Score: Roma 1 Torino 0FT
Stadio Grande Torino, Turin
Following a 3-month break Serie A returned yesterday as Italian football returns. Roma officially kicked it off this afternoon as they traveled to the Stadio Grande Torino to take on a Torino team that finished 9th Place last season. Roma ended last season as third-place finishers as Roma looked to start the season right foot. It will be a new-look Roma team against Torino before the match took place both teams had a moment of silence for the victims of the Genoa bridge collapse earlier this week. This game turned out to be a thrilling contest with controversy drama and excitement. During the first half it possession football the game began to open up a little bit as both teams had their fair share of chances. Roma were in control but Torino put some immense pressure on Roma with a few close chances. There was nothing to split the two teams going into the second half as it was 0-0 after 45 minutes. There was much more intensity in the second half executing their game plan. Torino look dangerous at times and during certain moments of the game it looks like they were going to score. However Roma seem to be one step ahead but much of this game it was looking like a 0-0 which would have been incredibly disappointing by Roma standards. The match continue to drag on as it got closer and closer to the end. Then there was a momentum shift has Justin kluivert the nineteen-year-old youngster enter the game. Roma had several chances deep in the second half to find themselves a winner. Before they eventually did at the death of the match Justin kluivert sent a pitch perfect cross into edin Dzeko who connected on a volley as the ball flew into the back of the net to give Roma the 1-0 win. Roma would hold on to secure the first three points of the season as the fans were treated to a dramatic ending as Edin Dzeko continues to prove his value to this team.
Eusebio di Francesco enters his second season as Roma boss after a brilliant Debut season with the Romans. Things have changed since the summer however Di Francesco has kept his formation he used last year Roma operate out of the 4-3-3 once again to start the season. New Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen makes his first start for Roma after a brilliant World Cup this summer with I think he will do well as this team’s #1. Defensive from last season has remained the same. At left-back would be Alex Kolarov beside him would be very effective partnership of Kostas Manolas and Federico Fazio. Then at right back to cap off the defensive line would be the very versatile Alexandro Florenzi who has just renewed his contract with the club. In Roma’s three-man Midfield would be two players returning from last season. In the central Midfield position would be Roma’s Captain and the life-long servant of the club Daniele De Rossi. To his right controlling right would be Kevin Strootman a player who played many of his games last season in that position. Then left side to make up a very strong Midfield would be Javier Pastore who makes his return to Serie A arriving from PSG this summer. Up front a very strong but very similar Roma attack. On the right wing would be Roma’s Turkish Rising Star Cengiz Under. On the opposite side on the left wing would be Stephan El Shaarawy. Then up front as Roma’s main Striker one of the top 15 scorers in Roma history would be Edin Dzeko who’s coming off a 24 goal season a year ago someone who we should all expect to have another 20 + goal season. An excellent lineup with an incredibly deep bench arguably one of the best in the country as Roma have Justin kluivert Bryan Cristante and Patrik Schick as possible reserves in this game who can contribute. Roma have put out a lineup that is certainly strong enough to gather the three points on their season opener.
