Roma hosted Real Madrid for a crucial match in group G in the Champions League. Both Real Madrid and Roma had 9 points a piece going into the match with an opportunity to win the group and possibly qualify for The Knockout stages. Prior to the game Francesco Totti was sworn into the Roma Hall of Fame for the greatness and loyalty has shown to the club and the city. Roma’s sporting director was recognized and was shown respect prior to the match. However the match itself did not do him any Justice by the performance. An unbelievable first-half performance in which at times it looked like Roma could have possibly won the game they were without question the better team in the first half. However a late miss to end the half by Cengiz Under changed the game. Psychologically Roma lost it mentally in the second half they made defensive mistakes and weren’t as convincing in front of goal and had other issues among that. Gareth Bale took advantage of the opportunity early in the second half and a little later Lucas Vasquez added another in what was a 2-0 win for Real Madrid almost certainly winning the group. Despite the loss Roma qualify for the round of 16 for the second consecutive year. It did not excuse unconvincing performance as the fans booed the team as they left the pitch. In addition to that it got even worse with two new injuries added to an already short-handed team. Just a devastating week for the Romans.
It is no secret that Roma has struggled with consistency this season. Roma must do better over the coming weeks to try to get into a European positions that they are very capable of getting. However with that being said there is no secret this team has a huge injury crisis. Going into the match Roma were already without Captain Daniele De Rossi Diego Perotti Javier Pastore Lorenzo Pellegrini and Edin Dzeko. A good portion of those players are very important to Roma and may have influenced their performance last night. However it appears to have gotten worse with one of the biggest games of the season coming this weekend as Roma host Inter Milan at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night. This type of news has come at the wrong time and last night it got even worse than it was before. Stephan El Shaarawy is Roma’s best player this season he has been sensational on the left wing and made a huge impact for Roma. Early in the first half El Shaarawy was taken out due to injury as he struggled to continue after picking up an early knock. It appears that El Shaarawy will miss Inter Milan match along with Edin Dzeko. Roma are a very thin Squad right now due to all the injury issues and El Shaarawy and Dzeko are hugely important in a big match like that. Nicolo Zaniolo also was taken out due to injury but the Roma youngster injury does not seem to be serious. However with that being said being without Lorenzo Pellegrini Edin Dzeko and Stephan El Shaarawy against Inter Milan is a big problem Roma need to find that consistency and it’s going to be very difficult as many of their key players are injured. Last night performance may have been more about the way Roma performed but the injuries issues are looming. They are going to need a major shake-up with the team over the weekend. Roma have a very thin squad at the moment and they need these players back and healthy as soon as possible because the longer they are out the bigger problem we are going to have at Roma
Cengiz Under miss
Cengiz Under is one of Roma’s brightest stars a lot of teams in Europe want to get their hands on him they are not going to be able to do that because the Roma board has announced that they will not listen to any offers regarding the Turkish star. However he blew a monumentis opportunity for Roma to potentially win the game. At the end of the first half he had such a great opportunity to give a Roma the lead right before halftime it would have given them momentum and confidence for the next 45 minutes. Roma’s performance was exceptional and up until that late chance by under he had been Sensational however one miss judgment could have psychologically cost Roma the game. Under missed an Incredibly open chance with the goal nearly open as he was set up by a teammate he should have stuck it into the back of the net rather than sending it over. It was absolutely horrible miss one of the worst misses of the season. I honestly felt bad for him given the situation. In the second half Roma didn’t show up and it was largely because of how they felt mentally after that. Under will be able to respond to this and I think he is a terrific player it happens to the best of us but in that situation for him not to score was embarrassing. However with that being said I still believe in him he is a terrific player who lost himself in that moment. He is one of Roma’s best players and is part of the future of this club if he commits long term. A player like him is so talented and so skilled and has the potential to be one of the world best players everybody is killing him this morning for what happened and rightfully so because if he sticks it in the back then that we could be looking at a different game and a different result. We need to continue to support him and get behind him because he is one of the best players at Roma but there’s no question that miss changed the outcome.
Roma secure Qualification
It wasn’t an encouraging performance last night from Roma in fact it was a little bit ugly as the team sort of blew up in the second half after playing well. There’s nothing you really can say that was really positive about the match against Real Madrid. This game had great importance with an opportunity to win the group that now it appears is very unlikely to happen. Cska Moscow would have to beat Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu for Real Madrid and not to win the group they beat them once but it was in their own ground which is a tough place to play. It is very unlikely that the Russians will beat Real Madrid in Spain. However despite Roma’s performance they have secured qualification for The Knockout rounds and they will participate in the round of 16 for the second consecutive season. Before the arrival of DiFrancesco as manager Roma had struggled to do well in the Champions League and ended up in the Europa League Most years. Since being here he has got Roma out of the group twice and last year got them to the Champions League semi-final for the first time since 1984. That wasn’t a positive night for Roma and it was not a particularly tough group but it shows their progress in Europe. In all likelihood they will beat Plzen on the last match day to finish second in the group. It is hard to take some positivity from last night but I think it’s something Roma should be proud of this isn’t real Madrid this isn’t Barcelona this isn’t Manchester United Roma are not a team that every year is making it out of the group even if it was an easy group it has proved that Roma have made some progress and I wouldn’t rule out another Deep Run in the Champions League outside of last night’s performance in this competition Roma has been superb.
Real Madrid Stroke of Luck
Real Madrid didn’t play their best football but they came through when it counted in front of goal they were clinical. Robin Olsen once again gave them a tough time in many points during the match but when it counted they were able to deliver nearly winning the group it’s something that they wanted to ecure in this game and in all likelihood could they have done that. Roma did make defensive mistakes in the second half but it’s easier said than done To be able to take advantage of them. Like I said Robin Olsen played spectacular but the two goals they scored was out of his reach and they were able to infiltrate that. On the first goal it was more about Federico Fazio making a huge mistake rather than anything else but Gareth Bale and Lucas Vasquez deserve some credit for being able to finish off chances. It was more luck then anything else and that’s not me being bitter that’s just the truth it even Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos reiterated that there was luck involved in their victory. Had Roma gone mistake-free it is possible that the result could have changed. Nonetheless when the opportunities came they delivered and that is something that not all the teams are able to do despite The Stroke of Luck they quite clearly had they deserved to win and it should be happy for the way they performed especially in front of goal against a top-quality keeper.
Real Madrid have really struggled this season as it appears they have no chance at the title. They have struggled to adapt without the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo’s leaving for Italy. They have conceded a goal in 11 straight away matches including miserable run of form. Their entire team has been open to criticism new Real Madrid goalkeeper Courtois ended up being on the front of it. The Belgian goalkeeper left Chelsea for Real Madrid this summer for 34 million which at the time seemed like such a small price tag for a goalkeeper who had been very consistent in the Premier League. This season he has been leaking goals on a regular basis and the Los Blanco’s supporters have been ruthless in their criticism of their new goalkeeper. I have watched many times this season and have been less than impressed I believe the criticism and the comments that have been made for very fair due to the way he has performed. However last night he showed some sense of improvement. Roma may have played a really bad in the second half but in the first half they could have scored on a few different occasions. He stood firm and made some great saves down the stretch even the second half there were a few opportunities for Roma to score. I’m not saying necessarily that he has turned a corner but he showed he is capable of putting in good performances will he be able to be sustained it is unclear at this point but it gives Real Madrid and Courtois some confidence over the next few weeks.