Roma hold their own against Juventus but Mario Mandzukic strike buries Roma in Turin #422

Score: A.S Roma 0 Juventus 1FT

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Allianz Stadium, Turin

After a hugely important win in Roma impressive come-from-behind 3-2 win at the stadio olimpico against Genoa. Roma prepares for the biggest test in Italian football. As they prepare for league leaders Juventus at the Allianz Stadium in Turin. Regardless of status in the league this match has always been extremely competitive it is somewhat of a rivalry and at times I have referred to this match as the Italian El Clasico given the fact that these two teams has finished first or second in the league over the last 5 seasons but with Juventus winning every season over the last several years. Last season Juventus beat Roma at home in a very tough 1-0 win. Then as always at the end of the season Roma earned a 0-0 draw against them but ultimately it secured the title for Juventus in Roma’s backyard. This is something Roma has not forgotten. Since Allianz stadium has opened only one team has ever beaten Juventus. Roma are one of the most inconsistent teams in the league and it was going to take some heroic effort to avoid the inevitable. In the first half Roma had a few chances occasionally but it was the finely tuned machine of Juventus who seemed to be in total control and took their chances. Near the end of the first half Roma held Juventus as long as they could as evidently Juventus big game player Mario Mandzukic found the back of the net to give Juventus the 1-0 lead. It would end the first half with Juventus in front. In the second half it was more of the same at least that’s what was expected. Juventus seemed to take their foot off the gas trying to get a second goal as they displayed a selfish performance in the last 45 minutes. They gave Roma a chance of stealing a point when they should of put the game to bed. Roma came with some second-half reinforcements as Edin Dzeko & Diego Perotti returned from their respective injuries in an attempt to try to sway the result. However they were ultimately unsuccessful as Juventus held off a very tough Roma team as the old lady Escapes with a 1-0 win as the league leaders widen their Gap at the top of the table despite an underwhelming performance.

 

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After playing out of the 3-4-3 formation last week. Roma would make a drastic change again operating out of the 5-2-3-1 formation in this much important match. In goal as always would be Roma’s number one the Sweed Robin Olsen. Coming out of the back 5 would be Alexandro Florenzi surprisingly at left-back instead of his typically right back postion. Beside him would be the central left back Alex Kolarov. Next to them would be the centre-back partnership of Federico Fazio and Kostas Manolas then at right-back would be Davie Santon to make up the defense. In a Roma’s five man Midfield in the central Midfield position would be the experienced Steven nzonzi on the left wing would be Roma’s youth sensation Nicolo Zaniolo then on the opposite side on the right wing would be Roma’s most inform player Bryan Cristante. Upfront would be the strike Partnership of Patrik Schick and Cengiz Under. A very good team that comes out very defensive but a very different lineup then usual for Roma. Roma also have a good bench tonight with Justin kluivert and Javier Pastore as valuable options.

 

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After preparations predictions and speculations for this much anticipated match. Serie A game of the week was about to kick-off as to Italian heavyweights Clash head-to-head in the cold Turin as Roma and Juventus face off at the Allianz Stadium as the match got underway. Surprisingly Roma got an early chance in the game that no one was really expecting. As a Steven Nzonzi saw his shot misfire in the opening minutes. After that we saw what we expected to see Juventus had complete domination of the game and we’re in complete control. They significantly dominated the possession and created a lot of pressure when they came forward. The momentum was all Juventus. As the League leaders get back quickly. Alex Sandro fireed a shot at the Roma goal Robin Olsen was able to make the save. It’s somewhat turned into a defensive battle for Roma as the offense of Outlet was limited but Roma’s keeper Robin Olson was up for the challenge. Gregorio Chiellini came really close putting his head through a Pablo Dybala cross. Just moments later Alex Sandro struck a ball out of the air after a Chiellini headed pass. Again Robin Olsen got his hand on it to make the an excellent save. 2 minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo got into a dangerous area as his header went wide following a corner. Juventus was in control and they proved it throughout the first half. However occasionally Roma would get just enough space to create a chance. Patrik Schick struck the ball from inside the Box but was saved. It was clear very early that Roma were not going to have very many chances so I thought at this point in the game that it was important that they put them away when they have them before they get into trouble. A little past the half-hour mark Cristiano Ronaldo came really close but his strike was saved as Olson denied him Robin Olson was doing everything he could to keep these chances out. As it turned out it was only going to take a matter as well as Robin Olson was performing Juventus got a breakthrough in the 35th minutes. Juventus big game player Mario Mandzukic delivered using his size and athleticism the Croatian buried the ball into the back of the net after putting his head through the cross giving Juventus the 1-0 lead. the first half ended with back-to-back Cristiano Ronaldo misses and a late chance from Roma. With a few minutes to go in the half Steven Nzonzi put his head through a cross delivered by Davie Santon but his header was handled. That would signal the end of the first half which event is with the 1-0 lead thanks to Mario Mandzukic.

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Zaniolo battles with the juventus defence as Roma look for a spark.