After predictions and preparations for the match Serie A was officially back the match kicked off in Turin. After the moment of silence for the victims of the Genoa bridge collapse. The match get underway as a Roma and Torino went head-to-head on the opening weekend of the season. For the first 15 minutes it was a feeling out process. Having not played together in months and in Roma’s case a lot of different players involved in the team it took a little while for them to get the swing of things in the match. As far as chances go they were very little amount in the beginning of the game but in terms of execution both teams were approaching a game plan. Roma planed to dominate possession and attack the Torino net with intelligent gameplay with the speed of El Shaarawy and Under with the intelligence and imposing height of Edin Dzeko. The real threat for Torino was going to be Andrea Belotti Roma’s defensive shape had a lot to do and neutralizing the goal scoring threat. However it was Alex Berengur who provided the game’s first chance as he took a strike but misfired. Roma had an almost immediate response as Javier Pastore attempted a well-hit shot on goal but his chance was denied by a great defensive play. Just a few minutes later Roma provided an incredibly dangerous chance as Edin Dzeko set up a superb through ball into Alex Kolarov who took the past with his powerful left foot hitting the top of the crossbar denying what was a superb a chance. Just a moment later Roma would hit it again when Edin Dzeko tried to curl in a shot from the side of the box his powerful shot collided with the crossbar denying another opportunity. Roma continue to have more of the chances and controlled possession but Torino Showed they are a capable side. Kevin Strootman set up Stephan El Shaarawy on a near break away a great chance but El Shaarawy opted for the shot instead of the pass as it didn’t threaten the goalkeeper at all El Shaarawy needs to do better with that he has to be smarter if he’s going to take the shot he has to put himself in a better position to do so. Late in the first half Torino had a few opportunities. Rincon connected with Falque on the cross but the midfielder just narrowly missing the target. A minute later Tomas Rincon nearly gave Torino the lead with a tremendously hit ball but was denied by the crossbar as it stayed even. Late in the second half Florenzi was creating a lot of opportunities for his teammates. Several opportunities the score as Edin Dzeko took an ambitious effort from distance as time expired in the first half as it remained scoreless at 0-0.
Javier Pastore picks out a pass for Kevin Strootman in a scoreless first half.
A very evenly-matched first half although Roma come out slightly the better side with some real momentum but Torino showed how dangerous they can be. Early in the second half Torino came out firing. Falque tried a ambitious strike from Deep but sees his shot fly over. A few minutes later Danielle Baselli attempts to give Torino the lead taking a shot on goal but Robin Olson makes a tremendous save to keep things level. A few minutes later Torino scored at least that is what we thought. After Falque alleged goal the referee consulted the VAR and as it was determined that a Torino player was in an offside position as of the play developed. The goal was canceled off by the referee. This was ultimately the right decision but it did benefit Roma as of the momentum seem to have shifted. Roma had been the better team but this decision and nicked Torino’s confidence a little bit. Torino confidence even got worse when Torino manager Marco Materazzi was sent to the stands after aggressively arguing a penalty decision. A few minutes later Stephan El Shaarawy had another ill-advised shot misfire as I believe he should have control the ball before striking as he hit it right off a corner. Di Francesco would make his first substitution of the game bringing on Roma’s new signing Bryan Cristante to make his debut. Within minutes after the substitution under would get a pair of chances. In this game the intelligence of the Young Turk showed as he is more of a selfless player than he was last season. The Turkish youngster took a powerful strike on his wicked left foot but misfired. This would follow up another chance for the 21 year old who saw another shot a few minutes later saved by the goalkeeper as on this occasion he did not have enough power on it. Torino had a chance but ola aina’s strike was well off the mark. Di Francesco would make his second change an adjustment that would change the game for Roma. Cengiz Under made room for 19 year old phenom Justin Kluivert who made his debut. When Kluivert came onto the pitch Roma’s attack changed he was quick agile intelligent his vision was unreal it opened up the game it catered to Roma’s strengths in the attack. He made an instant impact Off the bench. He set up superb service to Edin Dzeko who put his head through his cross but was saved by The Keeper. A few minutes later Kluivert set up another scoring opportunity for Javier Pastore finding him in a great position. Pastore fired a shot that looked like it was going in but Torino blocked the opportunity. With time winding down Roma would make their final change as Patrik Schick came on for Javier Pastore. I thought Pastore did an excellent job carried himself very well showed to be one of the leaders on the team never gave up on any play he did struggle with a few things but