Going into this much-anticipated match Roma had orchestrated a come-from-behind victory in a 3-2 win against Genoa. The team traveled to Turin for the game of the week as they clashed with red hot Juventus who have put together their best start to a season in over a decade. An incredibly strong Juventus team that just added Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. They welcomed an inconsistent Roma team to the Allianz Stadium a place in which Juventus has only lost one game. The first half Juventus were in complete control despite heroics from Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen eventually the league leaders broke through with a goal from Mario Mandzukic to give the Juve the 1-0 lead. A completely and utterly performance of domination in the first half however in the second half we saw something completely different. We saw selfish play from Juventus as they selfishly went for the second goal rather than their continuous dominations. An encouraging defensive performance made things very difficult on the defending Champions. Roma completely turn the corner in second half as they showed us some real quality. Had Roma been a full fitness there is a possibility Roma could have gotten back into the game. Roma showed and displayed their fight while Juventus showed they are not without flaws as Roma second-half performance was superior as it highlighted they’re incredibly poor performance in the second half. Roma went for their reinforcements as Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti returned from injuries in the second half as we saw moments of Brilliance from Roma but it simply was not enough as Juventus ultimately hold on for a 1-0 win a result the ultimately is Harsh on a Roma team who held their own at the Allianz Stadium against the defending champions.
Edin Dzeko & Diego Perotti return from injury
Roma has been a team has been wildly inconsistent this season but we cannot pretend as if they haven’t had their own issues. For the last month for the most part Roma have been without several key influential players in the team. Edin Dzeko Lorenzo Pellegrini Stephan El Shaarawy Javier Pastore and Diego Perotti has all missed time. This has made it really difficult for Roma to obtain consistency. Roma should be doing better but having so many injuries has severely cost them in the race for Europe this season. However Roma were giving a boost last night. Both Diego Perotti and Edin Dzeko made appearances as a substitutes as they searched for the equalizer. This gives Roma somewhat a breath of fresh air while I’m unclear of how healthy they are they are least healthy enough to play late minutes. Getting Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti back will be huge over the next few weeks. Edin Dzeko historically as a top 10 all-time scorer for Roma currently ninth on the all-time list. Roma are in lack of goals at least over the last few weeks Dzeko healthy is capable of finding the back of the net when he has service. Given the emergence Bryan Cristante and Nicolo Zaniolo Roma now have the resources to give the Bosnian Striker some service. Getting him back is such an enormous deal because of how he can impact the game not only as a striker in the way he can score goals but his all-around game will compliment Roma exceptionally well. He is a big physical presence and a a leader. With his big frame he can cause a some serious problems is a very dangerous weapon. Getting him back and healthy could completely change the fortunes around for Roma as they can start to develop some consistency with the team. When he is healthy he is one of the top three Strikers in Italian football. In addition to that Diego Perotti one of Rome is best players from a season ago has returned making just his second appearance this season as he’s been out with an injury since September. Diego Perotti is a very dangerous player to have and can make an impact right away Especially filling in for the injured Stephan El Shaarawy who has been the team’s the best player this season. Diego Perotti is a very dangerous weapon he may not blow up the stat sheet but his impact on the game can be absolutely crucial. Not only this but it gives a Roma more depth with all the players that are currently out with injuries. The healthier this team the better shape they will having Dzeko and Perotti back will be huge for Roma’s Ambitions to get back into the Champions League. Roma are about four points out and need to find a way to put together and winning streak the healthier this team gets they better position they will be in this is a huge boost Roma now all the sudden appear to be a little bit more dangerous as of the team starts to heal.
Encouraging defensive performance
One of Romans biggest issues this season that’s how they have performed defensively. It has continuously plagued them this season evidently having to be bailed out by Romans exceptional goalkeeper Robin Olsen. Last night against Juventus we saw an encouraging performance defensively. We saw a strange formation from Roma who have consistently operated out of either the 4-3-3 or the 4-2-3-1 formation. Against Juventus Roma lined up with five defenders in the 5-3-2 formation. They played incredibly defensive and despite being dominated in the first half in the second half we saw some real courage and conviction defensively. Nothing came easy for Juventus especially when attacking in the second half they change their strategy and got a lot more physical with a Juventus team that was looking to put the game away. Cristiano Ronaldo had one of his worst games of the season as Roma got in his area and pushed him around. Cristiano Ronaldo is extremely athletic but they got in his way a majority of the second half. However the silver lining of Roma’s defensive success was the tremendous performance of Robin Olson. While Cristiano Ronaldo may have not been up to his standards he did get into space pretty regularly but Robin Olsen denied him practically every single attempt. He completely neutralize Ronaldo’s from the offense as as the minutes ticked on Ronaldo became less and less confident in front of goal. Robin Olson was far superior to Cristiano Ronaldo last night he was played one of his best games of the Season. Unfortunately Roma we’re not able to take advantage although their defense is stature. They did concede the goal but outside of that Robin Olson kept Roma in the game for the majority of it. Other than the Mandzukic goal defensively Roma exceptional against a a high-flying Juventus attack with the likes of Mario Mandzukic Cristiano Ronaldo and Pablo dybala. Defensively their physicality made things really difficult on the Juventus Strikers. They have Playmakers throughout the side and struggled against the defense that really hasn’t performed up to their standard this season. Roma should see continuous Improvement. if they can defend like this against Juventus they’re capable of stopping anyone.
