Score: A.S Roma 1 Atalanta 0 FT
Stadio Atleti Azzurri,Bergamo
Following several mouths without football Serie A is back on the open weekend of the season. After several players coming in and going out the wait is over The New-look Roma would take on Atalanta in the first match of their Serie A campaign. Two teams who finished high up the table a season ago with both teams going to undergo changes no more Totti no Salah No Rudiger No Paredes and a new Manager in Eusebio Di Francesco as Lucaino Spalletti left for Inter Milan despite all those changes the Romans out the gate still look pretty good. It would be fairly close between the two teams throughout the first half it would come down to taking advantage of those chances and at about the half hour mark they would get one. Off a set piece Roma executed very well as New Signing Aleksandar Kolarov found the back of the net to score on his debut the Former Man City man would give Roma the 1-0 lead. Both teams continued to battle it out but due to very good defense it stayed 1-0 Roma going into the Break. In the second half Atalanta went with an all out attack on the Roma danger zone. However the defense had them in a choke hold as they weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunities they were given. Atalanta would continuously attack the Roma goal but the Gialorsssi would hang on to a 1-0 lead thanks to the Heroics of new Roma Starting goalkeeper Allison Becker to win the math 1-0 away from home. Roma takes three points back home to Rome as they start the season off with a hard-fought win against a strong Atalanta side on the road.
There really hasn’t been a lot of new updates and news in several weeks so it has been a rather light week of news but there were some big things that Roma will be very excited about if they happen. Monchi and Roma have ended their pursuit in top transfer target Leicester City winger Ryiad Mahrez Roma had offered Leicester three separate offers of 23Million, 27Million and 35 Million respectively but the former Premier League winners were looking for between 45-55 Million for Mahrez which was to high for Roma so since then Monchi has pulled the plug on that deal to look at other targets due to Leicester’s inability to lower the price closer to the player validation . Roma have turned their attention to Sampdoria Striker Patrik Schick he was on the verge of a move to Juventus but the League Champions backed out of the deal making way for other teams to swoop in for him. Since the deal collapsed it had seemed that Inter Milan were the shoe in Favorites to sign him but Roma has entered the race to sign the talented youngster and according to his agent he has spoken to Sampdoria about the potential transfer also according to my sources a private meeting was held between Monchi and Sampdoria representatives on Saturday morning regarding the transfer that would be a massive deal if Roma could pull that move off. Roma have also looked at Juan Cuadrado from Juventus as an option as well as looking at a Loan deal for Barcelona youngster Munir. Roma still are looking to upgrade their attacking options and with a few weeks left in the window Roma will continue to try an add some more pieces.
Roma’s Main transfer target for the remainder of the Transfer Window Patrik Schick
In his first game as Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco unsurprisingly stuck with his 4-3-3 formation he used at Sassuolo. The 4-3-3 formation is likely to be Roma’s main formation and how they will lineup this season. In goal to make his Serie A debut would be the Brazilian Allisson Becker to replace the departed Woich Szczęsny in goal after playing the Cup games and Europa league last season he would be making his debut as he is ready for this challenge. The make up of the defensive line would be as the Right-back Brazilian International Bruno Peres returning from last year on the opposite side as the teams left-back would be new signing from Man City Aleksandar Kolarov then as the center backs would be returning starter Konsta Manolas the Greek international would be joined by Juan Jesus as the teams other center-back he would getting a surprise start due to the injuries of Emerson, Florenzi and Karsdorp it would prove the be a good decision. The trio controlling the midfield would be Serie A’s best Radja Nainggolan on the left side then Kevin Strootman would take the right side and playing the Center would be newly appointed Captain long time Roman Danielle De Rossi. Finally the trio up top as the teams new Three-Headed Monster on the Left-wing returning from last season would be Diego Perotti then on the right wing would be new signing Grégoire Defrel than in the middle The Bosnian Tower the top goal scorer in the league a season ago the Big Beast Edin Dzeko. on the bench there was Stephen El Shaarawy, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Fazio all would all be available if needed. Not exactly what I expected but a very strong side.
