Score: A.S Roma 1 Sassuolo 1FT
Following Roma’s narrow 1-0 loss to Juventus in Turin Roma would head back home for the 18th and match up their Serie A campaign. Roma would Welcome Sassuolo to the Stadio Olimpico as Roma coach Eusebio di Francesco and midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini get a chance to get a win against their former team. When these two teams faced last year Roma won on both occasions as well as having just won eight of the last 10 meetings between the two teams Roma have not lost to Sassuolo in several years. Roma would be the favorites but this Sassuolo team was in good form coming off a win against Inter. As you would expect Roma dominated The Possession early in the game but continued to struggle in front of goal. While Sassuolo came out aggressively only to be constantly denied by Allison despite Roma’s poor finishing about a half hour into the game Roma took the lead as former Sassuolo midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini found the back of the net against his former team to give Roma the lead. Roma went into the break one goal up. Despite not playing particularly well. In the second half Roma looked a little more control as they had several chances to put the game away. Dzeko found the back of the net in the second half only for the goal to be disallowed and an alleged offside. Unfortunately that would become a costly as Sassululo equalized late in the second half. With just four minutes to go it had looked like Alexandro Florenzi scored the winning goal only for an atrocious VAR call to cancel out his goal and cost Roma three valuable points. The results dents Roma’s title challenge but with Lazio draw against the inter there remains a glimmer of hope but Roma still have a mountain to climb.
Eusebio Di Francesco and Roma made a few changes inside there for 4-3-3 formation as he attempts to take down his former side. In goal Serie A’s clean sheet leader would be the big Brazilian Alison Becker who has been tremendous this season for the Romans. Roma would go with the exact same back four as they played against Juventus. At left-back one of Serie A’s best defenders this season Alex Kolarov. Next to him as Roma’s center backs would be a partnership of Federico Fazio of Kostas Manolas. Then finally to make up the defense at right back making his 200th Roma appearance would be Alexandre Florenzi. In the central Midfield there would be one change from their midfield trio. In the center mid spot would be Roma Captain Daniele De Rossi. On the right would be the world class Raja Nainggolan then I finally at right Midfield coming in for Kevin Strootman would be former Sassuolo midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini to cap off a very strong Midfield. In the front 3 there will only be one change on the left wing would be Diego Perotti another player that has flourished this season under Eusebio Di Francesco On the opposite side on the right-wing would be Patrik Schick replacing Stephan El Shaarawy in the team. Then up front as the main Striker the Bosnian Edin Dzeko the team’s top scoter remains desperate for a goal home Roma need him to start scoring more consistently but despite the lack of goals he has played very well lately. A strong Roma bench as well with Kevin Strootman Gerson, Cengiz Under as well as Juan Jesus.
After speculations and preparations for the game it was almost ready to kick off as we were ready at the Stadio Olimpico as the match got underway in Rome the last match of 2017. Roma had a very early chance as Dzeko attempted a strike from the side of the box in the opening minute of the game but it was too high. I like that aggressiveness though he is really looking find his goal scoring prowess once again. Roma dominated possession as expected but despite that fact Sassuolo was strong looked up for the challenge as the away side got a pair of decent chances in the opening ten minutes. Diego Falcinelli tried from deep but failed to keep his spot on target. One minute later Matteo Politano took a well hit shot from deep but Alisson denied him. Only for Politano to get another chance as he tried to strike the ball from inside the box coming off a cross a wonderful set up but Alisson once again denied Sassululo of an early goal making a miraculous save. Alisson has just been next level this season almost feels like a new signing the way he has just come in and commanded in goal proving to be one of Serie A’s best keepers. The game became very possession based as both defenses were doing a good job of getting in the way of shots fired on goal. Although to be honest Roma looked poor they were common mistakes being made in their execution of chances pushing forward. Sassuolo had another chance just minutes before the half hour mark when Alfred Duncan tried an audacious strike from 40 yards it misfired curling to the left. Roma would take advantage of the missed opportunities by Sassuolo as they would convert one of their own in the 31st minute Diego Perotti would take the ball into the box trying find Schick with the short pass the ball would deflect off Schick into Dzeko and Dzeko in the middle of the box passed out to a wide open Lorenzo Pellegrini the midfielder would slot it into the bottom left corner to give Roma the 1-0 lead. Lorenzo Pellegrini opens the scoring in the first half scoring against his former team.
Lorenzo Pellegrini helps Roma draw blood first it would be his second of the season in Serie A. Since his return to Roma after spending the previous two seasons with Sassuolo as the midfielder sticks it to his former team. A few minutes later Radja Nainggolan tried from deep however his shot coasted well over the bar.Despite having the lead Roma continued to struggle as Sassuolo continued to attack the Roma goal challenging this #1 ranked defense. Antonio Ragusa’s shot was never going to beat Alisson as the Brazilian keeper made another good save. Moments later Alfred Duncan met his head to a cross sent from the wing but Duncan missed once again. As it got later in the first half Sassuolo kept pushing the attack forward causing Roma’s highly rated defense to work the defense was doing great job keeping the oppositions attack in check and even when they got through Alisson was right there to stop them in their tracks. With under five minutes to go in the first half Simone Missiroli header missed the target. Roma would get a few late chances as the first half nearly came to a close. Fazio got his header to a Kolarov corner but missed the target before Kolarov’s late strike went over the bar as the first half came to a close with Roma with the 1-0 lead.
