Following two consecutive losses against Udinesse and Real Madrid in the Champions League Roma prepare for another big test as Eusebio Di Francesco job is hanging in the balance. Roma need to find a way to get some consistency this season as they are slipping further and further from the Champions League. As a wounded Roma hosts inform Inter Milan at the Stadio Olimpico. Inter Milan are in great form having won five of their last six games in Serie A. Last season Inter Milan won season series which included a win at the Stadio Olimpico. This match also had an emotional aspect to it as former Roma manager Luciano Spalletti returned to Rome while Nicolo Zanilio and Davie Santon look for revenge against the team that gave up on them. Surprisingly it was more or less a balanced the game despite the fact that Roma were so short-handed. Even so Inter Milan took advantage of Roma’s injuries as Keita gave Inter the 1-0 lead following VAR controversy. Wounded Roma surprisingly got back as Cengiz Under to equalize making it 1-1. Roma held on to this game as much as they could given their huge disadvantage eventually Inter retook the lead as Marco Icardi put Inter back in front 2-1. Roma continue to fight back as Roma found their way back into the match as they were awarded a penalty. Alex Kolarov buried his shot into the back of the nets to equalize. Inter try to retake a lead with a couple of late chances but time ran out as wounded Roma steals points from Inter Milan in Rome a monumental 2-2 result as a little pressure is taken off Eusebio Di Francesco. A huge point is gained for Roma while Inter Milan need to take a good look at themselves after the performance. Roma may have some ground to make up in the table but this result is a huge strides towards European football.
Due to all of the injuries that Roma would now face there would be some adjustments to the starting XI. From their usual 4-2-3-1 formation In goal would be the Swede Robin Olsen as he continues to perform this season. Romans backline would have some similarities but adjustments would be made. At left-back would be Alex Kolarov beside the Serbian would be the centre-back partnership of Juan Jesus and Kostas Manolas. Filling out the defense at right back would facing Davie Santon his old Club as he looks for Revenge. Roma’s defensive Midfield would stay intact as Bryan Cristante being paired up with the experienced Steven Nzonzi. We would see a new Trio any attacking Midfield after the injury to Stephan El Shaarawy. in central Midfield filling in for Lorenzo Pellegrini would be former inter youth product who the club gave up on Nicolo Zaniolo has an opportunity for Revenge. On the left wing would be Cengiz under as he looked for Redemption after a terrible Miss against Real Madrid. On the right wing would be Alexandro Florenzi as he pushes up from his normal right back position to play right wing. Finally up front filling in for Edin Dzeko would be Patrick Scheck who will now have a few weeks to prove himself worthy of the Roma Jersey. A very limited benches due to all the injuries but Diego Perotti and Javier Pastore would be available.
After preparations and predictions for this much anticipated match between two Serie A heavyweights we were about to kick off in Rome on a Sunday night. All the talk was over as the Serie A game of the week was here as we saw a booming Stadio Olimpico as the match got underway. In the early goings of the game Inter Milan tried to take advantage of a short-handed Roma. In the opening moments Keita picked out a cross for Marco Icardi the Argentine Striker tried it to give a inter an early goal but missed. Roma had an almost immediate response just a few minutes as former Inter Milan youth product Nicolo Zaniolo came close as the teenager struck the ball from the side of the box. It was a very back and forth game in the early goings there was no real superiority. The most part it was surprisingly balanced given what Roma was missing it was not the start that Inter Milan and needed. A few minutes later Alex Kolarov tried to catch Inter sleeping with a strike from deep that misfired. Inter retaliated right away just minutes later as Keita took a deep strike but his powerful shot was handled by Robin Olsen. It continued it to be a back-and-forth battle Inter did dominate the possession but they didn’t appear to display the qualities of a team that had such a huge advantage. If both teams were fully fit we may have been looking at a different game this Roma team had struggled with some of the lesser opposition in the league Inter Milan should have dominated much of the game but in the first half. Roma Captain Alessandro Florenzi had a pretty good chance a little later after being set up by Santon Florenzi Struck from distance but Handanović was able to deal with the issue. Roma we’re doing everything they could to find holes in Inter Milan’s fluid attack. Roma got out running every time they had the opportunity but at times it was hard to create those chances where Roma can be so dangerous because Milan was winning the possession. It prevented Roma from getting out on the break however Roma created a few chances in the first half. Nicolo Zaniolo came close getting revenge on his old team with a strike from Deep That came very close to finding the back of the net. Just a minute later Roma were nearly and again as Alexandro Florenzi hit the post from inside the box after being beautifully set up by Patrik Schick with a tremendous run and cheeky pass to release Florenzi in the area. Had that ball gone a few inches lower it may Haven’t gone in the back of the net instead of colliding with the bar. At the half-hour Mark Inter Milan got on the break in response to the Roma chances Marcelo Brozovic sent a through ball into Marco Icardi but Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen did a good job saving Icardi. As we got deeper into the first half Inter Milan started showing their superiority it just seems like they were coming after seeing Ivan Perisic and Keita being denied by a very active Robin Olsen. Inter Milan were coming you could feel it despite that Robin Olsen was doing such a spectacular job eventually inter was going to break through and that’s exactly what happened. However moments before the break trough we saw some VAR controversy against Roma after a clear Pen on Zaniolo wasn’t issued a atrocious decision that could of changed the game in their favor instead of going the other way.
