Score: A.S Roma 3 Palermo 0 FT
Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo
Following Three straight losses to Lazio, Napoli and To Lyon in their high scoring first leg of the Europa league Round of 16 Thursday; Roma would try to get back on track as the Giallorossi return to Serie A action for the 28th match of this seasons campaign as they would travel to Palermo to try to make it two wins out of two against Relegation threatened Palermo. After their previous 4-1 victory against them Earlier in the season Roma were looking to get back in winning form to try to get their confidence back Spalletti could controversially leave out Edin Dzeko, Kevin Strootman and Emerson out of their starting lineup It turned out to be an ok decision as El Shaarawy put Roma up early after scoring just past the 20 minute mark. It would go into the half with Roma leading 1-0. In the second half Roma put the game away for good as Edin Dzeko would come off the bench to score him 30th goal of the season to double their lead. Than in stoppage time Bruno Peres would give Roma a 3rd goal sealing a massive 3-0 win as the Giallorossi pick up the three points.
This week we got a very unsettling rumor that Spalletti has had a pre-contract agreement with Juventus to replace the departing manager Max Allegri. Spalletti denied the rumor over the last several weeks he’s been asked about signing a new contract the Italian believes that he is doing Roma a favor by not signing. Spalletti had this to say when asked about it. “If I lose another two games, I won’t even end the season [at Roma] because they will kick me out,” “We lost four out of five games before Palermo and people keep talking about the contract? “Things change quickly in football and, quite rightly, Roma are a strong club who need results, so they would be right to fire me. “I think I did the club a favor by not signing a new contract and they are happy about it too! “Last year, they fired a coach [Rudi Garcia] and had to keep paying three years of his contract. I’m doing them a favor.” Roma’s manager also previously stated that he will walk if Roma don’t win anything. I would like to keep him if possible despite the fact I disagree with some of his decisions he is the last manager to win something for this club so I’d like him to stay. The Rumors regarding Raja Nainggolan have rapidly died down since resurfacing the last few weeks in fact a lot rumors regarding Roma players have fading at least in the news. However the one the wont seem to go away is Kevin Strootman and his apparent move to Manchester United as Jose Mourinho is prepared to launch a bid worth about 40 million pounds for the Dutch ace it still seems like it’s not going to happen given his relationship with the club and its fans but it is Manchester United so there is a chance. Szcz?sny prior to the game spoken on the pressure of results during their poor run of form the Arsenal Loanee had this to say We try not to look at other results. We just have to focus on ourselves and not what the other teams do, and that means beating Palermo. “We are feeling a bit of pressure after recent results, as that’s inevitable after three consecutive defeats, so we’ll try to wipe the slate clean and start again.” Also on sort of a side note Roma legends will play against Real Madrid Legends in a charity match at the Bernabeu they will play this summer in June in the 2017 Corazón Classic Match, ‘Heartbeats for Africa.’ Real Madrid president has some very kind of things to say about Roma apon agreeing to play. “I want to express our thanks to a club we love and consider our friend, one of the great European clubs, Roma, for accepting this invitation,” Perez said. “Real Madrid considers it an honor to have their presence. “Football must be an example of solidarity … and help the less fortunate.” That’s all the news this week I will give more information as the stories develop. After kind of experimenting using to different formations in two different games Roma would go back to the 3-4-2-1 formation that has given them great success this season when using it they are undefeated this season when using it. However they would be no shortage of changes as they made 6 lineup changes from Roma’s loss in Lyon. Heading back in goal would be Roma’s #1 Serie A’s clean sheet leader Wojciech Szczesny. The Polish International is on his second loan from Arsenal he has vastly improved from his first season in Italy he has proven to be the very best keeper in the country he has 11 clean sheets this season he also has only given up 25 goals this season. Arsenal would be really stupid not take him back to the Emirates this summer, however Roma would take him on a full time basis in a heartbeat but if he does leave the team has a very capable back up but I would like him to stay. The back three would be pretty similar as they only made one change to the defense; with Rudiger replacing Kosta Manolas at right-back after the German missed the Europa league tie with Lyon Thursday due to suspension. Joining him in the defense would be Juan Jesus who would get his second start in a row at left-back has done well in that spot this season. Than finally deploying the middle as the center-back would be the 6’5 Argentine monster Fazio. There would be three changes to the defensive midfield; Mario Rui the Loanee from Empoli would replace Emerson as the left wing-back, than on the opposite side playing as the right wing-back would be Bruno Peres the one player of the defensive midfield to started on Thursday. Than in the center of the defensive midfield would be Leonardo Paredes coming in for Kevin Strootman and making his first start in the Roma Shirt would be their January signing Clement Grenier coming in for Danielle De Rossi he put in a great performance in this game. Than upfront as the two attacking midfielders would be Stephen El Shaarawy playing on the left and on the right would be Raja Nainggolan. Up front as the striker would be to my surprise Mouhamed Salah coming in for Dzeko. In my opinion it wasn’t a poor lineup but I disagree with it. Dzeko, Strootman, Manolas and Emerson all on the bench I’m not sure whether they were bench for rest or what but I strongly disagreed with it, I support Spalletti and I will back him no matter what but we disagree on this on, it is a strong enough team to get three points even though I disagree with it.
