Score: A.S Roma 2 Bologna 1FT
Following wins against Chievo Verona and FC Porto in the Champions League. Roma played host to Bologna for their second meeting of the season on Monday night football at the Stadio Olimpico. During the first meeting between these two teams, Bologna managed to get a huge upset at Roma’s expense. Roma wants to do everything they possibly can to avoid a season sweep from a Bologna team to have a high chance of relegation. Roma currently finds themselves in a dogfight for Champions League football this season. This match held huge importance from both teams on opposite sides of the table. Atalanta and Lazio both lost over the weekend meaning Roma could create some separation from some of the other teams chasing the desirable fourth position as well as going within a point of AC Milan. After a strong performance in the Champions League against Porto, we thought we were going to see more of the same from Roma who was at home against a team in the relegation Zone. It was a very underwhelming performance from Roma. In the first half quite honestly Bologna seemed like the better team. Robin Olsen’s brilliance really kept the game even. Early in the second half the game finally broke its deadlock. El Shaarawy was brought down viciously in the box by two Bologna defenders as Roma were given a penalty. Alex Kolarov converted from the spot to give Roma the 1-0 lead. Roma’s second-half performance wasn’t any better than any first 45 minutes it was a match maybe they should have lost. A very unconvincing display but despite that Federico Fazio doubled Roma’s lead with a timely strike as Roma got off to a 2-0 lead. Despite being in front bologna never gave up on the match as they continued to test Robin Olsen who was a magician for Roma this evening. Bologna eventually got a goal back with not much time remaining. A come back seemed on its way but once again the whole Robin Olsen helps Roma prevail despite an Incredibly mediocre performance from Roma. Roma now is just one point from AC Milan as well as creating three points of separation between themselves Atalanta and Lazio. Miserable day but Roma manage to do enough to earn a hard-fought win that should have been easier than it was.
Eusebio di Francesco maintained the 4-3-3 formation he has used over the last two games. Roma is unbeaten in their last six and his formation seems to have worked up to this point. Robin Olsen returns in goal after recovering from his injury. Roma’s defensive back line would stay exactly the same as last week. At left back would be Serbian International the versatile Alex Kolarov. Beside him would be the center-back partnership of Kostas Manolas and Federico Fazio. Then occupying the right back position would be Roma vice-captain Alexandra Florenzi. In the front of the defensive line would be the core of the team Roma’s three-man Midfield. In the central position would be World Cup winner Steven Nzonzi as he comes into this game coming off a very strong performance over the last few weeks. Coming in on the left side would be Bryan Cristante then on the right coming off a suspension would be Lorenzo Pellegrini as he reclaims a spot in the starting 11 after accumulating too many yellow cards missing last week’s match against Chievo Verona. We would see a very similar attack in the three-headed monster. Stephan El Shaarawy picked up a minor injury prior to the match and was unable to start the game. Coming in for him on the left-wing would be Roma’s youngster Justin Kluivert as the iconic Patrick Kluivert would be in attendance. On the opposite side on the right wing would be Roma’s a sensational nineteen-year-old Nicolo Zaniolo. Then up front as always as Roma’s main Striker would Roma’s 6’4 Hitman Edin Dzeko.
After preparations and predictions for Mondays Marquee matchup, we would get underway at the Stadio Olimpico. As 5th Place Roma host 18th Place bologna in Rome. In the opening minutes, Roma had an early chance through Edin Dzeko but his shot from distance was denied by The Keeper. Bologna would respond just minutes later as a Roberto Soriano took a deep shot of his own only to see Robin Olsen deal with the attempt. The game was pretty balanced in the opening part of the first half Roma were unable to take control as they have typically done over the last few weeks. Even though Roma are the much better team with more talent and skilled players bologna was in the match. Later in the match, Kostas Manolas saw his header go wide coming off a corner. The game took a little while to develop but it was starting to gain frictions with a little under 20 minutes gone. A few minutes later Roma had another scoring chance. Justin Kluivert set up Nicolo Zaniolo with a strike from the middle of the box but ultimately missed. Bologna almost immediately replied with a very dangerous counter-attack but Roberto Soriano didn’t have the necessary touch as Robin Olsen was unchallenged. Roma was not playing very well and struggled to put together legitimate chances to imply that they are capable of continuing their win streak. Late in the in the first half Roma relied on a Robin Olsen to keep it level. Roberto Soriano tried to strike from the center of the box but again Robin Olsen shows Roma what they have been missing as he is able to deal with it. A little while later Simone Edera tried to fool the Swedish goalkeeper but Robin Olsen once again denying what would have been the opening goal of the game as he makes a double save dealing with the shot and the rebound. Bologna proving they were picking up momentum and control as the half was very close to its conclusion. In stoppage time Roberto Soriano hit the post after striking a powerful shot silencing the crowd at the Stadio Olimpico. It was a goalless first half but by surprise, bologna looked like the superior team as the first half came to a close.
Nicolo Zaniolo’s expression perfectly captures Roma’s frustrations in the first half.