Controversy as Referee Denies Zaniolo a clear Penalty
In the 37th minutes Daniele D’ambrosio sent in a cross for Keita who slotted the ball into the bottom corner to give Inter the 1-0 lead. Roma were without their three best players and enter finally we’re taking advantage of that at least it seemed like it at the time. It would signal the end of the first half with inter ahead 1-0 thanks to Keita.
Former Lazio Striker Keita gives Inter the lead against His old rivals
It was a surprisingly strong first-half from Roma but they left with a bitter taste in their mouth following a VAR controversy on a clear penalty that wasn’t given that ultimately led to Inter taking the lead through Keita. In the second half you could see that Roma were determined to fight back and that’s exactly what they did. Roma coming back had minimized but the old saying “Romans never die” was certainly appropriate in which the way they conducted themselves in the second half. The moment came in the 51st minute as Cengiz Under got his redemption. Behind a great ball movement Roma spread it out. Kolarov gave a pass down the flank to Schick who then gave a short pass to Zaniolo who one touched it with his foot before sending it back to Brian Cristante near Midfield. Cristante took a few steps before whipping and a deep pass to Cengiz Under. Roma’s Turkish super talent took a few touches before hitting an absolute screamer driving the ball into the top corner from distance. To make it 1-1 a simply outrageous goal one of the best this season. It would be Cengiz Under’s fourth goal of the season. The Finish was spectacular but some admiration has to go to Bryan Cristante who picked out a perfect pass that allowed Under to get just enough separation bury the Deep strike. All of a sudden Roma was back in the game despite the injury crisis they found a way back.
Cengiz Under scores of one the goals of the season as Roma draw even
Roma started to pick up some momentum after the goal they continue to perform well as now they realize they had a chance at all results. About five minutes later Alessandro Florenzi setup Zaniolo who struck a ball near the six-yard Box just narrowly missing. Inter Milan may have had the stronger team but Roma was highlighting their flaws as their defense wasn’t as strong as it has appeared to be. They were getting into space to create opportunities. However Roma were still short-handed and regardless of how well they were playing it was going to give Inter Milan an advantage once again it took advantage of it. In the 66th minute coming off a splendidly hit corner for Marcelo Brozovic the main man for Inter Marco Icardi propelled himself above the Roma defense put his head through the ball as it went into the back of the net giving Robin Olsen no chance as Inter took the 2-1 lead. Roma would go to their bench for the first time as the electrifying Justin Kluivert entered the match. Moments later in the 74th minute later Roma would come back yet again. coming off a corner Roma claimed a penalty call after hitting the arm of Marcelo Brozovic. The referee would consult with a VAR as it showed that his arm was in-movement when he as a penalty was given with an opportunity for Roma to get back in the match. Roma were awarded their first penalty of the season the question is who would take it. Alex Kolarov stepped up volunteering to take it. The Left back stepped up and drilled the ball into the right corner just out of the reach of Handanović as Roma fought back to equalize again making it 2-2.
