Mohamed Salah’s Double Sends Pescara Down to Serie B #71


Score: A.S Roma 4 Pescara 1 FT
Stadio Adriatico, Pescara

               Following Roma’s winning streak ending last week in a 1-1 draw at home to Atlanta on Saturday; Roma would try to get back to winning ways as the Giallorossi would travel to Bottom feeders Pescara for the Match Day 33 In this season’s Serie A campaign. It would be the second match between the two teams Roma having a chance to make it two wins out of two after Roma’s 3-2 win at home against Pescara back in November. A loss for Pescara would officially relegate them down to Serie B; it would be an opportunistic chance for Roma to get back in winning ways as well as increasing their lead on Napoli in what should be a very easy game for the Romans. With Napoli’s recent draw to Sassuolo it gives Roma a chance to move ahead of Napoli almost guaranteeing automatic qualification to the champions League next season. Pescara were heavy underdogs as Roma were expected they go right through them; the host did a decent job holding off the inevitable but eventually reality would hit Kevin Strootman and Raja Nainggolan got two late goals at the end of the first half as Roma jumped to a 2-0 lead. Roma would take a two goal lead into the second half in the second half Mohamed Salah stole the show scoring twice to take a 4-0 lead in what would have been Hatrick if not for a wrongly disallowed goal. Pescara would ruin Szczęsny’s clean sheet as Ahmad Benali would get a late goal to give Pescara a consolation to make it 4-1. It would end as a 4-1 win for Roma as Pescara will make a return to the Italian second tier. Roma now are 4 points ahead Napoli it appears that Champions League is all but certain.


                Another week with some massive news coming out of Rome; it has been speculated for many weeks that Transfer Guru Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo better known as Monchi would join Roma to fill vacant Sporting director position. The speculation can now be put to rest has Monchi as officially joined the Roma board in hoping a repeating success he had in Spain he won 11 trophies during his time there notably known for the 5 Europa league titles he delivered for Sevilla he has been a big part of their clubs success he did the work behind the scenes to deliver greatness. He is very known for his success in the transfer market having brought in players who would turn out to be big time players in the likes of Ivan Raktic and Kévin Gameiro who are now at Barcelona and Atletico Madrid respectively. He is a man who has the reputation to attract talent a massive move for the Roma board as he could play a big part in delivering Roma their first title in 15 years this deal is bigger than a massive transfer because he will bring in a lot of quality players to get Roma to the next level. After his arrival Sunday night he believes he can take Roma to the mountain top this is what the new Sporting director had to say. “I believe Roma have already built a lot,” Monchi told Roma’s official website. “All we have to do is add to that and I believe that with good planning, the right personnel and infrastructure, we can achieve great things. The goal is to try to consolidate Roma not only at the top of Italian football, but also in the elite of European football. I believe this club is perfectly suited to the way I work. It’s an ambitious club that wants to grow and compete for major honors. This is a wonderful city and the club has a huge fan base. I believe we have everything we need to do a good job. Planning is very important in the workplace. At Sevilla, we all contributed to building a model which grew over time and secured unimaginable results, the short-term goal is for me to get settled here and learn about the club’s identity and philosophy. Then, [incumbent sporting director] Ricky Massara and I have to create the most professional football department possible because that’s what I believe is one of the secrets to future success. If the fans are pleased with the job I do in the future, that would be the best recognition I could receive.” Monchi signed a 5-Year deal as he is ready to get to work. It is also speculated that this move increases the chance to keep Spalletti in Rome for at least another season. There hasn’t been a whole lot of news beyond that; Roma continue to seek out Krychowiak in a possible summer transfer. Also Rudiger insists he is happy to stay despite links to Chelsea calling out the media saying “stop making things up.” On the Spalletti front Inter Milan have reportedly joined Juventus and Arsenal In hopes of appointing him as their new manager; this one doesn’t make much sense Inter have already a good coach as far as Inter’s down fall it come down to the players not playing for the shirt more than anything. Last but not least NIKE pays tribute to Roma legend Francesco Totti for 25 years of service with their release of the Nike Tiempo Totti X Roma boot. Totti will wear it in what could be his last ever derby when Roma face Lazio next weekend in the Derby della Capitale.


