Score: A.S Roma 2 Udinesse 0FT
Following back-to-back wins against benevento and Verona Roma are finally starting to find their form. the Romans head out on the road this week for the 25th match of this season’s campaign. Roma are looking to complete a season sweep of Udinesse after beating them 3-1 in Rome at the start of the season. Roma has appeared to gotten out of their slump that drove them out of the title race with back-to-back wins Roma understands the importance of staying hot especially with a Champions League round of 16 match in Ukraine. Going into that match with confidence is key so an chance arises for Roma. They would be welcomed to the Dacia Arena as Udinesse open the doors to their home in what was expected to be a tense match up. With the Champions League Chase very much in play with the likes of Lazio and inter only separated by two points winning was a must to stay on their toes. With an chance to jump to 3rd if Inter fail to win their game. Udinesse aren’t pushovers and would definitely give them a game they are mid-table team but they are one of the better ones they have quality throughout their squad. It was a little flat in the beginning of the game it took awhile for it to come to life again Roma did struggle with their finishing but it’s improved over the last few weeks. Udin didn’t threaten all that much either it was a bit slow of a start but it came to life late in the second half where Roma had a few chances the score but nothing came of it they still looked motivated to win it which is something we have not seen in awhile it was a goalless draw in the first half. In the second half the game opened up a bit and both teams started to attack with much more success. At times it looked like it was going to be another drop point for Roma. However late in the second half the Turkish youngster Cengiz Under came through once again scoring a late goal to give Roma the one 1-0 lead in the second half. Then at The Bitter End substitute Diego Perotti scored a late goal to seal the three points. As Roma win their third straight game as Roma head into the champions league on Wednesday just how they would have liked.
Roma as I expected state of the same formation they have used over the last few weeks. After heavily favoring the 4-3-3 formation for most of the season but Di Francesco has adjusted his team to the 4-3-2-1 since making the change Roma have not lost. In goal would be the big Brazilian Alison Becker who recently was linked to a move to Liverpool but they withdrew their interest allowing Roma fans to Breathe Again He currently is 2nd in clean sheets. It would be mostly the same back 4 with one adjustment. Roma starting left back Alex Kolarov would be rested for Roma’s upcoming Champions League match. Coming in replacing him would be Juan Jesus. Beside him would be the centre-back partnership of Federico Fazio and Kostas manolas to capp off the defnece would be Alessandro Florenzi. The defensive Midfield there would be a double change with Daniele De Rossi and Lorenzo Pellegrini returning to the team replacing Gerson and Kevin Strootman. In the central Midfield they were just be one change from last week. In center-mid would be coming in for Diego Perotti would be Radja Nainggolan. On the left wing somewhat of a regular starter in that position Stephan El Shaarawy. Then on the opposite side covering the right wing would be the red hot Cengiz Under the 20-year old Turk has three goals in the last two games looking to make it a 3rd game in a row in which he has scored. Then finally up front as the lone Striker would be the Bosnian edin dzeko. Roma also would have strong options on the bench with Kevin Strootman and Diego Perotti available.
After preparations and predictions both teams were just about ready to kick off in udin on this Saturday afternoon. Both teams are ready and willing to do what it takes for the three points a big Clash among two teams looking to shoot up the table. Most of Roma’s games at least it started it is quite similar with Roma dominating and controlling The Possession a play it wasn’t the case in the opening moments of this game. Udinesse are a possession based team that control the possession and try to break you down that’s the point of attack so in this game at least in at the start of the first half it was the hosts that controled the possession. Despite Roma looking alot stronger Possession was pretty even . The fact that they had the better possession early didn’t really make a difference because they we’re unable to do anything with it. Early in it was a bit dry to start with nothing concrete evolving. Roma had a fair few chances at goal but Udin defense was doing a great job at getting in in front of the shot to prevent chances for Roma. This match was very slow to start out with but eventually the first chance of the game arrived. About 25 minutes into the first half Florenzi set up Under for a scoring opportunity the Turkish winger hit a powerful shot at the goal but the keeper was able to save it. Roma was dominating the game but they weren’t creating a lot they were definitely playing better though . Nearly half hour gone we got a couple of chances. Udinesse got their first attempt at goal when Seko Fofana tried and audacious chance from 35 yards out but no surprise he missed as his shot glided over the goal. Moments later Nainggolan set up El Shaarawy for a brilliant chance El Shaarawy’s shot from in the box came very close but he just missed .Nainggolan was excellent in the first half a brilliant linkup play between the two despite not scoring. Just a few minutes later Udinesse responded with Antonio Barak trying to strike from distance but once again Allison was unchallenged. The really started to open up a bit at this point Bellator got a chance but was denied.Udin shortly after would get another tremendous chance as Alli Adnan found Danilo with a well-hit cross Danilo did everything right but unfortunately Allison is Roma’s goalkeeper he made a tremendous world-class save in the top corner to keep it even. This inspired Roma to respond as Under got a hold of a radja nainggolan cross he hit the ball from inside the six-yard box with great power but unfortunately he put just too much on it as it went a bit wide. Nainggolan showed his quality to the fullest in the first half making play after play. One minute later the Belgium International would set up El Shaarawy for another goal-scoring opportunity the Italian International hit it from the side of the box but once again his attempt was saved. Then late in the first half as the first 45 minutes were coming to a close yet again radja nainggolan set up the big man for an chance to take the lead he whipped his cross into Dzeko who got his head to it a well-directed header but his shot was saved as the game remained even. After the first half it was 0-0 but Roma did seen they were pushing on a goal was coming you could just feel it
Radja Nainggolan ran the Roma midfield in the first half.