A.S Roma has the feeling of devastation of losing three very big games on the bounce as they have lost to Rivals Lazio in the Cup 3rd place Napoli in the league and last Thursday losing in the Europa league Round of 16 in a 6 goal thriller against Olympique Lyonnais. They would come home before heading back out on the road to visit Relegation threatened 18th place Palermo in Sicily on a Sunday Night. The two clubs faced each other earlier in the season when Roma blew by Palermo 4-1 in Rome back in October sealing the three points for the Giallorossi. Roma would get a chance to make it two wins out of two against them the road hasn’t been nice to them this year as they have lost 5 out of their 6 losses away from home. However on paper the abilities of the two teams are vastly different. Roma are currently in second place with 62 points as they sit in SERIE A’s final automatic Champions league spot with 8 points from the top of the league. Palermo on the other hand is in 18th with 15 points with 7points from safety the chance of Roma winning the league and Palermo escaping relegation are about the same. A win here is very crucial at the moment the confidence in the dressing room isn’t great having dropped four out of their last five games they is a lack of confidence piercing through them. In all of their recently losses it’s been the same recipe a ton of opportunities in all of the games but missing chances cost them they also have had some defensive issues over the last few weeks it seems like they haven’t learned from their mistakes. Since the poor run of Form Spalletti has been under the microscope his job could have been in danger if their poor form continued. So performing well against a team near the bottom is essential. With Dzeko, Strootman, Emerson and Manolas on the bench as I mentioned earlier it changed the game plan as on how Roma needs to attack they would have to rely on Leandro Paredes and Clement Grenier to fuel the attack with Mohamed Salah playing as the striker someone else would have provide the creativity that Salah brings when he plays in is his normal position but perhaps that could be a tactic. Palermo probably spent all week preparing for the monster that his Edin Dzeko the BIG BOSNIAN has scored 29 goals in all competition this season. They can hit them with the surprise factor as Dzeko may be a key sub late in the game I don’t agree with it but this may be a way to break them down. Roma counter even without Dzeko is the key Palermo will have to slow down the trio of EL Shaarawy, Raja Nainggolan and Mohamed Salah which is a big task even without Dzeko to me finishing off their chances. For the Palermo side of things there best option here is to play defensive to maybe hold Roma to a draw. After the preparations going into the game both teams were ready as we were ready to kick of match day 28 in the Italian top flight with this Addition of Sunday Night football.
