Roma was coming off a victory against Chievo Verona and a win in the Champions League against FC Porto. Roma prepared for their second meeting of the Season against Bologna. In their first meeting between these two teams, bologna pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the Season beating Roma 2-0 at home after having not scored yet at the time. These teams came into this game on completely opposite sides of the table as bologna was looking for some sort of resolution in hopes of survival meanwhile Roma had a chance and opportunity to create a little separation from Atalanta and Lazio who are gunning for Champions League football. There is an intense race for the last Champions League spots with a win Roma could start to pick up some distance between the others. Roma’s goalkeeper Robin Olsen returned from injury which turned out to be a hugely important part of the match on Monday night. It was a very unconvincing performance from Roma in what was a very ugly game. However with that being said Roma managed to Prevail despite a less than Stellar performance. For much of the match, Bologna was the better team and had lots of opportunities to win this game. However, Robin Olsen was the difference for Roma. In the second half, a penalty goal taken by Alex Kolarov and a Federico Fazio strike gave Roma the 2-0 lead in second half. However with all that Robin Olsen’s brilliance was still required as bologna got back into the game with under 10 minutes remaining. Roma Swedish goalkeeper held firm as Roma prevailed in what was an extremely ugly when but an important win. Roma is now within a point of AC Milan for 4th Place and has a three-point advantage in front of Lazio and Atalanta which could ultimately end their chance at Champions League football if Roma continues to perform. This victory takes Roma’s unbeaten streak to seven as momentum continues for the Romans.
Robin Olson saves the Day
Robin Olsen returned from injury this week and essentially saved Roma from what would have been dropped points. Robin Olsen simply put was one of the best performers in Italian football this week. No player this week had a larger impact on the team’s result. Make no mistake about it even though Roma managed to score goals Robin Olsen was the reason that Roma was able to win this game and pick up all three points. It is possible that Roma could have gotten points from this game but there is no way they would have won the game without Robin Olsen. The Swedish goalkeeper has proved on an almost consistent basis that he is one of the best goalkeepers in Italy and I’ll even say in Europe. Roma’s biggest issues this season has been defensive problems because of this Robin Olsen as having to deal with more than he regularly would have. Robin Olsen had saved Roma from a lot of situations this season and he will only continue to display that this season. Bologna attacked Roma they were much more threatening and Robin Olsen had to deal with a lot. He made some ridiculously incredible saves in important moments. He committed himself in that position and was without question the best player last night. Bologna came with everything they had and they were stopped in their tracks by a truly unbelievable goalkeeping performance. This is not the first time we have seen this from Robin Olsen like I said he has been one of the best goalkeepers this season there is no arguing that. His performance is more than just clean sheets because of how bad the defenses he has been bailing Roma out of so many situations. he has been a near-perfect replacement for Allison while I’m not going to suggest that he is better he is very close to that level the reason it’s not being talked about on a more consistent basis is that he has to overcome a slightly limited defense that at times has put him in vulnerable positions. Last night he was absolutely incredible Roma needed every one of his saves coming off an injury missing the last 2 weeks to perform like that was absolutely spectacular without question one of the best goalkeepers in Europe last night he was SUPERMAN.
Bologna’s forthcoming Attack
Bologna came into this game as huge underdogs and rightfully so having been in the relegation zone for practically the entire season. However, it does seems like they are a different team since their change in manager after Inzaghi was sacked. Despite the fact that Roma is the much better team in better form with better players it was the relegation side who came away from the match looking like the better side. They attacked with great success and confidence. From the very beginning to the game to the end they looked like the superior team. It was really important for them to at least get a point in this match Unfortunately they were unable to do so. They find themselves a lodged in the relegation Zone but the performance can give them some clarity in terms of what this team can maybe accomplish during the second half of the season. Roma was outplayed by bologna they attack with aggression and conviction. Bologna did not park the bus and played for the points they played for the win perhaps this is why they lost but you have to come away from this match feeling good from their perspective. Things are still going to be difficult but over the last 3 weeks this is a much better team then we have seen prior to the start of the season. They have good enough players to survive this season like I said it will prove to be incredibly difficult. It was a tough loss to swallow because it was a match they probably should have won. Had it not been for Robin Olsen’s brilliance they surely would have. It was a very positive and encouraging performance for the rest of the season it’s going to get tougher but after performing away at the Stadio Olimpico the way they did they’re fueled attack seemed to be effective if they can find the back of the net a little more frequently next week maybe their a slim chance of survival.
