Score: A.S Roma 5 Chevio Verona 3 FT
– Marcantonio Bentegodi, Verona
Following Roma’s big wins against Juventus and AC Milan respectively Roma continue their Serie A Crusade in their 37th match of their season’s campaign. After getting through the most difficult part of their remaining Schedule Roma could possibly lock down an automatic Champions League spot with a little bit of luck. The Romans would face Chevio Verona for the second time this season trying to make it two wins out of two against them having won their home meeting in January 3-1. A win here could give a massive help towards automatic champion’s league place with Napoli having a difficult game later in the day against Fiorentina. Roma could secure it with a win and a Napoli draw in all likelihood Roma will get it given their next two games. Roma would get Dzeko back from injury in this game in what you would have thought would have been a fairly routine game tuned out to be a wild goal fest. Chevio would strike first early in the first half with a Lucas Castro goal giving Chevio a 1-0 lead. Stephen El Shaarawy would hit back a little later to equalize to make it 1-1. That would only be the beginning Chevio would hit back late to retake the lead Roberto Inglese putting them up 2-1. Roma would hit back right away as Mouhamed Salah got Roma back into it again as he made it 2-2 on the stroke of halftime. It was 2-2 after the first half the goals would only continue in the second half Stephen El Shaarawy would double up as he gave Roma their first lead of the game to make it 3-2. Roma would then kill the game late as Salah and Dzeko would both score to give the Romans the 5-2 advantage. Roberto Inglese would get one back for Chevio but it was all but over as Roma made strides towards champions league football in a convincing 5-2 win.
This week there was full with massive news let’s start with the story that just broke recently after a lot of speculation surrounding the future of Luciano Spalletti its now been confirmed that the 58-year old Italian will leave at the end of the season. With Inter Milan being the favorites to land him; despite somethings that have rubbed fans the wrong way Spalletti will always been considered a club legend in my opinion in two tenures with the club ranging from 2005-2009 and 2016-2017 he has a record of 167 wins 61 draws and 62 losses. He has also won three trophies with the club winning back to back Coppa Italia’s and a Supper Coppa title as well. Roma has won 4 trophies in my life time he is responsible for bringing 3 of them to Roma. To be he will always been loved and respected he drastically changed the team and gave them the winning mentality that has allowed Roma great success this season he will be missed I wish him all the best in the future wherever it may be. Who the next Roma’s manager is going to be isn’t quite clear id like Di Francesco but I trust our board to make the right decision. Also there was a bit of a surprise Kosta Manolas’s future at Roma the Greek International was the subject of rumors sudjesting that he was off to Inter Milan however he spoke about the Rumors he put them to bed this is what he said “I still have two years left on my contact weather I leave is up to the club but Personally I’d love to stay” it would be huge if Roma could hang on to him but it’s still possible he could leave but it gives hope of hanging on to him. It was also confirmed that Roma are interested in Ajax star Kasper Dolberg it would be a massive deal if Roma were to sign him the 19-yearold has had an unbelievable Debut season scoring 23 goals this season. He would be that missing piece I always talk about he could take roma to the next level however Dolberg has said he will stay at Ajax but despite that Monchi will target him this summer. Woich Szczęsny with his loan coming to an end; the goalkeeper expressed his gratitude to Roma he believes that leaving Arsenal was the best decision of his career however despite his love to Roma he would like a return to London to prove he is still a top class keeper. Roma new sporting director Monchi would like to bring him back on a permanent basis it could happen but only if Arsenal fail to offer a first team position. It would be a very similar Roma team that faced Juventus last week with only two changes being made. However Roma would go with a different formation as they would play with the 4-3-3. In goal there would be no change as Serie A’s clean sheet leader Woich Szczęsny would wrap up his Roma loan. The defense was exactly the same no changes what so ever Emerson would be at left back on the oppiste side Antino Rudiger would be right back then as the center backs would be Kosta Manolas and Fazio to make up the defense. There would one on change in the center midfield with Kevin Strootman returning from his 2 match ban coming in for Raja he would play on the left on the oppiste side would be Leoandro Paredes on the right than in the center would be Dannielle De Rossi. Than finally up front would be the three headed monster attack of Stephen El Shaarawy (LW), Mohammed Salah (RW) and coming back from injury Edin Dzeko (ST) a very strong team a good enough team to insure three points.