From the start of the game Roma were clearly the better team but they was still a lack of production it looked like a cause for crisis as they weren’t manhandling them as well as they maybe should have. Palermo gave Roma a scare 5 minutes in Haitam Aleesami tried a through ball, but Ilija Nestorovski is caught offside there was a goal scored on the play but it was disallowed due to the ball being out of bounds as well as him being offside. There weren’t very many shots or chances in the first half by either team but like I talked about in the pregame Roma needs to take advantage of their chances that they do have. This has been an overwhelming issue over several periods with the club this season especially the last few weeks but in this game it was all about to change they took advantage in a way that they hadn’t for a while as they cashed in on their first shot of the game. In the 22nd minute Roma put together an very well put together goal; Leandro Paredes had the ball in near Palermo’s danger era he was holding the ball just outside the box. The Argentine International would pass the ball out to January signing Clement Greiner and the French international did not disappoint as he made his mark on the game he would cross the ball into the box on his first touch and what a first touch it was. His cross would find El Shaarawy and the Italian would just need to stick his foot out to put it in the back of the net to give Roma the 1-0 lead on their first shot on the game. It would be Stephen El Shaarawy’s 4th goal of the season the Italian has struggled this season it was great to see him score once again. El Shaarawy would try to double Roma’s lead not long after the goal as he would try a long range shot from outside the box after receiving the ball from Bruno his shot went wide to the left. Despite the miss El Shaarawy was brilliant in this game he has been inconsistent this year but he has had some great games outta nowhere this was one of those games. Palermo had a chance with Roland Sallai taking a deep shot from outside the box but the shot was wide as Szcz?sny wasn’t challenged. Roma remained in control throughout the game clearly benching Dzeko was controversial call but there was an aspect of the game that was busting open despite Dzeko being on the bench The difference in this game was Clement Grenier he really opened up having quite the debut he gave Roma a new dimension as he opened up the playing field giving quality balls to Roma’s attackers. At first I different think he would make an impact but he has added another weapon to their Arsenal. Roma continued their control of the game as the Roman attack began to open up a little bit as Roma would put together a few scoring chances before the end of the half. Following a Leonardo Paredes free kick the Argentine would send it into the box to Antione Rudiger as the German would hit a shot from the center of the box but he would misfire. Leandro Paredes would give Roma another chance he took a very good shot from a Clement Grenier pass but Paredes missed a close one. Paredes was another one of Roma’s outstanding performers in this game. Palermo would try to respond to Roma with a late chance but Carlos Embalo’s shot from the side of the box missed to the left following their corner. Less than a minute later Raja Nainggolan would give Roma a very late chance of their own with an immediate response. Once again Clement Grenier would set up another one of his teammates up; Raja Nainggolan came really close as he took a shot from the middle of the box but his shot just missed. That would be the conclusion of the first half as Roma lead Palermo 1-0 after 45 minutes.
Stephen El Shaarawy Scores the Opening Goal In Roma’s 3-0 victory over Palermo
It was a much improved Roma team then we have seen over the last several weeks they were hitting most of their chances despite only having a one goal lead they were very efficient despite not having their normal firepower off the bench they did quite well considering they had a good game plan and Palermo didn’t really provide a real chance. Defensively Roma also were in better shape than on Thursday with Rudiger back. Roma kept the same group as they decided against making any changes after the break. Palermo however made one switch Alessandro Diamanti replacing Carlos Embalo. The game went from kind of dull to vastly existing. As both teams came out very strong after the break Palermo tried to get back in the game as they got the first chance of the second off Ivaylo Chochov would send a cross into Ilija Nestorovski he would get his head on it but he would miss. So far this game the keepers were untested for the most part as a lot of the shots have been off target. Roma would try to attack the goal and it was again Clément Grenier in the center of the action he would try to strike it from distance after getting the ball from El Shaarawy but the shot was blocked by the defense. Immediately after Roma would get another good scoring chance Clément Grenier crossed another great ball into the box and El Shaarawy stroke it from the six yard box but it was saved by the keeper. It match was starting to look a little more even; Roma still were in control but only slightly. Alessandro Diamanti took a shot but Szcz?sny