Ugly and Underwhelming Win For Roma
It was a very important win for Roma but it was an ugly performance. Sometimes games like this can be incredibly important not only for the Champions League race before the season itself. Even though they managed to get the three points things did not come very easy and bologna did at times look like before superior side. Despite having a slight advantage in possession it was the visitors who appeared to have the advantage. Roma struggled quite a bit throughout the 90 minutes. Robin Olsen and played a huge part of why they were able to hold on but there were leaks throughout the team in the performance. There were a few bright spots with Robin Olsen Lorenzo Pellegrini and Alex Kolarov and El Shaarawy’s energy among them but collectively it was a poor performance. They created enough chances to have put this away much earlier then they did Roma’s clinical finishing lacked the cutting edge necessary to reclaim control of the match. Once again defensive issues were problem bologna was allowed to cut through the Roma defense on a very regular basis Federico Fazio despite scoring a goal looks lost and disoriented at times failing to make the intelligent plays. I still believe in Federico Fazio but over the last few games, he has not looked particularly strong defensively. It was a roller coaster of issues for Roma but the fact that they were able to come together and take advantage on limited opportunities that were given to them as they show some character even in a performance that Roma will likely want to forget Roma will learn from this and make adjustments a very ugly one but an incredibly important one.
Bologna are in Real Trouble
Despite a very strong and encouraging performance for bologna, they find themselves in a very difficult situation. They are still three points from safety and do not have a very easy schedule over the next few weeks. Next week they host League leaders Juventus following a loss here. I find it very unlikely that they will give Juventus any trouble despite the positive performance we saw on Monday the fact that they were unable to get a point from this game is really going to affect their chances of staying in this league. Whether or not they can survive is kind of out of their control because of they behind Empoli who have a higher goal difference as well. It is not done and dusted but it is going to be incredibly difficult turn it around now. It is really harsh that they were unable to get something from this game because as I mentioned they were the better team for a good portion of the match. They have been a completely different team since they changed manager but unfortunately this appears to be a losing battle that is not in their control they have to hope Empoli continues to lose or else their chances at safety will be very minimal they need help to stay in this league winning games will not be enough if Empoli continue to pick up points.
Alex Kolarov is the Highest scoring defender in Europe
Alex Kolarov after yesterday is the highest scoring defender in Europe this season with 8 goals. Seven League goals in Serie A currently ranks second among Roma players trailing only Stephan El Shaarawy who has eight goals in the league. Alex Kolarov is someone I feel who gets unfairly criticized on a regular basis no player on this team gives more for Roma than the Serbian. He is of the best left-back in Italian football and has proven the ability to come forward as one of the most attacking-minded defenders in Europe. There is not a left-back with more combined skills and abilities than Kolarov. He showed his value in this game having the compose to deliver the penalty in a moment and a time in which Roma was not the better team. Scoring the penalty changed the momentum for Roma and gave them the confidence to get another goal. He has done a tremendous job this season on the left and has orchestrated quite a few chances for teammates. Defensively he also did a really good job of controlling his side of the pitch. He has a wicked left foot and is a danger from 12 yards out set pieces and has the ability to strike some distance he has proven all that and more that he is one of the best defenders in the entire league from both an attacking aspect and defensively. He’s extremely great with the ball at his feet and it is no surprise at all that he has the reputation as one of the most dangerous attacking defenders in Europe. He has more goals, anyone, no one is even comparable to Kolarov he has been far superior and has been a huge part of this team. He has had his struggles this season Alex Kolarov at his best is the best left-back in Europe at least in the attacking sense. He also has shown it to be a leader for this team in crucial moments it has been an up-and-down season for Roma but he has been an important part this season. He is extremely hard-working and gives everything he possibly can the effort from the Serbian cannot be questioned in any way he holds great importance for this team he is playing his best football of the season as he is heated up at exactly the right time.