Justin Kluivert has arrived as Roma hold off Cska in Moscow #383

Score: A.S Roma 2 Cska Moscow 1FT


VEB Arena, Moscow

Following a controversial 1-1 draw at Florentina Roma resumes their Champions League campaign.  As they faced off against cska Moscow in Russia’s capital. Match day four of the Champions League Group G last time out. Roma beat cska Moscow in Rome 3-0 they have six points with the opportunity here to nearly mathematically qualify for the round of 16. Unlike Roma’s league form they have been unbelievable in a Champions League and they hope to see keep that going as they want to secure their place in the next round. A hostile crowd but that didn’t  stop Roma from breaking through early. Very early Roma struck as Kostas Manolas found the back of the nets to give Roma the 1-0 lead coming off an injury the Greek Defender is certainly back. You would think this was the start of a route however it does appear to be more balanced than advertised. Both teams attacked and had some good opportunities. Roma had a few chances to double their lead while Moscow did a good job holding their own of the possessions and had a fair few chances. Robin Olsen and Company did their job keeping it even as Roma maintained their 1-0 lead after the first half. It was always going to be a tough match in the second half cska Moscow equalized making it 1-1 the stadium erupted but only for a brief moment. A red cards was follow The Equalizer. It is something the Italians took full advantage of less than 10 minutes after The Equalizer Lorenzo Pellegrini gave Roma the lead as tucked the ball into the bottom corner an excellent strike to give Roma the 2-1 lead. It began to go in Roma’s favor with opportunities to score even more but wasted chances from Edin Dzeko kept the game close. Cska Moscow went after Roma late in the second house they came close several times but ultimately Roma held on for a 2-1 win in Russia Roma earn nine points from 12. For the first time in 10 years Roma win three consecutive Champions League matches. A brutal but Scrappy win takes DiFrancesco’s side. 


Roma make several modifications to their lineup ahead of this much important Champions League match. No formation change as the 4-2-3-1 has been pretty successful this season. In goal would be Roma’s number one Robin Olsen. Roma would see a slight change to their backline. At left-back would be Alex Kolarov besides him would be the center back partnership of a Kostas Manolas and Federico Fazio. Then occupying the right back position would be Davie Santon who has rediscovered himself with Roma. In Roma’s defensive Midfield as expected would be Bryan Cristante aside Steven nzonzi. This pair is pretty familiar with each other having started a few games side-by-side so a good tactical move by DeFrancesco. We would see two changes in Roma’s attacking Midfield. As always in the central Midfield position would be the brilliant Lorenzo Pellegrini who has been one of Roma’s best players this season. Both Stephan El Shaarawy and Cengiz Under get dropped to the bench. On the left wing getting his second Champions League start the young Dutchman Justin kluivert. Then on the opposite side on the right wing we would see Roma vice-captain Alexandro Florenzi from his typical right back position up to be right wing he’s a very versatile player and does well in that position so an interesting tactical move. Then up front as the club’s main Striker the Champions League top scorer Edin Dzeko who has 10 champions league goals in 2018. Roma also have a strong bench with the Cengiz Under Stephan El Shaarawy as well as a few youngsters that could be featured .