overall I thought he had a stunning debut. Meito took a super shop from long range moments later but Robin Olson showed us all why he was brought here making an absolute world-class save to keep things even. With about 10 minutes to go it looked like we were going to see a winner as Dzeko put away and Alex Kolarov cross coming off a corner Dzeko’s header merely finding the back of the net dinging the bottom of the crossbar. Another unlucky experience with the crossbar hitting it for the third time in this game. A few moments later Justin Kluivert put together an excellent run through the box taking a shot on goal but seeing his shot saved as time seem to be running out on a Roma win. that instance was followed by another chance from the young Kluivert as he put his head to an excellent Alexandro Florenzi cross but again was saved. Then finally the moment Roma were awaiting arrived in the 89th minute Justin Kluivert drove the ball into the left wing before sending an incredible cross into a in the Box. Dzeko positioned his body as well as he could using his back foot as he struck it out of the air going across his body. The ball flew into the back of the net has Dzeko connected on a world-class strike. Edin Dzeko erupted in celebration as he ran towards the Roma side of Stadium taking his shirt off rushing towards the away support showing complete and raw emotions of the moment to score his first goal of the season. Dzeko showed exactly why he’s world class on that play one of the 10 best strikers in the world that he showed his intelligence and had the mental awareness to locate the cross keeping his eye on the ball when the ball came through the air putting his foot through it in almost perfect timing to score a world-class goal Van bastan eske. Torino put immense pressure on Roma through stoppage-time as they continue to push but Robin Olsen and the Roma defense were able to hold off the onslaught to pick up a massive points for Di Francesco and his Roma side thanks to Edin Dzeko’s goal at the death.
Edin Dzeko scores the game winner late in the second half as Roma Celebrate
A new season for Roma with a very different-looking team the same story repeats itself. Edin Dzeko saving the day and securing three points for Roma. A dramatic finish at the Grande Torino with Roma escaping with a 1-0 win in a game that they should learn from a lot of positives but in a lot of ways they can get better. Going into this game Roma have been unbeaten in 26 of the last 27 away matches. In addition to that Roma had not lost their opening game in five years. However Torino was a team not to be underestimated and this match proved exactly how much. This is a very different Roma team but despite all that there were a lot of positives throughout the match. The Roman Midfield with Javier Pastore Daniela de Rossi and Kevin Strootman proved to be very strong. I thought they played really well together made intelligent passes a pushed the team forward frequently. Roma had total control of the possession and used it to their advantage at many points in the game. The Roma attack eventually opened up supplying opportunities to Edin Dzeko and Under who has proved in his first game that he’s become more selfless with the ball making the passes necessary instead of always looking for goal. The defense although there are some scary moments at some points they made some key defensive stops in important and crucial moments of the game. I liked what I saw from the Team today but I think Roma need to improve a little bit with their decision making in attacking position I felt today sometimes Roma was overthinking the opportunities when they got near the Box which they must improve on this season. Robin Olson did pretty well and goal on his debut making some key saves down the stretch looks like a good replacement for Alisson. Overall Roma had a battle with a very mentally tough Torino team that has the opportunity to do a lot this season. The game changer for Roma was when they brought on a Justin kluivert off the Bench he completely changed and impacted the game. The energy and athleticism that he brought changed the results not to mention his perfect past Edin Dzeko scoring an absolute banger. Roma had several outstanding performance but the man of the match on this occasion goes to Edin Dzeko. Not only did the Bosnian score the game-winning goal but did tremendously well putting himself and his teammates into great positions his ball control in this game was immense. Roma scored the winning goal of bursting into excitement taking off his shirt and running towards the Roma supporters that’s the type of guy you would love to have at your Club and he continues to show how important he really is to this team. A lot of positives to take not to mention starting off this years campaign the right way with a late winner by Edin Dzeko and that secures three points for Roma after incredible away form continues their unbeaten run they are now unbeaten in 28 of 29 away matches a bit shaky at times today but the late heroics of Edin Dzeko secure important three points on opening weekend. Roma will host Atlanta next weekend to try to make it 2 in a row. Eusebio di Francesco and roma will be happy but their performance today and will only get better going forward.
Man Of the Match: Edin Dzeko (1)
Next Match: vs Atalanta, Tuesday August 27th,2018
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 6
Pass Accuracy: 82%
On Target: 4
Pass Accuracy: 72%