; Salah found Dzeko in the center of the box with a pitch perfect pass but Dzeko’s shot was a little high. They continued to push the defense to breaking point Fazio nearly broke through to double the lead in fact he was inches away. Fazio received a cross from Leandro Paredes; Fazio would get his head to it but would clip the right post. Crotone wasn’t really having a success attacking Roma’s goal but they kept preventing shots from coming in near goal. It became a defensive battle despite Roma being in Control there weren’t a high volume of shots for either team it kind of became a head game for one Roma had a lead already but didn’t seem like they were going to increase it but on the other hand Crotone weren’t doing anything that make me think that they were going to change the score line. Roma would get another chance late in the 2nd half Bruno and Raja connected on a great chance, Raja set up Bruno Perfectly with a good pass but Bruno hit it high and wide to the left. It was good to see them not sit on their hands but they just weren’t breaking through like expected many assumed we would see a similar control like they had in their 4-0 win over Crotone the first time around, but that just like that it happen. In the 77th minute Dzeko would make amends for his penalty miss, While passing it in near the box Nainggolan would pass to Emerson than Emerson gave it to Salah who then gave it back to Emerson right as Salah passed it he started running forward, Emerson than crossed it into Salah. Salah started dribbling it down the edge of the box nearly going out of bounds and sent it in to Dzeko for an easy tap in to make it 2-0. It would be Dzeko’s 18 league goal of the season and his 25th in total he remains as Europe’s most dangerous strikers it would surely be the nail in the coffin as Roma saw out the last 13 minutes getting the important thee points as they got back  into 2nd place.
                 After the win it would take Roma to 53 points this season they are still 7 off the team but if they keep winning games and Dzeko keeps performing this well they have a chance. Also with Salah back in the team Roma are much improved they just have to keep of the vain of Form as they face the toughest stretch of the season they will face Torino at home than after that game they face thir biggest test as they travel to Spain to face Villarreal in the 1st leg of knockout stage of the Europa League than they followed that up with the 2nd leg a cup Semi against Lazio and league games against Inter and Napoli a lot of big games coming but this was an important result.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Mouhamed Salah
NEXT GAME IN EUROPE: @ Villarreal Thursday, February 16th
NEXT GAME IN SERIE A: vs Torino Sunday, February 18th

BY THE NUMBERS

A.S Roma
Shots: 15
On Target: 4
Possession: 65%
Passes: 452
Passing Accuracy: 82%
Corners: 5

Crotone
Shots: 14
On Target:3
Possession: 35%
Passes: 197
Passing Accuracy: 68%
Corners: 2

TOP OF THE TABLE
1. Juventus 20-0-4 60Pts
2. A.S Roma 17-2-5 53Pts
3. Napoli 15-4-3 51Pts
4. Inter Milan 14-3-7 45Pts
5. Atalanta 14-3-7 45Pts

BOTTOM OF TABLE:
16. Genoa 6-7-10 25Pts
17. Empoli 5-7-11 22Pts
18. Palermo 3-5-15 14Pts
19. Crotone 3-4-16 14Pts
20. Pescara 1-6-16 9Pts

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