               Luciano Spalletti and Roma have been frequently changing the formation Roma don’t really have a main formation any more a lot of changes have been made depending on the their opponent. Roma would keep a similar formation used against Atalanta also would be a very similar team as well with only four changes made from the previous game they would go with a 4-3-2-1 a formation that has given Roma great success. In goal as usual would Serie A’s clean sheet leader Wojciech Szczesny the Arsenal Loanee has Serie A’s best 14 clean sheets the Polish International enjoying his second loan spell in Rome. Roma would go with four at the back in this one Emerson would replace Mario Rui at left-back than on the opposite side would be Antonio Rudiger playing right-back. Than in the middle as the center-backs would be Kosta Manolas and Fazio to full out the Roman defense. In front to the defense would be the midfield trio of the center midfield. In the center midfield it would be Leonardo Paredes coming in for Danielle De Rossi on the left wing it would be Raja Nainggolan than on the right wing would be Kevin Strootman. It would be the attacking midfield duo playing right underneath the striker; Stephen El Shaarawy on the left wing and Mohamed Salah on the right wing. Finally in front would be the RED HOT Edin Dzeko who leads the league with 25 goals and 35 in all competitions. A Very strong side for Spalletti’s men with a strong bench with the likes of Diego Perotti, Clement Griener and Juan Jesus as options off the bench. Totti however would miss the trip after picking up a minor injury in Training.
                  The end is near with only 5 games to play after this game with the Serie A season coming to a close in the coming weeks. As I said last week the title race is pretty much over with last week’s draw to Atalanta it surely all but confirms Juventus’s 6th straight Scudetto. However there is still something to play for as Roma continue to fight Napoli for the final Automatic Champions League Spot before serie A goes to 4 spots next year. Earlier in the week Roma got a step closer to that with Napoli’s 2-2 draw with Sassuolo as the Naples side dropped key points against a mid-table side. Roma now are on the verge of going 3 points clear of them with a win on match day 33. Luck bounced Roma way as they were matched up on with Bottom and Relegation favorites Pescara. Roma would take it on the road as they would travel to Pescara to face the Serie A bottom feeders at the Stadio Adriatico. It would be the second match played between the two teams with Roma winning on November 27th 3-2 In Rome at the Stadio Olimpico as Roma are looking for two wins out of two against the Serie A bottom feeders. If Roma Successfully beat Pescara; Pescara will become the first team to be relegated this season as they will be sent back down to Serie B. Roma would go four points with a win here it would almost assure a second place finish and automatic entrance to the champions’ league group stage this game is quite important given the fact that they will follow this game up with matches against Lazio and AC Milan as well as having to play Juventus for a second time near the end Roma must pick up as many points possible as some big matches are on the cusp. Pescara will have their hands full in this match Pescara have the second worst defense in SERIE A conceding 70 goals this season only Palermo has been scored on more. Unfortunately for them that’s not their only problem scoring hasn’t been easy either as they are the 16th in goals scored only a fair few teams have scored less. Sometimes it only takes a few good players to score goals Pescara doesn’t really even have that they have no notable stars which is why this game will give them a lot of problems in many Areas. Roma has all the tools to give Pescara a long night the Giallorossi have the second highest scoring team in SERIE A this season having scored 70 goals so far this season as well as having one of the best defenses in all of Italy Roma has only conceded 27 goals this season. Roma has the big stars they will make it really difficult for Pescara to hold off the Prowess of the Roma attack. Dzeko, Salah, & Nainggolan lead the Roman attack having scored 55 Serie A goals between the three of them. Roma have a very strong attack beyond that as well Roma have a lot of different scoring options as well as the League’s best striker (Edin Dzeko) and the league’s best player (Mohamed Salah) Pescara will have to pull out all the stops to even have a chance.