Only two games left remaining this season as Roma would play their last away game of the year. As the Battle for second would continue between Roma and Napoli as it looks like it would go the distance to the end of the season. Napoli would play later in the day against a good side in Fiorentina which is a game that could test the Naples side. Meanwhile Roma would take a trip to Verona to take on Chevio for the final time this season. To attempt to sweep the season series after a 3-1 victory against them back in late December. Historically speaking Chevio have not fared well against Roma as they only won twice in their head to head leading up to this game have suffered countless games in recent time only managing one draw in the last 10 games as Roma always seem to give Chevio the Business. However despite that Chevio are a pretty decent side this season and I reckon they will make Roma work for it. In their last two matches against each other despite losing Chevio has scored first in the last two games. Despite the respect I do have for the flying donkeys it is Roma’s to lose I do believe they will be a challenged but Roma is still a class above them. Edin Dzeko returns to the startling linkup after being out with injury an massive change the landscape of the game the 31-Year Old as scored 37 goals in all competitions this season. He will be incredibly difficult to cover and manage. Along with that Stephen El Shaarawy will get another start as he has impressed the boss the Italian International has scored 10 goals this season and has really picked it up from his slow start. He actually scored twice in the first meeting so he is someone they will have to worry about. As well as the dine dropper his self Mouhamed Salah who has 14 assists in the competitions this season they are many ways in which Roma can Break them down that’s not even mentioning the likes of Nainggolan and Paredes. However Chevio do have quality player that can give Roma trouble and it will come down to them if Chevio want to salvage something. Roberto Inglese and Castro are two players that are capable of threatening the Roman defense. On current form Roma are in better shape especially away from home, early in the season they struggled away from their ground however; now they are probably the best away team in serie a this season. There are several records on the line in this historic roma season if they win today’s game it will take them to 27 wins in the league which is the most amount of victory’s they have had since the 2013-2014 season. They also will reach 12 away victory’s which will surpass their 11 away victory from 2013-2014. A win would take them to 84 Points giving them a chance at breaking the record of 85 set also in 2013-2014. Also if they score 6 goals in their final two games it will eclipse a record from the 1930-1931 season; and finally if Dzeko scores in this game he will equal Enrique Guaita tally of 28 league goals which would put him in joined 2nd and if the Bosnian scores two goals or more this season he will tie or surpass Roma legend Rodolfo Volk who scored 29 in 1931. Roma must win this game to beat out Napoli for second and the champions league automatic spot if Roma are to win and Napoli lose or Draw they will get it.
With everything on the line the two teams were prepared as the match kicked off in Verona. From the start of the match Roma weren’t quite themselves but it would improve as the the game progressed but early in the opening 10 minutes they let themselves down slightly. There weren’t a few chances quite early with Leoandro Paredes opening up the game with his shot from distance it was a good effort but it ended up as a save. Chevio were up to the challenge as they didn’t fear Roma they went after it. Ivan Radovanovic came close for Chevio’s first chance of the game as his deep strike just missed. A few minutes later Roma would try from deep again but Salah’s strike was saved by the keeper as the score remained even. Than it escalated about 15 minutes in after Valter Birsa’s Miss Chevio would hit right back again a minute later as they would take advantage of the chance. In the 15th minute Roberto Inglese gave a headed pass into Lucas Castro who then slotted right past Szczęsny to give Chevio a shocking 1-0 lead. Roma who need to win this game all of sudden found themselves behind however at this point in the game I didn’t think they were in any kind of trouble as they had won by two goals in their first meeting despite getting scored on first. Valter Birsa nearly doubled the lead moments later but he his shot missed. Roma who were being out played at that stage gave a response of their to try to get back into the game in their own right. In the 28th minute Roma would get back into to it when Fazio’s headed pass was the catalyst of a break away for In from Stephen El Shaarawy the Chevio keeper came all the way out of his box to try to snack the ball something that turned into a massive mistake as Italian would strike ball from outside the box putting it into the back of the net as the keeper was trying to back track equalizing making it 1-1. It would be Stephen El Shaarawy’s 11th goal of the season after a poor start to the season he really has got it together the second half of the season scoring in some big games. Also Fazio deserves a shout for an excellent header pass to lead to a great goal. After there would be pair of chances by Valter Birsa and Kevin Strootman before the game would be injected with excitement as the craziness would continue. About 10 minutes later there would be yet another goal as Chevio actually took the lead again for the second time. In the 37th minute Chevio’s Man of the moment Valter Birsa sent a cross into Roberto Inglese who headed an absolute bullet in the back of the net to give Chevio a 2-1 lead. A very well executed plays from the hosts Valter Birsa proving to be a danger to Roma in this game as he has been all over the place. Roma would again attempt to respond to the goal in Roma fashion as Edin Dzeko sent a header pass to Mohamed Salah; midfielder tried to head it in the back of the net but was denied a visibly frustrated Salah after the scoring chance. Not long after the match would add a crazy twist to the action as Roma would hit right back. In the 42nd Mohamed Salah would make amends for his earlier miss; when he received a through ball from Kevin Strootman; Salah took the ball on the wing he would use his pace to take it into the box and he would strike it from the left side in the box from a tricky angle to place it in the bottom corner to equalize once again making it 2-2. It would be Mohamed Salah’s 17th of the season in all competitions, great team work from Roma also credit goes to Strootman for sending a phenomenal through ball that set everything up. The first half would end in a crazy 2-2 draw in which Roma have come back twice with the Egyptian pair El Shaarawy and Salah scoring the goals.
