Roma headed out on the road to face 19th Place Frosinone away from home on Saturday Night Football. Roma attempted to keep their on at beaten streak alive while winning the season series against the relegation candidates. Throughout the month of February Roma have yet to lose a game and the Romans were trying to take some momentum into the Derby in a week’s time. Meanwhile, Frosinone would attempt to try to pull off a historic result in hopes of getting out of the relegation zone. It would be a rather dramatic evening that had some late drama in what was a closely-contested match despite the sizable differences in quality. Frosinone took a shock lead on their first shot of the game as all of a sudden Roma found themselves down to a team in 19th Place. For much of the first half Frosinone did appear to be very competitive with the Romans and at times they looked like the superior side. However, near the half-hour mark, Roma busted the game open. Edin Dzeko and Lorenzo Pellegrini scored 72 seconds apart as Roma managed to take a 2-1 lead into the second half. In the second half, Roma should have killed off the game but they managed to allow Frosinone to keep themselves in it. Then eventually after a Kostas Manolas injury, Frosinone equalized with not much time left. With about 10 minutes ago it had looked like Frosinone was going to get a historic result against the Serie A heavyweights. It was a game that at times in the second half lacked creation Frosinone were so close to stealing points from a very strong Roma side. However, it would be an ultimate hearts break for the hosts as Edin Dzeko broke their hearts happy at the stroke death. Scoring the 95th-minute winner in the final minute of stoppage time to ultimately secure three points for Roma. Less than a stellar performance from the Romans but yet another important win as they can take momentum into the Derby next week. With this win, they’ve gone the entire month of February without losing as their unbeaten streak continues to meanwhile takes a six-point lead on the both Lazio and Atalanta in the race for Champions League football in what was ultimately a 3-2 victory for Roma.
Edin Dzeko Rises to the Occasion
Edin Dzeko is certainly back after yet another unbelievable performance as the big Bosnian delivered in the clutch. Without question one of the top performers in Italian football this week not only because of his performance but his ability to come up late and deliver an Incredibly important three points for Roma. There is no question that Edin Dzeko is not the same player he was two seasons ago. However, he is still a very capable striker who has the ability and the conviction even at his age. It’s taken him a little while to get going this season and his injury issues this year has not helped the situation but in terms of his ability and his all-around play, I still believe him to be one of the best strikers in Italian football. He’s taking his season total to 12 goals this season. He just seems to start heating up and I can only see this continuing over the next few weeks. He scored three goals in the month of February after having failed to maintain consistency the season up to this point. He is really starting to come on at exactly the right time the Champions League is going to be incredibly important and he is going to have a big role to play in those important matches. Last night he was just special he scored twice as he ultimately helped Roma come back after being down early. most importantly he scored the most crucial goal of the game. Scoring his second game-winning goal this season. He has taken his Roma total to 85 goals which are the most goals he has scored for any club he has played for. He has already developed himself as a club Legend based on his historical landmarks he has reached in the goal-scoring department. On Saturday night he was astounding he was the best player on the pitch and was able to deliver for this Roma team which he considers his second home. His value in this team could not be any more clear after that performance he is one of the leaders for this team and he performed in the game’s most important moments. At the end of the day that is the difference between good players and great players his greatness was on full display and I have a feeling he is just heating up.
Frosinone Fan Support
The loss was a difficult pill for Frosinone to swallow. However, despite the loss, I have come away with a new respect for their fan base and their supporters. This team in all likelihood will be making a return to Serie B with an unknown expectation of whether they will make a return in becoming years because as we have seen in the past it is very difficult to get back to this level after being sent back down to the second division. Despite all that, their atmosphere was absolutely fantastic. Throughout this game, their fans sung their voices out and hoped and prayed that they would get a result. Ultimately that did not happen but you have to respect the fans that came out on a rainy and cold evening and it did their part even if the team was not able to reciprocate. They were loud and cheered constantly really creating a little dysfunction at times with the Roma machine the later we got in the match the louder it became. These fans and supporters probably will not be back for a second term but even though their team will likely be heading down to Serie B their fans are top-flight quality. It was such an atmosphere almost an indescribable feeling because you would not expect if they are a team that’s not going to be around for much longer at least in Italian football. It was beautiful how much they care about the Love and admiration they have for Frosinone.
Kostas Manolas injury
The biggest talking point from last night’s win has to be the injury to Kostas Manolas. If this is serious Roma are in big trouble. Roma is not a great defensive team, in fact, their defense leaves them exposed quite often. This was the worst time for Kostas Manolas to get injured a week before the Derby which is probably one of the most important matches of the season. Kostas Manolas is globally Elite he is one of the best defenders in Italy and in Europe. He is the bright side of a somewhat disastrous defense. Without question, this is Roma’s biggest issue this season and if this injury turns out to be severe this could mean incredibly bad things for Roma’s Ambitions to try to get into Champions League football. After Kostas Manolas came out Roma conceded relatively quickly that tells you everything you need to know about his impact on Roma’s defensive line. The Greek International will be undergoing tests today and he is questionable for the Derby next week. He is one of the best players on this team and having to deal with his absence could be detrimental to the team’s goals this season. Roma has other defensive options but none even remotely close to that quality. The hope is it is only minimal and he will be back relatively soon. Imagining this defense without him is extremely antagonizing and unsettling to think about. This whole thing could collapse if he is not healthy and set it will give Robin Olson a mountain to deal with. Roma can cope short-term without him but if this is a long-term injury defensively Roma will not have enough to keep their head above water.
Frosinone nearly pulled off the impossible going into this game no one gave them even the slightest chance against Rome including myself. I suspected they would try to play for the points and their formation suggested if they were going to. However, they attacked Roma despite not having the players to do so. This team does not have a lot of quality players to their disposal they are very low budget and because of this, they have not done particularly well this season. After Roma crushed them 4-0 in the first meeting it was hard for me to make an argument that they could stand a chance in this game but that’s exactly what they did. Even after Roma got back into the game and eventually took the lead Frosinone hit back with about 10 minutes ago having the possibility of stealing a point from Roma very much in their favor. There was not a lot being created in the back half of the second half it had looked like they were actually going to pull it off. However, Edin Dzeko arrives exactly at the right time to break their heart. Despite not managing to earn anything from this game you have to give them respect and admiration for the way they performed they went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in Italy and almost got out of it alive.
Even though Roma did end up winning the game at the end I disagreed with the choice to make so many adjustments in the lineup. From DiFrancesco’s point of view, I understand it because you wanted to at least at some level give rest to some key players and avoid suspension ahead of the biggest match of the season. I have made my support for Eusebio Di Francesco very clear I still think he is the best manager for this club at least for the time being. However, in this situation, I do feel the need to criticize him for this. Given the history of this Roma team this season they have struggled mightily with the bottom half of the table. It actually somewhat makes more sense to give players rest for some of the other games because games like this and like bologna last week are the games have given Roma trouble. In all honesty, I would have started almost the identical lineup as last week. Even though Roma had their issues there was no formational changes or major adjustments. Nicolo Zaniolo, Alexandro Florenzi and Federico Fazio as well as others all were taken out that is just far too many adjustments to make in one week. It was nice to see Diego Perotti on the field again however I don’t think from the formation and tactical perspectives he should have rested so many players. Obviously, Roma ended up getting the win and it ends up being incredibly tough which is why I was against the notion a needing to give rest players especially given how Roma have struggled against the bottom teams this season. Roma got the win which was the important thing but I disagreed with the approach.