It was a very physical first half from both teams but to the surprise, Bologna did look like the better team in the opening 45 minutes. Eusebio DiFrancesco did make an adjustment immediately to start the second half. As a Stephan El Shaarawy came in for Bryan Cristante to try to give Roma a different dimension. Within minutes of the second half, Bologna put together another great chance. However, Robin Olsen was at his very best as Simone Edera was denied by the Swedish keeper. Just a few minutes later he had another shot but misfire. Roma tried to get back into the game through Nicolo Zaniolo but his shots from the outside did not have the accuracy as he misses. However, following the attempt just a minute later Roma would catch a big break despite being is a far less superior team. Stephan El Shaarawy collided by bologna defenders in the Box. The referee pointed to the spot as the Romans were given a penalty. Alex Kolarov stepped up as he buried his shot into the bottom right corner to give Roma the 1-0 lead. It would be Alex Kolarov’s 7th goal of the season making the Serbian the highest scoring Defender among Europe’s top five leagues.
Kolarov’s Buries his Penalty with convection to give Roma the 1-0 lead
Despite Roma having the lead bologna was still very much in it as they still displayed that they were the better team. Andrea Poli was denied by Olsen just a few moments later as Robin Olson continued to show unreal quality. Bologna was not going to quit as they kept coming. Despite that Roma had their moments. Nicolo Zaniolo was set up by Stephan El Shaarawy in a very difficult area despite that the youngster attempted the shot but was denied. Simone Edera tried once again from Deep but missed the target. Roma made their first change of the afternoon as Daniele de Rossi replaced Justin Kluivert who had a less-than-stellar afternoon. Edin Dzeko and Kostas Manolas both saw their opportunities missed a few minutes later. Roma was doing a decent job of getting a position but their execution was underwhelming. A few minutes later in the 73rd minute, Roma seemingly put the nail in the coffin. As Daniele de Rossi found Federico Fazio on the volley as the center back drilled a shot into the bottom left corner to give Roma the 2-0 lead scoring his 4th goal of the season. Roma did take advantage of the opportunities despite having Not played well up to that point they found themselves up by multiple goals. Bologna still tried to find a way past Robin Olsen but remained to find that very difficult. Federico Santander sent a through ball into Diego but he could not beat Robin Olsen who made another terrific save. Rome brought in Davie Santon for Florenzi. A few minutes later in the 84th minute, Bologna finally got the goal they deserved. Nicola Sansone beat Robin Olsen with a terrific strike from outside the box to minimize the deficit. In stoppage time Steven Nzonzi put his head through a Lorenzo Pellegrini cross as time expired. Roma takes their unbeaten streak to seven as Roma get an ugly victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
Federico Fazio’s goal proves importance as Roma escape with a win in Rome
Roma gets the three points as they edged closer to Champions League football in Italy. However, with all that being said, it was not a convincing performance in fact throughout the 90 minutes Roma we’re second-best and put in a mediocre performance. It was a tough and agonizing victory in the game quite honestly they should have lost. They were at home Stadio Olimpico against bologna who was in 18th Place. This is a game Roma should have coasted through with no actual issues. It ended up being the exact opposite for whatever reason Roma have struggled with these lesser teams, in fact, had a Roma not drop points to bologna Chievo Verona Cagliari SPAL and not blown a huge lead against Atalanta Roma would be in second place. It is incredibly frustrating when you think of that. Despite Roma’s incredible struggles they managed to get the three points which at this point has to be looked at as a very positive result given how poorly they played. Despite how bad they were they managed to score twice in the second half. Through a Kolarov penalty that makes him at the highest scoring defender Europe this season. Federico Fazio also scored in the second half to double Roma’s lead. Robin Olsen did everything in his power to keep a clean sheet but ultimately it was a losing battle as bologna eventually got one back in What a 2-1 win for Roma. There was very little positivity to be taken from what was an abysmal performance. Bologna was much more threatening than Roma’s attack. The positives were very minimal in fact there was not much of anything to be said for Roma. They were able to deliver when they needed its the most but did not put together a quality performance. However, Robin Olsen was absolutely unbelievable despite not getting the clean sheet he was the one thing standing in the way of another upset from bologna. He commanded and controlled everything and protected his goal with great success. He was without question is the best player on the pitch in this match. After having not played in the last two matches Robin Olsen showed exactly why he’s the number one goalkeeper for this team. Had he not played Roma probably would have lost that’s how impactful he was on this match he held off as much as he could as he single-handedly denied and upset thoroughly deserving the man of the match. Lorenzo Pellegrini also did fairly well throughout the match but it was an underwhelming performance from the entire Roma team adjustments are absolutely needed. Despite all this, they are now just one point behind AC Milan and have created separation From the other teams chasing Champions League football. I suspect to see big improvements going forward because Roma will absolutely need them. Robin Olson usually is a goalkeeper tonight he was SUPERMAN.
Man of the Match: Robin Olson (6)
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 4
Pass Accuracy: 77%
On Target: 7
Pass Accuracy: 76%
Top of the table
1.Juventus 21-3-0 66pts
2.Napoli 16-5-3 53pts
3. Inter 14-4-6 46pts
4. AC Milan 11-9-4 42pts
5. A.S Roma 11-8-5 41pts
Bottom of the table
16. SPAL 5-7-12 22pts
17. Empoli 5-6-13 21pts
18. Bologna 3-9-12 18pts
19.Frosinone 3-7-14 16pt
20.Chievo 1-9-14 9pts