Roma celebrates as El Shaarawy gives Roma the Lead
After wild first half the game would resume it’s been very evenly matched since the beginning Chevio has proved to be a real test Roma simply had to forget the first half and try to win the second half given everything that was at stake any dropped points would be unacceptable. In the second half Roma kicked it back into gear playing smarter and having the confidence to perform. The game flipped into Roma’s favor as Chevio could barely get a stiff in the beginning of the first half as it bowed into Roma’s way. Roma came dangerously close to blowing it open off a free kick sent into the box but Paredes cross was just out of De Rossi’s reach. Roma would follow that up by a pair of really good chances; Salah had a very good chance as he was in good position but would send his shot wide but a good effort. Than not much later Paredes would try to strike it from outside the box but again Roma would misfire. Despite the two misses it was only going to be a matter of time before they break through again. At this point Chevio seemed out of it was Roma were in constant control of the game. After fighting from behind for most of the game Roma would get a glorious chance to take the lead. It came in the 58th minute as Kevin Strootman sent an unbelievable pass that led to a one on one for Stephen El Shaarawy from inside the box as the Italian International would put it past the keeper burying into the bottom left corner to score his second of the game to give Roma the 3-2 lead. It would Stephen El Shaarawy’s 12th goal of the season as he continues to play very well. The total control Roma would continue to push on as Chevio continued to be flat. Roma would get another great chance when Antino Rudiger sent a beautifully hit cross into the big man as the 6’4 Edin Dzeko tried to direct a header but it was saved by the Keeper. Shortly after the chance Roma would go to their bench to make their first change of the game as Raja Nainggolan would come in for Stephen El Shaarawy. The Roma fans would give EL Shaarawy a standing ovation as he was superb all game long the decision to staring EL Shaarawy instead of Nainggolan proved to be the right decision. Roma continued to dominate even after EL Shaarawy coming off they would on the brink of blowing them out of their own ground. When Leonardo Paredes sent a cross into the box as he would connect with Manolas the Greek international got his head to it but it would be saved. A minute later it would get from bad to worse for Chevio as they haven’t he taken a shot in the second half. In the 76th Minute the game became even crazier as Roma would get another; Danieele De Rossi would send a pass to Dzeko who then gave a cheeky pass into Salah and Salah would take a shot from just inside the box slide it past the keeper to make it 4-2. Mouhamed Salah’s career year would continue as he scored his 18th goal of the season he now has 18 goals and 14 assists in total this season. A masterfully executed goal the difference in class was showing. Roma were ripping them apart quite easily, than finally after 30 minutes without a shot Chevio would finally get a chance when Valter Birsa sent in a cross off a corner into Bostjan Cesar but his shot missed wide. Roma would go to their bench for the second time as Diego Perotti came in for Mouhamed Salah away fans would applaud his two goal performance as he played very well throughout the game. Than In the 83rd minute Dzeko decided to get involved with the celebrations adding yet another goal to Roma’s tally. Raja Nainggolan would give Dzeko a short pass and the Bosnian would take on dribble and hit an absolute thunderbolt in the top right corner to make it 5-2 Roma. It would be Edin Dzeko’s 28th goal of the season in the league tying Enrique Guaita for the 2nd most goals in the league it would also be his 38th goals in total he’s been a massive player this season simply world class. Roma would make their final sub of the game when Roma Legend Francesco Totti replaced Edin Dzeko. Chievo however would get a consolation goal in the 86th minute When Roberto Inglese got his second of the game buried a ball in the bottom corner coming off a corner kick to make 5-3 but it was all but over. Roma would go onto win 5-3 as Champions league qualification becomes a little easier with a massive three points.
Dzeko adds to a Big Second Half as Roma have it 5-2.
After the game Roma would confirm Champions League qualifying if Napoli dropped points however it didn’t pan out as Napoli ripped apart Fiorentina in a 4-1 win. So the automatic Champions League place will come down to the last day as well as the Battle for the golden Boot Edin Dzeko (28Goals) and Dier Mertens (27 Goals). A Day later Juventus would secure their 6th consecutive league title. Roma pushed them most of the way but in the end Juventus prevailed despite that do believe that Roma are Napoli will win it next year this was Juventus’s weakest team over the 6 years. Roma will play their last game of the season on Sunday at home against a very poor Genoa side that survived relegation by a skin of their team. If they are to win that game they will finish second and secure Automatic Champions League as they will go straight into the group stage rather than having to Qualify. It’s been a historic season for Roma getting into the champions league would be the icing on the cake.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Stephen El Shaarawy
Next Match: vs Genoa Sunday, May 28th, 2017
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 11
Passing Accuracy: 86%
On Target: 4
Passing Accuracy: 81%
TOP OF THE TABLE
1. Juventus 27-3-5 88Pts (C)
2. A.S Roma 27-3-7 84Pts
3. Napoli 25-8-4 83Pts
4. S.S Lazio 21-7-8 70Pts
5. Atalanta 20-8-8 69Pts
BOTTOM OF TABLE:
16. Genoa 9-9-16 36Pts
17. Empoli 9-8-20 32Pts
18. Crotone 8-7-22 31Pts
19. Palermo 4-8-21 20Pts (Relegated)
20. Pescara 2-8-23 14Pts (Relegated)