After all the preparation leading up to this highly anticipated match between two of Italy’s best sides arguably the game of the Week In Serie A with Roma going on the road to face Atalanta as we would kick off in Bergamo. Both teams came out looking energized as it looked very even out of the gate. With a lot of new changes with both clubs it was an exited atmosphere. It wasn’t very clear who was in control very evenly matched Atalanta did control the possession however its not surprising as they are very strong at home. The fist chance of the game would fall to Atalanta fairly early into the game Alejandro Gomez took a chance from the outside of the box but it didn’t even slightly threaten Allison at all as he was able to save it quite easily. It Did however seem like a bit of a wasted chance very early you could tell that pressuring Alejandro Gomez was the best way to slow Atalanta because with out him they cant create as much he was the team now as he was the only star to remain he is the catalyst of the Atalanta attack. Roma would get a chance of their own less than a minute later; Kevin Strootman would find Dzeko in the box the Bosnian would be forced to shoot at a tough angle but the would just miss fire but Dzeko had the right idea we have seen him score from those situations many times before so I understand why he went for it. It would continue to be back in forth with a lot of dirty work being done it was a very physical game so there wasn’t chances all the time like in other games you might see Roma is one of the more tough teams in Italy A lot of gritty work done from both sides. Atalanta’s biggest issue early was staying on side they had two potential chances if they weren’t called off. Raja Nainggolan tried to strike a ball from deep but was blocked it became a great defensive battle. The first real chance of the game would come right past the 20 minute mark when Bruno Peres sent a through ball into the box to Grégoire Defrel; he would take a close shot into the right corner but he would slightly miss hitting the side netting. Atalanta would respond with several chances of their own as Atalanta were getting themselves to scoring positions. Alejandro Gomez set up Robin Gosens for a chance despite being in good space his finish was very poorly hit as it went well over. Atalanta would hit back yet again with Andrea Petagna attempting a shot from deep but Allison would make the save denying Atalanta of a golden opportunity. Alejandro Gomez orchestrated another chance when he found Jasmin Kurtic in the middle of the box but Kurtic gave a very poor touch sending it well over. Atalanta wasted three straight chances it would come back to haut them as they would get a Roman response. In the 31st minute while in an attacking position Radja Nainggolan would be brought down right outside the box and the referee would give a free kick to Roma in a very dangerous position. Danielle De Rossi and Aleksandar Kolarov would both step up but De Rossi let Kolarov take it as he is a specialist he waited as the wall was being formed. Kolarov would step up from about 20 Meters out and tucked it underneath the wall as they jumped fooling everyone slotting in in the bottom right corner to give Roma the 1-0 lead to score on his debut. It would be Kolarov’s first goal of the season and his first goal for Roma as the former Lazio player gets his dream debut. Then Late in the first half Alejandro Gomez hit a ball from deep was again but it was saved by Allison who was having an excellent day. a few more minutes would pass before we reached the end of the first half as the score was 1-0 to Roma thanks to a Kolarov free kick.
