Score: A.S Roma 0 Atletico Madrid 0FT
Following the International break and a game cancellation last weekend Roma would make their return to the Champions League after missing out last year. They would take on a champions league giant as Roma hosted Atletico Madrid at the Stadio Olimpico. Atletico Madrid went into the game as the favorites but Roma were determined to defend their ground. It was a back and forth affair in the first half as both teams spend a fair amount of the time on the attack their the two teams switched on control as no one was really on the front it became a battle of the goalkeepers as Allison and Oblak were the shining stars. After the first half Roma and Atletico were even with neither team begin able to find the back of the net. In the second half it would be more of the same but Atletico was the better team in the second half as they put serious pressure on the Romans but fortunately for Roma Allison was at his very best saving everything that came his way as Roma was able to hold on to get a very crucial point a very good start the champions league for Roma.
Its been quite some time since Roma have played a game so I’m going to catch you up to date with what has been going on. The big news coming out of Rome prior to the International break Roma made a late signing as expected agreeing with Sampdoria for Patrik Schick in an initial loan with a mandatory buy with a fee potentially rising to 42 million as he smashed the club record of Gabriel Batistuta’s 36M move to Rome back in 2000 despite nearly joining Juventus Schick described Roma as the “Perfect team” as the club make their most important transfer maybe ever as Roma finally got a replacement for Mouhamed Salah. However he did pick up a minor injury during training but isn’t serious. Another thing that has happened is Alexandro Florenzi has returned from his ACL injury and was given a clean bill of heath and fit to play. He got right back to business scoring in a charity friendly. Over the break Roma organized a charity match with Brazilian side Chapecoense who a year ago suffered from a plane crash almost all members of the club’s playing and technical staff passed away, creating a worldwide outpouring of grief – and a similar number of attempts and offers to help, among them from Roma Since the tragedy Chapecoense have shown remarkable courage and character, winning the Catarinense regional championship this year all profits went to aid with the club’s ongoing upkeep and recovery after the air disaster they suffered while travelling to the first leg of the Copa Sudamerica final in November 2016. Roma won the match 4-1 but it wasn’t about that it was about their continuous help to them. Finally Roma starting goalkeeper Allison expressed his gratitude towards Roma in appreciation of given him a chance to start he mentioned he would of asked to leave if not given the chance but he said that he learned lot under Szczęsny and is very happy to be playing for Roma. that’s all the news there has really much with the transfer window closed their will unlikely be a lot of news anymore.
For the opening match In Roma’s return to the Champions League Roma would go with a very similar side as in their opening match of their campaign against Atalanta. Eusebio Di Francesco didn’t alter his formation for his first champions league game as manager as he stuck with his 4-3-3 formation something I don’t see changing anytime soon. In goal between the sticks would be Allison; the Brazilian has had a really good start to the season he is in top form and looks to keep the momentum going. Roma’s back four looks very similar to how the defense lined up in their last match against Inter Milan. At left back would be Roma’s player of the mouth and best signing so far Aleksandar Kolarov the Serb had a great break scoring against Ireland to all but qualify Serbia for Russia. On the opposite side returning at right back would be Bruno Peres who returned from the injury he picked up on opening day a fantastic sign of relief as his replacement got abused by Icardi last time out. The left center back would be Juan Jesus who has been nothing short of spectacular surprising more than a few with his performances then finally to make up the defense one of Serie A’s best defenders Kostas Manolas at the right center back. Roma would keep the same three in the center Midfield trio that they have been using all season In the central midfielder role would be the Roma Captain Danielle De Rossi who has been a great leader so far this season on the left center mid would be One of Serie A’s best players Radja Nainggolan who as allready done very well this season then as the right center mid it would be Kevin Strootman another player who has had a good start to the season. Up front would be Diego Perotti on the left wing a position he seems to be very comfortable with role he’s had a surprisingly good start to the season. On the opposite side it would be Grégoire Defrel who hasn’t got his Roma career off to the best start this season but getting the nod should boast his confidence. Then finally as Roma’s main striker would be the BIG men the Bosnian tower Edin Dzeko. Roma also has El Shaarawy and Florenzi coming back as key subs as well as other options this is a very rested team we should see a good performance.
