Coming off International break Roma traveled to Darcia Arena in a meeting with Udinese as Roma went into the International break with confidence and momentum after their best performance of the season in their 4-1 rout of a strong Sampdoria side. Coming into the game Udinese had lost five consecutive home games without a win in over a month. Against what most people would consider a inconsistent Roma team with star power. Udinese hadn’t beat Roma in over a decade with but managed to shock Roma at home . Inconsistent Roma showed itself again as a Udinese swept the rug from underneath them winning for the first time against Roma since 2009. Short-handed Roma completely dominated the entire match Udinese had just a few opportunities and in results without Robin Olsen Roma failed when it mattered the most as Udinese finally beat Roma as it was the third longest drought in Serie A. Another underwhelming performance from Roma as a stale in a match they quite clearly should have won complete domination from Roma wasn’t enough as Rodrigo de Paul drowns Roma at Darcia Arena
Cinincal Finishing Issues
Clinical finishing in front of goal continues We are in the 12th week of the season and we are still talking about this it continues to be an problem. Roma had no right to lose this game they played nearly flawless however failing to find the back of the net severely cost them. The stat line was unbelievable which is why it’s so inexcusable that they have lost this game. Roma had a 75% possession over 500 passes 88% passing accuracy and nine shots on goal. All Roma needed to do to win this game is for one of those nine shots to find the back of the net something that clearly held them back. It’s not like they didn’t have chances they had so many chances to put this game away early. Roma played really well and there were times where they provided a spark but they just could not pull it off. They deserved to win this game 100% they played a perfect game they were nearly Unstoppable they let Udinese in the game by not putting it away early. They gave them one chance and they delivered. This is an issue that seems to be the biggest problem with Roma this season have they been better in front of goal especially in the final third they wouldn’t be in the situation that they are in. Roma create the most chances in the league but their efficiency has just been a poor something needs to change they have the players that are more than capable putting it into the back of the net this team has 11 a different scorers this season if they fix this problem solved they will start winning on a consistent basis and get closer into that top 4 that they are shooting for. It is the biggest issue with this club and it needs to be handled as soon as possible they need to prioritize the clinical finishing if they’re able to deal with this and find a solution this team is capable of a lot because they do have the players this needs to change and fast because the Champions League places seem to be getting further and further away.
The absence of Robin Olson
Roma going into the match had several injuries they were a bit short-handed in terms of their depth in what they could offer off the bench. Daniele de Rossi Kostas Manolas Javier Pastore and Robin Olsen among them. However one injury in particular seemed to be at the most important. Roma’s goalkeeper Robin Olsen picked up an injury prior to the trip. This forced 35 year old goalkeeper Antonio Mirante into action while he is a very good back up he was never meant to be the starter in Rome. Robin Olsen has been one of the best players this season. In crucial moments he has risen to the challenge and saved Roma in a lot of tough spots this season. Roma dominated the entire match in fact the opposition of barely got to sniff all game. It is in those moments in which you need outstanding performances from the goalkeeper and the defense. Given the lack of opportunities Udinesse had only a few chances to win the game and that’s exactly what they did. A defensive collapse allowed a break in which I thought Mirante could of done better. It’s really highlighted the importance of Robin Olsen we have seen many times this season where he has a rescued Roma In situations and scenarios which it looked like he was going to concede. There is no question in my mind that Robin Olsen would have saved the goal. It is absolutely essential that he recovers from his injury and quick without Robin Olsen Roma will stand no chance against Real Madrid or Inter Milan. Even though he wouldn’t have had a lot to do in this match he would have made the key saves down the stretch that would have help Roma obtain a minimum points. He was a huge miss and the fact that it was announced just hours before kickoff throwing someone to the wolves who wasn’t prepared really didn’t help the situation even though the chances were limited Roma missed Robin Olsen had he played I’m not sure Roma would have lost given the way they dominated the game all they needed to do is make the necessary save. Had they had more of a security blanket in the goal maybe we’re looking at a different result.
Davie Nicola managed his first game at Udinesse yesterday. This team was struggling to even pick up any points whatsoever and needed some change in identity. Nicola provided that as huge underdogs they upset Roma at home after having dropping five consecutive matches on their home ground. They were completely dominated the match but they took advantage when it counted. On mutually their only chance of the entire match they were able to take advantage of through Rodrigo DePaul securing the three points for a team who has not won a game in over a month. Davie Nicola has proven to be one of the most underrated managers in Italian football. He orchestrated “The Great Escape” with Crotone after getting them promotion they struggled to keep their head above water two seasons ago. He miraculously brought them back from the dead to secure survival beating Lazio on the last day of the season too narrowly avoid the drop. Udinese are in a similar situation maybe not as dire but he has the resources and the experience to get this team away from danger. He will be hugely important to them this season and in his debut he proved his tactics can be very effective even when things don’t appear to be going his way. Roma completely dominated them but found a way through they were unable to do that under previous management. The game has been more about Roma’s downfall than anything else but tactically he was prepared and delivered in a game in which they were heavy underdogs. He’s going to be so important to what they can do this season I believe he will get the best out of his players and yesterday was full proof of that they don’t have the weapons Roma does and somehow they found a way to win against a team they hadn’t beaten in a decade.
Udinesse first win against Roma since 2008
Udinese ended one of the biggest droughts in Serie A. The last time Roma failed to beat Udinese was 2009. Roma had won 10 consecutive games and were unbeaten against them for over a decade. Despite the fact that they probably did not deserve to win based on the domination that Roma displayed Rodrigo de Paul took advantage of the only opportunity Udinese had throughout the match. They weren’t a lot of chances for them but when it came they delivered and they largely benefited and took advantage of a short-handed Roma who should have put the game away in the first half. Roma allowed the match to get into the second half and when that happened Udinese took the momentum and confidence away with a second-half winner. A incredible achievement for a team who had not played up to standard this season not to mention that it’s been 10 years since their last victory against them. Roma is a big team and Udinese finally have some momentum to kick-start their season after a miserable few months. In theory it is just a win but this sort of victory will inspire them and motivate them for the rest of the campaign.
Bryan Cristante Progress
Bryan Cristante arrived in the summer after a good spell at Atalanta. He was viewed as the potential replacement for Radja Nainggolan. The perception was that Bryan Cristante fits DiFrancesco system better than Radja Nainggolan did. The Belgian International that’s now at Inter Milan had a very disappointing season a year ago with Roma. By all accounts analytically Bryan Cristante had a better statistics in every category there was no debate that he had a better season last year. For much of the season this year he has failed to repeat the great performances he displayed last year. He is a player that has all the potential to become a superstar and the pressure that has been laid on him was a little unfair to try and replace a fan of favorite at Roma. He arrived for 30 million this summer that only added to the pressure he did not choose the transfer fee it’s been a little tough to live up to. However after a rough start to the season he is finally starting to show his incredible talent and ability. Over the last few weeks starting in the place of Daniele De Rossi he has finally found that fluidity in Roma’s defensive Midfield pairing with Stephen Nzonzi he has shown why he was brought to Rome. Over that stretch he has been one of Roma’s best players passing the ball with great success and creating a lot of opportunities for teammates as well as creating chances for himself. He has shown and displayed the ability that we saw from him last year. Yesterday he provide a spark for Roma he was the biggest Difference maker I thought despite the result he was one of his best performances of the season he is really growing at Roma and I think we will see the best of him before the end of the season. In the long term Bryan Cristante will live up to the expectations that’s been laid on him. Yesterday was a prime example of what kind of player at Roma truly have. He needs to develop a little more but over the last few weeks we have seen the emergence of a star.