A mixed first half Roma were not at their best over the opening 20 to 25 minutes but really started to get it together late creating quite a few chances to score. Radja nainggolan was absolutely superb creating many chances for his teammates the fluidity between him and the rest of Roma was excellent. If Roma just do better with their chances there’s no reason why cant win. I also thought Under did quite well he continues to play at a high level finally showing his worth to this team. Much like in the first half the opening moments of the second half it took a little while for Roma to open up and get some good chances on goal. However udin would get an early chance from Stipe Perica after being set up by Rodrigo DePaul however despite good execution it turned out to be a routine save for Allison. A little later Roma started to open up getting some decent chances as they continued to attack the net. Florenzi released Stephan El Shaarawy on a fast-break putting together an excellent chance for however his strike from outside the box missed the target. El Shaarawy can make a massive impact on a game but over the last few weeks he struggled in front of goal I think that’s something he really needs to work on because everything else is there. About five minutes later Roma got another tremendous chance as Edin Dzeko tryed to find the back of the net firing a shot right angle a Well hit shot but the Bosnian just missed to the left. A quiet day for the Bosnian he’s done some good done well in attack tonight but just been unlucky just been one of those days for him where you do everything right but the touch just isn’t what you would like it to be. It was getting later and later into the match it was clear that Roma have to score or it would have ended in a draw as Udin attacking very well and are unlikely to break through. A draw at this stage would have been a very disappointing result. Roma continued to push on and it looks like they were breaking through on several occasions. Roma would make their first change of the game as Diego Perotti came in for El Shaarawy. Shortly after Under set up Nainggolan with chance of his own after he has facilitated a lot of the Roma chances. The Belgian tried to strike from Deep a range or he’s capable from scoring from. Sadly this time he messed wide. It was now getting really late if Roma were going to win this game it was going to have to happen soon. Then lo and behold Roma would get their breakthrough from a very familiar face. In the 70th minute Cengiz Under gave the hosts a taste of Turkish delight. The red hot Turk displayed some more Magic De Rossi sent a Pitch Perfect pass two Under who was outside of the box under took one dribble before sending a rocket into the top left corner an absolute screamer to give Roma the 1-0 lead.
Cengiz Under gives Roma the lead in the second half with a brace
It would be Cengiz Under fourth goal in the last three games he has surely been awakened he’s been Roma’s absolute best player over the last 3 weeks. Another display of his range excellent pass excellent touch excellent finish. Udin would try to respond with a shot just two minutes later when Silvan Widmer took a well-timed shot Inside the Box a very close attempt but his shot missed to the left. Despite that chance Roma continue to attack and push forward. They were looking for another goal for reassurance you just never know what can happen in football. Substitute Diego Perotti would give a Roma another chance to double the lead. After receiving the ball from Edin Dzeko the Argentine took a good shot from the side of the box an excellent attempt but the keeper had other ideas as he made the save. Roma would make their second change of the night as Kevin strootman came in for daniele de Rossi it was nice to see the captain again. Coming off a corner Nainggolan gave Roma another chance his strike from outside the box came close but it would stay even. Roma continue to dominate they were cutting through them quite easily it took a while for Roma to get the fluidity but once they got it they have dominated ever since. With under 10 minutes to go the hosts had one last chance as Rodrigo de Paul had his shot saved by Allison. With about 3 minutes to go Roma would make their final change as Grégoire Defrel came in for Cengiz Under another terrific performance from The Young Turk as he received applause from the traveling fans. shortly after the substitution was made Roma broke through again right at the death in the 90th minute Radja Nainggolan released Diego Perotti in the box with a through ball. The substitute buried his chance in the back of the net to give Roma the to 2-0 lead in the game final moments. It would be Diego Perotti’s first goal in his last 10 league matches as he scores his sixth goal of the season. Excellent through ball from Nainggolan to get him and position to score. The final whistle went as Roma pick up the three points winning their third in a row. With Inters loss at Genoa Roma LeapFrog them to take over third a proper performance as preparations for Shakhtar begin.