Alex Kolarov levels the match from the spot with 15 Minutes to go
Roma’s had the momentum now as they were only about 15 minutes away from stealing crucial points from Inter Milan. Shortly after the goal former Inter product Nicolo Zaniolo make room as we saw the return from of of Diego Perotti as he makes his 100th appearance for Roma having not been featured since the very start of the season. Roma would also make another change just a few minutes after as Javier Pastore also coming off injury returns replacing Cengiz Under who got and a standing ovation from the Roma supporters. Roma kept on pushing for a possible Victory as Javier Pastore tried striking from inside the Box. It was getting later and later as we were approaching stoppage time. Robin Olsen made a late save on Marcelo Brozovic which was followed by Bryan Cristante going for a late goal putting his head through and a Florenzi cross As Time expired. Roma come back twice showing their true character getting a draw in a match Many expected them to lose. A match of drama in a four-goal thriller with VAR controversy great goals with two Italian heavyweights that don’t like each other. It was a perfect display of what this league is all about. Roma get a monumental points momentum and confidence has been restored as Roma steals points from Inter at the Olimpico.
A wounded Roma find a way passed a fully strength Inter Milan at the Stadio at the Stadio Olimpico. In what was a bit of a judgement game for Inter Milan as Roma managed to expose them proving but they are not real contenders and their Ambitions this season correlate with their team. Roma showed true character in a huge game that was always going to be a big test with emotional implications. Luciano’s Spalletti return to Rome ended in disappointment as Roma showed that Inter Milan have a flaws that can be exploited. Roma where without their three most important players Edin Dzeko Stephan El Shaarawy and Lorenzo Pellegrini. Everything was aligned for Inter Milan to win and anything short of that was going to be a disappointment. Roma injury issues has been well documented as well as a very thin bench with not much show for almost completely reliant on their starting lineup. From a strategic standpoint Roman needed to neutralize scoring machine Marco Icardi Roma were unable to do that but as it happened it did not matter. Roma showed their mental toughness where Roma needed it the most. Roma have been one of the most inconsistent teams in Europe with poor results having over the last few weeks only one win in their last five coming into the game. DiFrancesco’s job was hanging in the balance had inter beaten Roma he might have been out of a job. It was a very tough and intense match for both teams with the absence of Lorenzo Pellegrini Nicolo Zaniolo started after having played for Inter Milan’s youth team just a few months earlier. He was the King Prize in the deal that sent Radja Nainggolan to Inter Milan. He is considered one of the best young prospects in Italian football and was quite frankly giving up on him. . It was a very back-and-forth battle with the match hanging in the balance which was an unexpected thing to see. Especially given the absentees that Roma had to deal with this was full-strength Inter against wounded Roma. That did not matter as Roma fought against one of the best teams in Italy. Inter Milan ultimately took the lead before half times through Keita who scored for his second consecutive game. However Roma hit back as Cengiz Under got Redemption an absolute world class stunning strike from distance. Roma fell behind again as Marco Icardi found the back of the net. Roma came back again earning a penalty in the second half as Kolarov converted. A point split at the Olimpico against Inter Milan. Roma showed their character and their resilience against a very strong team that shouldn’t have let Roma back into the game. I thought Zaniolo and Santon performed really well against their old team they Let inter know that they made a mistake. Perotti and Pastore who been injured for quite some time came on in the second half off the bench seemingly to give Roma more depth as they will be without some of their key players for a few more weeks. collectively the team performed exceptionally well in what turned out to be a shootout in a four-goal thriller. However the man of the match goes to Cengiz Under to be under the microscope after getting heavily scrutinized against Real Madrid to come back and do what he did was absolutely exceptional. The goal was of a world-class variety and absolute world class. Wasn’t just that his frightening pace and exceptional skills on the ball created so many issues for The Inter Milan defense his performance even more justifies his importance to this team and that Roma should not sell him under any circumstances. This was a huge win for DiFrancesco against a worthy opponent being short-handed to be able to grab a point more than absolutely crucial series of events. Roma now have some confidence and momentum. Arguably the better team and had Roma been at fully fit there’s no question they would have won this match inspiring performance that keeps as Roma keep pushing.
Man of The Match: Cengiz Under (2)
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 5
Pass Accuracy: 81%
On Target: 7
Pass Accuracy: 83%
Top of the table
1.Juventus 13-1-0 40pts
2.Napoli 9-2-2 29pts
3. Inter 9-2-3 29pts
4. Milan 7-4-3 25pts
5. Lazio 7-3-4 21pts
7.A.S Roma 5-5-4 20 Pts
Bottom of the table
16. Udinese 3-4-7 13pts
17. Fc Empoli 3-4-7 13pts
18. Bologna 2-5-7 11pt
19.Frosinone 1-5-7 8pt
20.Chievo 0-5-9 2pt