was able to deal with it really the first time the Polish International was challenge all game. Roma tried to hit back a few minutes later following a corner from Leonardo Paredes; Raja Nainggolan would take a shot from the inside the box but the shot was too high. Michel Morganella fires a shot on goal for Palermo but once again Szcz?sny took it no problem. Palermo despite racking up the shots in the second half didn’t really pose a threat to Szcz?sny as he was handling their counter attack. Than in the 63rd minute Roma would go to their bench as Spalletti would bring in the big man Edin Dzeko as the Bosnian was looking to double the lead. He would come in for Clément Grenier a very good move by Roma but I want to say Grenier was absolutely sensational all 64 minutes was the best player on the pitch throughout the game the man of the match as he assisted the goal and set up a lot of chances Roma I hope he gets used more often from this moment forward. Roma continue their control of the game it looked like it was going to be only a matter of time before they would break through. Leonardo Paredes would cross the ball into Roma’s 6’5 monster Fazio as he would try to head it in the back of the net but missed a close one. Paredes has been really great in this game was well has created a lot of chances for Roma glad he got the start. In the 72nd minute Dzeko would make his presence known as the Bosnian would take a shot from the middle of the box but it went too high. After the scoring chance Roma would go to the bench making key subs Kevin Strootman would replace Stephan El Shaarawy. El Shaarawy had a great game scoring the opening goal he got a good reception from the away support. It was clear that Palermo’s defense was getting warn out and tired roma all of sudden were in very good position to score. Szcz?sny would make some saves down the stretch as he continues to protect his clean sheet this would be his league leading 12th in serie a this season. Roma’s relentless attack would finally be rewarded it would who else but the Bosnian Giant Edin Dzeko in the 76th minute after just recently coming off the bench Edin Dzeko would receive a deep cross from Raja Nainggolan. Dzeko would control it with his chest just outside the box and Dzeko would dribble inside. The keeper came out to defend it Dzeko who was a little to the left side of the goal he would pass it into the middle putting it into the back of the net to make it 2-0 late in the game. It would be Edin Dzeko’s 30th goal of the season has the big Bosnian Continues to have an unbelievable season as he says it the best season of his career. Roma would make their final change of the game as Danielle De Rossi came in for Mouhamed Salah the Egyptian winger did ok but it wasn’t his best games. With not much time left Dzeko had a chance for a second goal as he would fire a shot from the six yard box but he would slightly miss to the right side. Than in stoppage time roma would plie one more goal on to the total. While attacking the goal Kevin Strootman would find an open Bruno Peres as the Brazilian sprinted past his man causing himself become wide open. Palermo keeper would come out to try to stop the shot but was unsuccessful as the Brazilian put the ball in the back of the net earing the late goal to make it 3-0 Roma. It would be Bruno’s 2nd goal of the season. The final whistle blew as Roma picked up a very important ending there losing streak.
Dzeko puts away his 30th goal of the season in the second half of their 3-0 win
After losing three games on the bounce Roma finally got a win; following Roma’s massive victory here in Palermo Roma will head home to face Olympique Lyonnais in the second leg of the Europa League round of 16 match up currently down 4-2 on Aggregate Roma needed a 2-0 win at home for them to progress to the quarterfinals it’s not over yet Roma are very good at home it’s important that Roma put together a great performance if they want to progress that game will be played on Thursday. They will follow that up with their second meeting against Sassuolo in SEIRE A trying to make it two wins out of two. With the win they go to 61 points still 8 points back of Juventus however they were able to maintain a two point lead on Napoli as they continue to chase for the final Champions league spot with Napoli. In this game a star emerged for the distance Roma’s January signing Clement Grenier showed his class today as I give him the man of the match. I disagreed with Spalletti’s lineup but fair play to him he made the right call. Dzeko came off the bench and bags his 30th Roma are back in business as Palermo continues to face the inevitable doom.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Clement Grenier
NEXT MATCH IN EUROPA: vs Olympique Lyonnais Round of 16 Second leg Thursday March 16th, 2017
NEXT IN SERIE A: vs Sassuolo Sunday March 19th, 2017
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 5
Passing Accuracy: 83%
On Target: 3
Passing Accuracy: 78%
TOP OF THE TABLE
1. Juventus 23-1-4 70Pts
2. A.S Roma 20-2-6 62Pts
3. Napoli 18-6-4 60Pts
4. S.S Lazio 17-5-6 56Pts
5. Inter 17-3-8 54Pts
BOTTOM OF TABLE:
16. Genoa 7-8-13 29Pts
17. Empoli 5-7-16 22Pts
18. Palermo 3-6-19 15Pts
19. Crotone 3-5-20 14Pts
20. Pescara 2-6-20 12Pts