                 After a long week the game would finally get underway on this Monday Night clash but before the game would begin both Roma and Pescara would stand and show respect to Italian Cyclist Michele Scarponi who had recently died tragically in a car accident. After the moment of silence the game would begin. The final game of match day 33 after preparation for the match the game would begin as they kicked off in Pescara. Roma dominated very early in this game they scored just two minutes into the game well that’s at least what they thought; Stephen El Shaarawy crossed in a ball not far outside the ball and into Mouhamed Salah as he would smashed it into the top left corner but sadly the goal was called offside and was called off. After seeing the replay Salah was without a doubt on side even the announcer agreed that it was a poor decision it was an odd situation initially the goal was given by the assistant referee. However Roma would right back on the attack as Stephen El Shaarawy would Strike a ball from the center of the box but the keeper would save it. Shortly after Leonardo Paredes took a chance from outside the box but the ball was wide left. Kevin Strootman would get his chance minutes later but hit strike from outside the box would also be too high. Roma are getting the chances but has been a little wasteful so far in this game but chances will surely fall as the game proceeds. The onslaught would only continue as Roma would continue to get in good positions to score. El Shaarawy gave Roma another chance when Rudiger sent a cross into the box into El Shaarawy in an ambitious chance but El Shaarawy slightly missed. Dzeko would have two decent chances but Roma still couldn’t crack the defense Dzeko didn’t have the best half barley took a sniff as Salah controlled the offence early in the first half giving Roma the most chances he could also getting a few of his shots blocked. There would be not shortage of chances as their dominance would continue. Kevin Strootman came loose about 20 minutes in the Dutchmen took a shot from the right side of the box his shot was very close but slightly missed wide. Once again Leonardo Paredes sent the ball in from near the middle of the pitch into Raja Nainggolan & the Belgium hit a powerful shot but it hit the bar Roma nearly took the lead there. Roma has hit the bar more times than any team in Serie A this season very unlucky not to be leading. Roma stayed on the front as more and more chances would come; it did seem like a goal would come Sonner rather than later. Nearing the half hour mark there were several chances for both teams of fa corner kick Paredes sent a cross into the box to meet Fazio but his header missed wide. Finally after doing nothing for half an hour Pescara put together two fairly good chances. PSG Loanee Jean-Christophe Bahebeck tried to get Pescara into the game; He would take a well taken shot in the center of the box but his shot would be dealt with by Szczęsny. He wouldn’t be discouraged as not long after he had another chance this time he would get Pescara’s best chance of the half when Cristiano Biraghi sent a through ball into Jean-Christophe Bahebeck but once again was saved brilliantly by Szczęsny. Late In the first half Dzeko had a decent chance off a Free Kick but his header went high. It had looked like it was going to go into the second half scoreless but in the 44th minute the Roma’s long awaited moment came Leandro Paredes sent a very well hit cross to Stephen El Shaarawy causing a counter attack a very unselfish Stephen El Shaarawy found Kevin Strootman on a one touch pass and Strootman put it past the keeper to give Roma a deserving 1-0 lead. It would be Kevin Strootman’s 4th goal of the season a fantastic display of team work and very unselfish play by El Shaarawy as well as a wonderfully hit cross by Paredes. Believe it or not Roma would hit Pescara again a minute later in the 45th minute Mouhamed Salah while coasting down the line near the box he would try to find Dzeko with a pass however the pass went a little further than he would of liked. Dzeko had to track back a little bit to control the ball on the very edge of the box ; once he controlled the ball he sent a bullet of a pass to Raja Nainggolan and the Bosnian connected with the Belgium as Raja slotted it past the keeper from the middle of the box to give Roma the 2-0 lead. It would be Raja Nainggolan’s 10th goal in Serie A this season which is the first time he has reached double digit goal in the league; it is his 13th goal this season it totals. Another classic display of amazing team work with Salah, Dzeko and Nainggolan all participating in create a masterful goal. The first end would end with a 2-0 lead in favor of Roma due to two late goals by Strootman and Nainggolan Pescara’s relegation looking all most certain now.


Kevin Strootman opens scoring on the brink of Half Time In What Would be a 2-0 lead.