Diego Perotti celebrates his late goal as Roma put the nail in the coffin
Roma came out of this game getting exactly what they needed. Not only do they look back in form winning their third straight but they put pressure on inter and Lazio as the three of them fight for the Champions League places this season. They play in the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday against Shakhtar Donetsk and roma are going into that game in the best shape they have been in months it doesn’t matter who they played but they are in confident mood they’re playing really well and there’s just some excitement surrounding Roma at the moment this is exactly what they will need for a tough game in the Ukraine. It wasn’t the most convincing game Roma have played this season but they got the job done in the end. Roma still lack that Cutting Edge in front of goal they want to be a little more clinical especially in bigger games and they have a fair few on the cusp going forward. So clinical finishing is still something they need to work on but they’ve done a better job doing that lately it’s not as much of an issue but improvements still need to be made. Roma saw the return of the Lorenzo Pellegrini Daniela de Rossi and Radja Nainggolan to the team. This gave them good options on the bench and I thought overall they played really well. This wasn’t the best performance of the Season but they’re spurts and moments where they were excellent their passing was sharp their explosiveness at goal was excellent they caused Udin problems throughout the game. After a slow first half Roma came alive in the second half and the later got the more uncomfortable it felt as a draw would have been a miserable result. And with the game on the line and 3 points at stake the man that’s been on everyone’s lips over the last two weeks had another moment of brilliance. Roma’s Turkish youngster Cengiz Under scored a much important goal in the second half making it his fourth goal in his last three games this might be a stretch but this month I think he’s been the best player in the league. He remains hot and he only continues to improve every game he will be vital for Roma’s trip to the Ukraine. It was another Long Ranger an excellent goal as he continues to ascend. Diego Perotti got one late to finally get on the score sheet again to confirm a much important victory. Today’s man of the match for the third week in a row goes to Cengiz Under he delivered when his team needed it the most. Radja Nainggolan was excellent today in his return he completely controlled the Midfield making all the right passes creating a lot of opportunities for his teammates it would be unfair if I’d failed to mention that an excellent performance from the Belgian so he shares the award with Under today. It was an all-around good display from Roma it wasn’t their best but they did enough to deserve the three points here. Roma has a tough few weeks ahead of them they go to Ukraine to play Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday In the round of 16 in the Champions League. Then they host AC Milan who for the first time is finding their form then they follow that up with top of the league Napoli in Naples. that’s a tough couple of fixtures but if under continues to find the back of the net and roma improve in front of goal there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to get results from these games with Allison and goal and a strong defense they got a chance to get a result in each game. A fantastic results from Di Francesco and his Roma side this intensifies the pressure on Inter Milan and Lazio Roma finally found their form Shakhtar will underestimate the Italians that are coming to see them on Wednesday.
Man Of The Match: Cengiz Under (3), Radja Nainggolan (2)
Next Match: @Shakhtar,Wedensaday February 21st, 2018
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 7
Pass Accuracy: 81%
On Target: 3
Pass Accuracy: 72%
Top Of the Table
1. S.S Napoli 20-3-1 63Points
2.Juvnetus 20-2-2 62Points
3. A.S Roma 15-5-5 50Points
4. Inter Milan 13-9-3 48Points
5. SS Lazio 14-4-6 46Points (Haven’t Played)
Bottom Of the Table
16. Cheivo 6-7-12 22Points
17. FC Crotone 5-6-13 21Points
18. SPAL 3-8-13 17 Points
19. Verona 4-4-16 16Points
20. Benevento 2-1-21 7Points