Juventus poor second half performance
Juventus was in complete control in the opening 45 minutes they quite easily handled the Romans. Their job in the second half was quite simple find the second goal and kill off the match. Roma quite easily could have got back into the game with an opportunity or a chance that got converted. Juventus played selfishly in the second half and Cristiano Ronaldo had one of his worst games of the season. Coming forward Ronaldo’s absolutely unbelievable but he ended up dealing with a far superior Robin Olsen in the Roma goal. It wasn’t just Ronaldo the entire team collectively they were desperately looking for a second goal rather than trying to dominate the game using the resources that put them in front to begin with. They went away from what they did in the first half and in the second half Roma could have punished them for it. Juve are incredibly talented and in all likelihood will lift the title at the end of the season. They are in unbeaten now but they’re selfish play in the second half could put that in jeopardy. Juventus was always going to win this game once they took the lead at least that was the perception but they nearly could have lost it A. Dropped point at home to Roma would have been a horrible result for Juventus. It came down to Max Allegri he should have set up this team better in the second half had they recreated the magic that occurred in the first half in the way they dominated the game without question Juventus would have got a second goal. They were selfish and didn’t play collectively as a team it was a unimpressive second-half they have looked questionable against Inter Milan and here again against Roma. This team is not without flaws even though Juventus have a grip on the lead at the top of the table a second-half performance like the one we saw last night is cause for concern especially for a team that Ambitions are to win the Champions League. In the Champions League they cannot perform like they did in the second half it was poor by all standards Allegri should be facing heat after that.
Roma’s shows fight in hostile environment
Roma falls at the Allianz Stadium picking up their third consecutive 1-0 loss in that Stadium. Juventus since the stadium opened has been pretty much mistake-free as they have only lost one game since the stadium opened. It is as difficult of a ground as there is in Italian football. Juventus are quite simply spotless and they remain to be last night but Roma made it a really tough on them. The first 45 minutes it has looked like Roma going to be annihilated based on a the possession and the amount of chances. DiFrancesco saw a lot of similar struggles that his team has been faced with in the opening 45 minutes. However in the second half his team and changed their shape a little bit. You never want to lose a game but Roma went down swinging because of the possession mismatch Romans chances remained somewhat Limited. Roma showed some real grit and determination and made Juventus work for everything. You could make the argument that had a Roma had their entire team fully-fit they would have found a way back into the game. I admire DeFrancesco for trying to create an opportunity for Roma to get back into the game. To inject energy in the second half Justin Kluivert came into the match and gave Roma a different dimension the fast and quick 19 year old Roma attacked Juventus even if it wasn’t as frequent as they would liked late they brought on Diego Perotti and Edin Dzeko two players who are just recovering from injuries it was a calculated risk but over the last 45 minutes of the match an argument could be made that Roma were the better team. Juventus were very poor and lost their shape a little bit but Roma failed to take advantage of it at the end of the day in a game like that you need to take advantage. However even though they lost in a very hostile environment the Allianz stadium is incredibly tough place to play and in the second half Roma were the superior team. They broke down Max allegri’s tactics with more of a dangerous lineup perhaps Roma could have stolen a point. The loss is tough given the status of the table but Roma can come away from this game knowing that they gave Juventus a real fight especially in the second half. Roma turned out to be a very tough matchup proving a fully-fit Roma can be a dangerous team. After a performance like that I do not believe inconsistency will follow this terrific performance.
Mario Mandzukic delivers in big games
Mario Mandzukic lives for the big moments in a hugely important game Roma was a team that was coming from a come-from-behind victory he delivered for Juventus in a match they didn’t play particularly well. He was extraordinary and was the big reason how Juventus was able to secure the three points. Juventus completely dominated the first half of play as Roma only had a few chances occasionally to break through. Roma were unable to take advantage of the few chances they had. A near-perfect opening 45 minutes from Mario Mandzukic and Juventus. At the very end the first half Mario Mandzukic took advantage of an opportunity as he has done consistently this season. Using his size and athleticism he put his head through a cross at the ball ended up in the back of the net that gave Juventus 1-0 lead after the first half. He was a nightmare to deal with Roma defense playing exceptionally well but the size and power of Mandzukic proved to be a serious problem. Only Federico Fazio really matched up with the Croatian Hitman as Mandzukic is much bigger than the majority of the Roma back line. Juventus has had their hottest start in a decade and although Cristiano Ronaldo will steal the headlines it could not have been possible without Mario Mandzukic. He has been an absolute sensation throughout the season coming off a terrific World Cup for Croatia as he was a big part of making the final. Yet again he is recognized not only for making an impact but in the biggest games. He has now scored against Milan inter Napoli and Roma. In the biggest games he has delivered and we saw that again last night. Roma play incredibly tough but Mario Mandzukic in a moment of brilliance became Roma’s downfall. That wasn’t only because he scored a goal but he created problems throughout the match he always seems to turn up in the biggest games despite being 32 years old he is as good as he’s ever been in the Juventus shirt as he scores another crucial game-winning goal against a worthy opponent.