After an absence from the champions league Roma were ready as Atletico and Roma were ready to kick off on a Tuesday night in a group B fixture between one of Italy’s bests and one of Spain’s bests. Atletico Madrid wasted no time getting in position to showing their quality as they have thrived in this tournament many times before. They nearly broke through in the opening 5 minuets when Saúl Ñíguez hit the post after taking a shot from deep a great opening chance for the Madrid boys it wouldn’t take very long to get things going as they would get another chance very quickly after the first chance as Koke took an attempt from the side of the box but Allison was able to deal worth it. Once Roma got out of the first few minutes they were able to take some control of possession Perotti had a chance but his shot was blocked. Roma first chance of the game would come shortly after Edin Dzeko’s sent headed pass to Defrel the striker would take a good shot attempt but his shot from outside the box just missed. At this point it kind of began going back and forth as Atletico would take yet another chance Felipe Luiz as the catalyst sent ball into Madrid’s most dangerous player Antonio Griezmann the Frenchmen got a good look but was unable to put it together as he missed. The key for Roma in this game would be making it difficult on Griezmann because on his day he is as good as anyone so neutralizing him would be crucial for Roma in getting something out of his game. Madrid continued to put pressure on Roma as Atletico youngster Luciano Vietto attempted to break the deadlock but Allison had other ideas as the Roma keep made another save. Allison was one of the stars in this game as he was confidently up for the challenge of dealing with this Atletico attack. The game would sway one way than back the other as the teams went on runs of chances back to back. Roughly twenty minutes in Radja Nainggolan pulled the strings to set up Defrel with another chance but Defrel’s shot from the danger area was missed wide. Despite the miss Defrel has done a lot better than in his first two games. A few minutes later Roma would get a great chance to take the lead. As Aleksandar Kolarov hit a well hit cross off a corner into the big man as Dzeko got his head to it in good position but the ball went a bit wide a well executed play by Romans as they were starting to show that they can hang with the Champions League Semi Finalists. Atletico went on the counter again with Luiz and Griezmann linking up again in another very dangerous play. Luiz whipped a cross into the Frenchmen the strike took a touch slotting in just passed the post as he just missed. Luiz and Griezmann were clearly going to be Roma’s biggest problem slowing them down was always going to be a task for Roma. As we approached the half hour mark Diego Perotti tried to hit it from 35 Yards but was just to high poor shot but I admire the effort. Several minutes later off a free kick pass giving to Nainggolan the Belgium international ran up and stroke the ball from out side the box in a very powerful shoot that Oblak was barely able to hang on to it. Nainggolan wouldn’t be discouraged though as he attempted to place a shot in the bottom corner after receiving a great pass from Kolarov but Oblak made the diving save. Moments later Atletico Madrid would of a glorious opportunity to put them in front after Allison not having time to recover Koke had a open gap in the goal he tried to score but out of nowhere Juan Jesus made a goal saving tackle to deny them of a lead. The first half would end shortly after with nothing between them as the defenses shinned.
Nainggolan trying to orchestrate the Roma attack in the first half against Atletico
A first have filled with excitement as both teams were proper going for it if Roma were able to get something out of this game it would be huge. The game would tend to lean towards Atletico Roma was excellent defensively so as long as they stayed that way they could hold it. Atletico came out firing out the gate minutes into the second half Felipe Luiz one of the players I knew Roma would have to deal with had an early chance the Brazilian would try a shot from outside the box but Allison made another save in the bottom corner Allison was playing without fear. Edin Dzeko would give Roma a chance not long after it would be one of Roma’s only chances in the second half Diego Perotti would send a cross into the big Bosnian but his header was too high. Atletico would get right back on the attack with one of the best chances of the game the Madrid boys attacked with quick fire passing ultimately leading to a quick counter attack Saúl Ñíguez sending a through ball from near the middle of the pitch into Luciano Vietto putting him in position as it would lead to a 1on1 with Manolas trialing behind him, Vietto tried to shoot it over Allison who came out the box it was a well taken shot by Vietto but Allison made a tremendous save to keep the clean sheet. Atletico Madrid would go to their bench to make their first change as Ángel Correa replaced Luciano Vietto. Atletico would continue to attack but Allison denied another scoring chance with Saúl Ñíguez failing to beat the keeper. With a half hour left Atletico went to the bench again with Yannick Carrasco replacing Gabi. Atletico’s recent sub Ángel Correa would make his impact as Griezmann found him in the middle of the box but Angel could without stand Allison as he saved a very well hit shot. Roma would make their first change with Fazio coming in for Defrel who had his best game for Roma so far.After the sub Madrid was back in again as they saw another good chance from one of their subs with Yannick Carrasco trying from deep but Allison made yet another save for Roma keeping it even. Late in the match Roma would make their second sub and Atletico made their last as well. Nicolás Gaitán replaced Antoine Griezmann for Madrid and Lorenzo Pellegrini replaced Radja Nainggolan for Roma. However I seemed to be the same old story with Atletico ruthless attacking continuing with Nicolás Gaitán finding Correa who tried to beat Allison but much like most of the Madrid boys Allison made the save. Roma would finally get a chance with Bruno taking a shot from deep off a free kick. Roma would make their last change in the 90th minute with Stephen El Shaarawy coming in for Dzeko. I thought El Shaarawy should of been brought on earlier personally he has quality to break down teams. Atletico had a few late chances in stoppage time from Saúl Ñíguez. Off a cross from Koke he tried to head it home from the center of the box but much like most of the game had the quick reflex to make the save however in the closing moments Saúl Ñíguez had a chance off the save to get the rebound but he missed a wide open goal hitting the post blowing a potential game winning goal. Roma held on for an important draw as they have shown they have the quality to complete in this competition with their defense and goal keeping looking like its going to be immensely difficult to score against Roma as they make a statement .
Big home support for Roma has they say their side Rerun to the Champions League to earn an important point against Atletico.
The man of the match tonight was with out a doubt Allusion who saved all 9 shots on target from the Spaniards in three games this season Allison has 20 saves out of 23 shots on target which I believe is #1 among Serie A keepers. In the conclusion of this game Roma will host the newly promoted Hellas Verona a game they should be able to win quite easily the two sides haven’t played each other since the 2015-2016 season when Verona was relegated during that season Roma picked up two draws from those games but it was a different Roma team so I think we should see quite an easy win. What we can take from this game is the Roman defense if they can maintain the quality they will be very hard to score against. Allison has been beyond impressive this season he will be one of the best keepers in Serie a this season. Roma will return to the champions league. play the week after next. They will play FK Qarabag the easy match of the group they will get they were romped by Chelsea 6-0 today a great return to the champions and a great night for Roma.
MAN OF MATCH: Allison Becker
Next Match In Serie A: vs Hellas Verona
Next Match In Champions League: @ FK Qarabağ September 27th, 2017
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 3
On Target: 9
Pass Accuracy: 83%