Pellegrini celebrates the opening goal with De Rossi as Rome lead 1-0 in the first half.
A very poor opening 45 minutes as we saw Sassululo look better for the majority of the first half but a opportunistic chance sees Roma in front. Roma made some chances with Juan Jesus coming in for Kostas Manolas and Stephen El Shaarawy coming in for Patrik Schick. Changes that needed to be made Roma needed to change something if they were going to hang on to this lead. Radja Nainggolan came out really strong in the second half as he had two pretty go chances at goal. He tried to strike from deep missing the target before taking a well timed strike from the side of the box but sadly it would be saved. Following a poor shot attempt from Sassuolo the momentum was slightly tipping in Roma’s favor as Roma were getting a few more chances in the second half appearing as the better team. Stephen El Shaarawy tried making his impact off of the bench as he stroke a ball from the side of the box just missing. To get another chance moment later but again missing Roma have had issues in front of goal been very wasteful the last few weeks today’s game appeared to be no different. The clock continued to run as Diego Perotti tried from deep but was saved in the center of the goal another golden chance. Then De Rossi sent a through ball into Edin Dzeko and from a tight angle Dzeko scored a marvelous goal or so we thought after the VAR review it was called off side. I’ve looked back on it several times and he looked just on side to me I thought it was the wrong call. That decision had the possibly of coming back to haunt Roma. Dzeko had another chance minutes later but once again it would go down as a Roma miss. Sassuolo came back alive as Diego Falcinelli header was saved by Alisson to keep it even. in the 78th minute that over turned goal indeed would come back to haunt Roma as Simone Missiroli connected on Federico Peluso’s cross hitting into the bottom corner to equalize. Roma had poor set up on the corner a costly mistake for Roma’s defense there wasn’t really much Alisson could of done about it. Roma now didn’t have much time to get another goal. Roma would make their final change Cengiz Ünder replaced Lorenzo Pellegrini a very good game from Pellegrini as he was applauded from the fans. Diego Falcinelli came close for Sassuolo not long after but he missed. That would be followed up from some chances from Roma with Radja Nainggolan missing from deep. Moments after that Edin Dzeko tried to head home a cross from Florenzi. Then with about seven minutes to go Roma put home the winner in the back of the net as Florenzi slotted it past the keeper so we thought and once again Roma was got screwed by the referee. The Dzeko one was debatable on side or off side. This call was horrendous as Florenzi’s winning goal was revoked for the life of me I don’t understand how the goal wasn’t counted. This was 100% a goal no questionable bout it Cengiz was called offside even though he didn’t make any contact with the ball. Florenzi and Fazio had chances in the closing moments but the damaged was allready done two questionable decisions to revoke two goals scored by Roma cause Roma to drop points against Sassululo.
Florenzi’s 84th minute goal was called off despite they being no indication of offside
A match of frustration and controversial moments as Eusebio Di Francesco‘s Roma drop points from a winning position. This could end up being very costly to the season Roma find themselves in horrid form only managing two wins in their last eight games they need to catch form and fast if they want to remain in the title race. The fact of the matter is it could already be over not the season but as far as chasing the scudetto could have fallen out winning the league. However this has been a very tight race this season and roma still have a game in hand if Roma pick up victories against Atlanta and Inter Milan it gives Roma a chance to get back in it however based on how they have been playing that will be no easy task it’s not game over yet but it’s only a glimmer of hope. Lazio’s draw with inter gives Roma some hope and getting back in this title race. Roma where poor today finishing in front of goal continues to be an issue for them despite having the Personnel to score. I want to stress that this does not fall on the Francesco he has put out a strong team weekend and week out his team does need to do a better job of finishing in front of goal. Roma weren’t at their best by any means but florenzi late goal was flagged off I’ve watched this goal several times there is no way that was not a goal. They were robbed here do they deserve to win the game probably not but the bad call did change the outcome. Today’s man of the match goes to Alexandro Florenzi he did a tremendous job getting forward and supplying service he put in a wonderful performance despite the results. Roma have dropped points against Genoa Cheivo and now to Sassuolo three games that Roma should have easily won. However Eusebio Di Francesco should not be on the hot seat for any reason whatsoever he’s made some mistakes over the past few weeks but he has done a tremendous job for a team who lost three key players over the summer. Roma have actually accumulated more points with this team then last season with Mohamed Salah and Antonio rudiger in the side they is no better man to lead this team going forward he ahs proven this season that he is an upgrade to Spalletti. Roma are slowly falling out of this title race but it’s not over yet Roma have two tough games against Atlanta and Inter Milan if they are to win these games and win the game they have in hand they can get right back in this title race but a very poor performance from the lads today.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Alexandro Florenzi (2)
Next Match: vs Atalanta, Saturday January, 6th, 2018
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 3
Pass Accuracy: 81%
On Target: 5
Pass Accuracy: 66%
Top Of the Table
1. S.S Napoli 15-3-1 48Points
2.Juvnetus 15-2-2 47Points
3. Inter Milan 12-5-2 41Points
4. A.S Roma 12-3-3 39Points(Game In Hand)
5. S.S Lazio 11-4-3 37Points (Game In Hand)
Bottom Of the Table
16. Genoa 4-6-9 18Points
17. SPAL 3-6-10 15Points
18. Crotone 3-6-9 15 Points
19. Verona 3-4-12 13Points
20. Benevento 1-1-17 4Points