                 Relegation started to loom over Pescara heads as they were 2-0 down to one of the best offensive teams in Serie A it was all but lost now. They end went to their bench to provide some kind of hope when Sulley Muntari came on for Alexandro Bruno. It would however only get worse as Roma would add a third in the very early in second half the writing was in the wall. In the 47th minute Emerson had the ball from the middle of the pitch as he was dribbles down the field passing a few defenders in the process. He would fire a quick pass to Raja he then tried passing to ball back to Emerson but the Brazilian fell down the pass ended near El Shaarawy; he would send a pass to the outside of the box to Mohamed Salah; The Egyptian international would make amends for his disallowed goal as Salah would score a curler from outside the box to make it 3-0 Roma. It would be Mouhamed Salah’s 18th goal of the season in all competitions the Egyptian International also has 11 assists. The goal itself was beautifully put together another great display of top class team work but I was especially impressed with Emerson for opening up the attack as well El Shaarawy would has two assists in this game. Pescara now was in big trouble however they did have a response. Now long after the goal Francesco Zampano sent a good cross into the box to find Ahmed Benali he would take a very good shot it would be quite close but the range was a bit too high as Szczęsny would be unbothered. El Shaarawy continued to do well for Roma as he was attacking as well assisting everyone he would take a shot from the side of the box but he would just miss wide. However he has been one of the best players on the pitch he has been doing everything. Dzeko who had an uneventful first half beside the assist got involved. After receiving the ball from Raja Nainggolan Dzeko would take a well take shot from the corner of the box however he would miss just to the left of the target. He got another chance four minute is later as he hit a deep shot from outside but once again he would miss. It was frustrated Dzeko as he really wanted to add more goals to his league leading 25 as he very must would like to win the Golden Boot. Roma frustration would turn into celebration as Roma would continue to romp Pescara. In the 60th minute off of a Pescara corner Mohammed Salah would steal the ball from a Pescara defender to start a breakaway with El Shaarawy not far behind Salah’s would use his quickness to run the length of the pitch sending a pass to El Shaarawy in the middle of the pitch the two midfielders would run into the box as El Shaarawy would give the ball back to Salah at the last minute as Salah would put the back in the back of the net to score his second of the game to give Roma the 4-0 lead. It was Salah’s 16th goal of the season as well as Stephen El Shaarawy getting his their assist of the game. Pescara relegation is all but confirmed now. Pescara had three good chances afterwards but still was unable to break through. Controversy hit in the 71st minute when Edin Dzeko wasn’t too happy about coming off when Clement Griener came off for him he shouted at Spalletti as he came off; when he came off Spalletti said “Come here Come Here Edin Come Here” but the Roma target man kept walking as he would head to the changing rooms. The Two have made piece and Edin has apologized since then but poor judgement by Dzeko.Spaletti said after the game that he took him off so he would be 100% for next Sunday’s derby. Pescara got several late chances after Dzeko came off and finally they would find the back of the net in the 83rd minute when Ledian Memushaj connected with Ahmed Benali on a cross as Pescara would score to make it 4-1 but too little too late as it was irrelevant as they were getting relegated. The game would end 10 minutes later with Roma getting a very easy win collecting all three points on this occasion


Mouhamed Salah scores two goals in the second half to insure a Roma win


                 After this win Pescara would be officially relegated; Roma would follow up this result with the forth Derby Della Capitale of the season looking for Revenge on Lazio who knocked them out of the cup. Roma have won two out of three of the games against Lazio so far in all three games there have been racial issues the Derby ignites all Political and racial as well many other issues this game means everything to the city. Than after the derby the will play AC MILAN away which will also be a very tough game. With the win they are four points ahead of Napoli for the final Automatic Champions League spot a win next week would all but confirm it. Tonight’s Man of the Match goes to Stephan El Shaarawy and Mohammed Salah. Salah would have had a Hatrick if the first goal wasn’t disallowed was brilliant in this game. El Shaarawy was the unsung hero with three assists in this game an absolute top class performance the two of them connected on two of the four goals showing great chemistry. A top class performance from the Romans. A title challenge they were apart of would have been Difference if Pjanic never left its clear as day as they were just missing one piece this season

MAN OF THE MATCH: Stephen El Shaarawy and Mouhamed Salah
Next Match: vs Lazio Sunday, April 30th, 2017

A.S Roma
Shots: 23
On Target: 9
Possession: 57%
Passes: 516
Passing Accuracy: 89%
Corners: 5

Shots: 17
On Target: 4
Possession: 43%
Passes: 351
Passing Accuracy: 82%
Corners: 9

1. Juventus 26-2-4 83Pts
2. A.S Roma 24-3-6 75Pts
3. Napoli 21-8-4 71Pts
4. S.S Lazio 19-7-6 64Pts
5. Atalanta 19-5-8 63Pts

16. Genoa 7-9-16 30Pts
17. Empoli 8-8-18 29Pts
18. Crotone 6-6-21 24Pts
19. Palermo 3-7-21 16Pts
20. Pescara 2-8-22 14Pts (Relegated)

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