Despite Juventus dominating it was a respectable first-half from Roma. It is very hard to play against this Juventus side they are incredibly strong and the balanced power between the two teams is massive so the fact that Roma were able to hold themselves it could have been worse but the Roma still were look for a spark. To start the first half Roma wanted to inject some enthusiasm and energy as Justin kluivert the supremely talented nineteen-year-old would enter the match in his biggest game since his arrival in Italian football. Cristiano Ronaldo continued to attack to give Juventus an early chance in a second half. His shot from outside the box missed. Ronaldo got into space again a few minutes later but once again did not have the finishing touch. It wasn’t an encouraging performance from Ronaldo. Roma tried to assert themselves back into the game in hopes of rescuing a point in hostile territory. Roma came close when Alex Kolarov connected with Federico Fazio on a cross the Argentine Defender put his head through the ball but unable to find the back of the net. Cristiano Ronaldo gave a rapid response for Juventus as he put his head through a Pablo Dybala across into the hands of Robin Olsen as the Swedish star made another terrific save. Moments later Leonardo Bonucci side strike missed. Juventus were losing control as they were struggling to kill off the game. One more goal for Juventus would single-handedly ruin any chances that Roma had for stealing a point. The chance from Cristiano Ronaldo arrived again Robin Olson continued to keep Roma in the game denying the portguesse star again. There was sequence of time it became a possession football with not many chances despite a lot of chance creation over a 10-minute period. Roma would it make their second change of the game as they try to add a spark. As Diego Perotti makes his return to the team for the first time since September after mending an injury as he came in for Cengiz Under. Roma had a string of chances and consistently kept on getting corners as their hope remained slightly alive. Roma made their final substitution of the game and quite honestly it shocked me. After seeing Diego Perotti return from injury Edin Dzeko came back from an injury of his own after having missed the last two weeks. The game carried on and in the closing minutes Bryan Cristante came really close after striking a Diego Perotti cross out of the air but was ultimately saved. A minute later it had looked like Juventus had gone 2-0 up through Douglas Costa but the VAR took away the goal. After the review Cristiano Ronaldo had a late chance with time expiring as Juventus held on for a 1-0 victory. A disappointing results for Roma but positive can be taken as Roma made Juventus work for the three points. It is a low blow as as a loss was a truly harsh result.

 

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Bryan Crisante continued his terrific month but its not enough as Roma fell short.

Roma fall at the Allianz Stadium with the usual results. However this loss was particularly harsh as I believe it is not something that Roma deserved. Mario Mandzukic delivered on his team needed him the most he found the back of the net in the first half as Juventus managed to hold the lead throughout the match. They completely and utterly dominated first-half as they really took it to Roma in the early parts of the game. It was clear early why Juventus has been as strong as they have this season. Roma’s change in formation could have affected the results in the way they had controlled the defensive areas. Cristiano Ronaldo had a very poor performance for his standards. He was not able to do the things he normally does and I think you can attribute that to the defense especially Robin Olson who completely held his own against a high-powered Juventus offense. Roma occasionally had a few chances but were unable to put them away Steven Nzonzi had a pair of opportunities in the first half but failed to capitalize on them which is a factor why they lost the match its all about chances a Roma couldn’t deliver. DiFrancesco made some adjustments in the second half and Roma looked a little bit more in the game. Juventus search for a second goal didn’t happen as the league leaders struggled significantly in the second half of play at times Roma were the better team. It gave Roma an opportunity to capitalize but because of Juventus complete control and possession Roma basically had to pick their spots and try to convert. A Roma team at full fitness would have had a serious chance a turning points even in this Stadium. Juventus have only dropped one point this season and have only lost one game since the stadium has opened Roma didn’t expose them but they did not look as strong in this game as they had in the weeks passed. Juventus isn’t going to go the season unbeaten and today’s performance showed exactly why. Roma did get some positive things in this match as two of Roma’s injured players Diego Perotti and Edin Dzeko to my knowledge I’m unsure if they are at 100% but if they are it gives Roma a huge lift in the coming weeks. Robin Olson especially well for Roma there are times when he’s criticized unfairly but tonight he performed he was able to completely neutralize Cristiano Ronaldo and made some really good saves and cruical situations he did concede the goal but there’s only so much you can do when the Juventus high-flying attack is constantly coming forward. He would be my man of the match tonight he has on a consistent basis performed to an exceptional level. It’s unfortunate that this match ended up in a loss because it is not a loss that Roma deserved. If Roma weren’t so short-handed and they had some of their injured stars available I think it would be highly unlikely that they would have lost this match. I’m not saying Roma should have won and I’m not giving excuses but none the less with El Shaarawy Lorenzo Pellegrini it would have been a different game. Losing to the league leaders and defending Champions is not something to be ashamed of Roma had their chances but Juventus did not play to their best and they showed flaws. I think Roma will learn a lot from this game and be able to start playing more consistent football. Juventus may have won the game but Roma made it extremely tough on them in that stadium in this environments in front of those fans Roma made Juventus fight for everything and at the end of the day in a tough match like this that’s all you can ask for. Roma will make adjustments from this tough match and show the rest of the league that they still are a problem when they get healthy this is a team that can be very dangerous team.

 

Man of The Match: Robin Olson (5)

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BY THE NUMBERS
A.S Roma
Shots: 7
On Target: 4
Possession: 50%
Passes: 436
Pass Accuracy: 82%
Juventus
Shots: 20
On Target: 6
Possession: 50%
Passes: 439
Pass Accuracy: 82%

Top of the table
1.Juventus 16-1-0 49pts
2.Napoli 13-2-2 41pts
3. Inter 10-3-4 33pts
4. Lazio 8-4-5 28pts
5. Milan 7-6-4 27pts

Bottom of the table
16. SPAL 4-4-9 16pts
17. Udinese 3-5-9 14pts
18. Bologna 2-7-8 13pts
19.Frosinone 1-6-10 9pt
20.Chievo 0-8-9 5pts

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