After preparations and predictions for this upcoming match it would be another edition of some Champions League football in Russia. A battle between two teams in group G for matchday 4 in this Champions League campaign. Cska Moscow welcomed Roma to Russia for a much-anticipated match as VEB Arena filled up with its hostile crowd in Moscow this evening. Despite the atmosphere it was Roma who struck first on a cold miserable night. In the 4th minute after Santon created a great chance in for Dzeko but was cleared out by the cska Moscow defense for a corner. Lorenzo Pellegrini sent in a beautifully hit cross into recently fit Kostas Manolas he came through as he connected with his head placing the ball into the back of the net to give Roma the 1-0 lead in the opening minutes. It would be his first game back from injury and his first goal of the Champions League this season. This is a very tough place to play and Roma got that much needed goal early. Roma began to sit back a little bit because of the way cska Moscow was attaching them they had a few chances and go through but it was a little possession based football. They both were attacking each other but both in some aspects struggled with chance creation. Cska Moscow came close as Vlasic missed just past the far post. Shortly after Roma had a magnificent chance to equalize through Alexandro Florenzi. Justin kluivert who was using his terrific speed in space released Florenzi into the box the Captain tripped up it would have been a magnificent opportunity to double the lead in a hostile environment. Just a few minutes later Roma had a terrific chance on a free kick. Alex Kolarov was in point blank range just outside the box. He curled a superbly hit ball into the bottom corner a near-perfect free-kick but was saved then Edin Dzeko tried to score on the rebound but his touch was very poor. After struggling with some defensive issues Roma’s game started to open up just a little bit. The young Justin kluivert was proving to be a spark plug applying that speed and Intelligence on the ball. Their defensive issues were being overshadowed up by his brilliance. Coming off a free kick from Alex Kolarov he sent a dangerous strike into the box that Bryan Cristante try to put in the back of the net with his head sadly missing just to the left of the goal. A few minutes later Federico Fazio struck a ball that was headed out of the box but missed. Roma was in control at that point but at the end of the half cska Moscow started to bring forward some attacking force. Magnusson & Schennikov both came close but the Roma defense was able to deal with the issue. With just a few minutes to go to Moscow had to come close on a few chances. The issue for them wasn’t the lack of chances because they were putting in the moves to get themselves in position the finish was just poor which was the real problem. Robin Olsen made a tremendous save on Bijoi to keep it even. Sigurdsson gave Moscow a late chance with a strike from Deep at the end of the first half but it remained even as Roma after 45 minutes had the 1-0 lead in Moscow.



Kostas Manolas header gives the Italian’s the very early lead



It wasn’t a great first half for either team really with defensive issues and errors highlighting the first half. However Roma did have that important goal to start the match but even so cska Moscow was very much in the game. Roma did for a certain extent seem to have more control at least ending the first half but it all it takes is opportunities to breakthrough. That moment occurred for cska Moscow as the hosts opened up the game in the 52nd minute. While cska Moscow was coming forward they were attacking Roma’s danger area as Akhmetov set up Sigurdsson into space only needing the keeper to beat and he delivered putting the ball into the back of the net to equalize making it 1-1. It was a poor defensive awareness on the play as the Roma defense allowed the breakthrough that could have been easily avoided. It put the game in balance but only for a short period of time. A few minutes later Alex Kolarov has his shots saved by the keeper on a free-kick. The madness would occur just a few short minutes later. While on the counter-attack Justin kluivert who terrorized cska Moscow all day was brought down just outside the penalty area. This was such an important moment of the game as a second yellow card was given to Magnusson such a bad time to get a player sent off. Roma were coming and a lot of there ferociousness in their attacks came from Justin Kluivert’s energy and athleticism he really was creating problems for the defense and was creating chances almost constantly for his teammates. Roma opportunity to take advantage of the red card came in the 58 minute. Bryan Cristante received a deep ball from Alex Kolarov in which he hit out of the air to Lorenzo Pellegrini who was on side he slotted the ball into the bottom corner to give Roma the 2-1 lead.


Lorenzo Pellagrini Scores as Roma retake the lead


An unbelievably intelligent play from Bryan Cristante to have the to hit the ball towards Pellegrini rather than going straight at the goal showed some unbelievable intelligence. He has struggled a little bit with this season but he showed his unreal quality he will become a huge player for this team in the future. Also excellent poise from Lorenzo Pellegrini to find the back of the net a superb game for him with an assist and a goal on his 50th game for Roma. Roma seem to have more control over the game after their go ahead goal and they came really close not long after. Coming off a free-kick won by Justin Kluivert set up Fazio who came within inches of giving Roma a bigger lead. Lorenzo Pellegrini hit a superb free  into Federico Fazio who nearly put the ball into the back of the neck but his header just nearly missed.Chalov tried to reiterate some energy into the team with a deep strike but Robin Olsen was not bothered. The team was continuing to be energized by Justin kluivert and he continued to get the team forward into dangerous position but his day was over as Cengiz Under came in for Justin kluivert who was by all estimation the man of the match for Roma and unbelievable performance from Roma’s rising star. Shortly after Edin Dzeko had the chance of the game  thanks Florenzi’s near perfect cross to score but a poor execution by Roma’s Captain it really was not a great day for Edin Dzeko. With about 8 minutes to go another standout star tonight Lorenzo Pellegrini came out for Nicolo Zaniolo. The kid gave Roma that spark Off the bench he wasted no time as he got into position to score immediately. The nineteen-year-old narrowly missed from inside the Box. Roma then made their last change as Juan Jesus came in for Alexandra Florenzi. over those last remaining minutes cska Moscow pushed for a late change over those last remaining minutes but Roma’s defensive shapes held firm as time expired.  Roma go on to win their third consecutive Champions League game. Now the job is simple take the momentum and confidence from this match into their league campaign. An ugly battle but an important win for Roma.