Aleksandar Kolarov Gives Roma the 1-0 Lead in the First Half vs Atalanta
There were issues for both team in that very interesting first half. Roma just simply didn’t create enough chances but scored on the chance they got and they also need to involve Dzeko more. On the other hand Atalanta issue wasn’t creating chances they got plenty but they have wasted all of them. It was a very defensive battle with Juan Jesus being the unsung hero so far doing all the dirty work. Atalanta started right where they left off only a few minutes in the second half they got a great chance Remo Freuler got the ball to Andrea Petagna inside the box and he would strike it but much like many of their chances a wasted effort as it was saved from the center of the goal no problem with the amount of chances they had its mental that they still haven’t challenged Allison. It was a very physically draining defensive game and the defenders consistently stood on in the game epsically in the second half as they continually was frustrating the attackers. Atalanta went to their bench to give them another option as Andreas Cornelius replacing Andrea Petagna. Cornelius would try to make his impact straight away Alejandro Gomez would sent a cross into Andreas Cornelius which was in fantastic scoring position however Kostas Manolas ruined the party as he showed why he is world class as the Greek defender flew in there and cleared it out with a world class header heading it with the back of his head to clear the ball from danger. Several minutes later Perotti would be fouled right out side the box setting up another dangerous set piece situation from the left side on the edge of the box. Kolarov sent in a cross to Dzeko the striker’s shot was very close just barley missing just over the bar. Atalanta would then go to their bench again to make their second change as Josip Ilicic would come on to make his debut replacing Jasmin Kurtic. directly after being subbed on Ilicic would take a chance as he tried it from deep but Allison dealt with it quite easily. Alejandro Gomez would get another chance but a very poor shot as it would only add to the wasted chances from Atalanta. Roma would then make two changes as Stephan El Shaarawy replacing Grégoire Defrel and Federico Fazio replacing Bruno Peres due to a minor injury. Atalanta would again go on the attack but the Roma defense continued to be too much to handle Josip Ilicic would take another shot from deep Allison getting on top of it making a diving safe in the bottom corner. The game continued to go on as Roma still hanging on to a slight lead with not much time to go. The Romans would than go to their bench for their final sub of the afternoon giving Lorenzo Pellegrini a good 10 minutes as he would come on to replace Diego Perotti to make his debut. shortly after the sub Atalanta would get perhaps their best chance of the game When their new signing Josip Ilicic recived a headed pass from Remo Freuler and Ilicic shot and hit the bar. They would get one last chance in stoppage time when Alejandro Gomez sent in a cross from a free kick into Rafael Toloi getting his head to it the header was close but missed wide. That would be it in a hard fought performance it would be Roma coming away with the three points beating Atalanta on the road in a place where teams struggle.
Eusebio Di Francesco wins his first game as Roma manager
With this win it starts the season on the right track getting a big three points this is a very difficult place to come and get results so to do that so doing it is a big posttive. Roma also snapped their 7 game winless straight against Atalanta with their last win dating back to 2014. After this game Roma will return home to face off against another big time team as the will face Inter Milan at the Stadio Olimpico next Saturday in another game they will test Roma. Despite the fact that Inter won their match against Fiorentina today 3-0 Roma should be the favorites going into that game having swept them last season not to mention their home form is impeccable. Today’s man of the Man of the Match goes to Aleksandar Kolarov with an inspiring debut scoring the games only goal as well as creating several chances for Roma and his defensive pressure he applied in this game was tremendous one of the better Roma debuts I’ve seen in recent years he really as shown he can do it at this level despite being 31 years old he played todays game like 21 year old amazing defense from all around it looks like were going to be hard to score against with Allison also shown he is ready and comfortable in this league todays match tested them in every way and fair play to Atalanta them for do so well against a champions league side Is very impressive they will be hard to beat at home this season . A very good win for Roma none the less it shown that Roma can hold their own against some of the tougher sides One Down 37 to go….
Next Match: vs Inter Milan August 26th, 2017
Man Of the Match: Aleksandar Kolarov
By the Numbers
On Target: 6
On Target: 1
Pass Accuracy: 74%
Top Of the Table
1.Juventus 1-0-0 3Pts
2. A.S Roma 1-0-0 3Pts
3. Napoli 1-0-0 3Pts
4. Inter Milan 3-0-0 3Pts
5. AC Milan 3-0-0 3Pts
Bottom of the Table
15. Benevento 0-0-1 0Pts
16. Hellas Verona 0-0-1 0Pts
17.Cagliari 0-0-1 0Pts
18.Udinese 0-0-1 0Pts
19.Crotone 0-0-1 0Pts
20. Fiorentina 0-0-1 0Pts