Its All smiles from Russia as Roma win their 3rd Straight Champions League Match.


Roma Escape in Russia with a narrow 2-1 victory in Russia. In what is a very tough place to play in an environment is not ideal Roma find a way to crack through and leave Russia with three points. Roma’s win  puts them on 9 points out of a possible 12. With this result it points Roma in a great position to quality for the RD of 16 Roma. also gives Roma and opportunity for another Deep Run in Europe. The match itself was very difficult for both teams being in that environment is not a comfortable thing to do. Despite the crowd Roma wasted no time pushing their noses in front in the opening minutes. Kostas Manolas  found a way through with a header by a brilliantly hit the set piece by Lorenzo Pellegrini to give Roma the 1-0 lead. The match became more difficult then expected it was more of a struggle than anyone really anticipated. Obviously there was some positive in that first half defensively it was a little bit of a struggle in an opening 45 minutes mistakes were being made on both ends but there were times where Robin Olson had to bail out Roma wit mistakes made in the back line DiFrancesco was furious at many points in the match. I thought Steven Nzonzi and Lorenzo Pellegrini specifically did really well in that first half to try to hold on to the lead. Steven Nzonzi’s  passing got them out of dangerous areas. Then there was a crazy 8 Minute stretch in that second half. After cska Moscow equalized one of their players sent off. Then within a few minutes of that happening Lorenzo Pellegrini scored what would be the winning goal. The game did open up a lot more for Roma in the second half once they conceded they started playing better and quite honestly they could have scored more goals. The defensive issues tonight are well-documented but that is not the most disappointing part of Roma’s performance. It was the lack of conviction from Edin Dzeko. Edin Dzeko is a brilliant player and is currently the top scorer in the Champions League but today he just had an off night. He was poor in his execution for with his touch it just was extremely frustrating to see him not perform. He had a miserable day especially with the chances he received he even was selfish on some of the counter attacks trying to go for the goal when a pass was a better option hopefully Dzeko can get out of the slump he is in and start to perform better for the team. There were some positives with the likes of Lorenzo Pellegrini and Justin Kluivert. Lorenzo Pellegrini was a brilliant tonight making his 50th appearance for the club he had a goal and a assist a superb performance from Roma’s young star. However tonight the man of the match goes to Justin Kluivert he may not have had a goal or an assist but his impact of the game can not be questioned. He was an absolute animal he looked incredibly dangerous going forward his speed and his athleticism was on full display as he got into all the spaces he needed to be effective. It’s not only that he drew fouls he step up he delivered in it was the coming out party of Justin Kluivert we have now seen the incredible talent and ability that this 19 year old has and I would love to see him get more starts in  it may take awhile to flourish on the but Roma certainly have something special with Justin Kluivert he was absolutely unbelievable in a hostile environment in Russia he was up for the challenge with an incredible display in the Champions League we need to see more. Also Roma youngster Nicolo Zaniolo provided a spark plug late in the match I was especially impressed even though he had limited amount of minutes. It was a tough brutal ugly match but Roma were able to find a way to win in a place that is very difficult. I also thought Bryan Cristante showed some real quality tonight especially the role he played in the winning goal. In this competition we have seen some of the guys that have struggled to start to show something. DiFrancesco should reassess what he saw from the positive aspect and consider making some adjustments for the next few weeks. A tough win but Roma Prevail winning their third consecutive Champions League match for the first time that has occurred in 10 years. Roma are just a win away from qualifying for the round of 16. Roma must take this momentum into a league play as they have struggles this season they have the confidence now to start performing to their expectations. Roma have another tough match this weekend against Sampdoria hopefully their momentum is restored as Roma go to Russia and leave with three points.



Man Of The Match: Justin Kluivert

A.S Roma
Shots: 17
On Target: 6
Possession: 49%
Passes: 431
Pass Accuracy: 77%
Shots: 12
On Target: 6
Possession: 47%
Passes: 452
Pass Accuracy: 77%
Champions League Group G
1.Real Madrid 3-0-1 9Pts
2.A.S Roma 3-0-1 9pts
3. Cska Moscow 1-1-2pt
4. Viktoria Plzen 0-1-3 14pt




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