Napoli Runs Riot at the Stadio Olimpico Ending Roma Champions league hopes #510


Following International break Italian football returns as Roma face a huge test Roma welcome Napoli and former Roma Legend Carlo Ancelotti back to the Stadio Olimpico. In the derby Del Sol one of the more competitive rivalries in Italian football. Over the last 10 years, it has been as balanced as any Derby in Italian football. In the first meeting, Roma ended up stealing points from Napoli in what was a 1-1 draw at the Stadio San Paolo. This match turns out to be a very important game as AC Milan lost to Sampdoria on Saturday night giving Roma the opportunity to get within one point of desirable 4th Place. Once again Roma failed to deliver on yet another opportunity to gain some ground in the Champions League race. Killing any chance of Champions League football Roma knew that going into the match and they still were unable to perform. Before anyone could blink an eye Napoli took the lead through Milik. Napoli continued to dominate and have full control in Roma’s backyard. The poor formation and team selection were showing Roma failed to adapt to circumstances. However despite that Roma luckily found their way back into the game in stoppage time at the end of the first half Roma equalized. As Diego Perotti converted on a penalty right before the break. In the second half, Napoli cruised cutting through Roma quite easily. Just a few minutes into the second half dries Mertens made it 2-1 in favor of Napoli. Just a few minutes later Simon Verdi struck the back of the net to give a Napoli they 3-1 lead. they only continued and continued to dominate Roma who wasn’t really ever in the game. Later Younes added a fourth in what was an eventual 4-1 win for Napoli after a shameful display at the Stadio Olimpico it has been quite obvious that this is not a Champions League team this season and has a serious threat of missing out on Europe altogether.


After using the 4-2-3-1 formation prior to International break Claudio Ranieri made a formation change. As Roma came out of the 4-3-3 formation. In goal as always would be the Swede Robin Olsen. Returning to the team due to injury would be the left back Alex Kolarov. Beside him would be the center-back partnership of Federico Fazio and Kostas Manolas who returns to the team. In Roma’s three men Midfield, it would consist of Roma Captain Daniele de Rossi in the middle. Then on the left would be Steven Nzonzi followed by Bryan Cristante on the opposite side. Roma attacking Trio would be on The left-wing Diego Perotti. On the opposite side on the right wing would be Patrik Schick then as Roma’s main Striker would be Edin Dzeko. I didn’t mind the formation however going into the game I thought it was horrible team selection. The best way to beat Napoli is with pace and Claudio Ranieri left Nicolo Zaniolo Justin Kluivert and recently recovered Cengiz Under on the bench arguably Roma’s 3 most explosive players. I had a feeling Roma were in trouble from the very beginning really poor team selection.


After preparations and predictions, the match was about to kick-off in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico as the Derby Del Sol got underway in what was a very important match for the Champions League Chase. Napoli wasted no time claiming their superiority over the Romans. In the second minute, Milik scored on Napoli’s first shot of the game slotting a Fabian Ruiz through ball into the back of the net to give Napoli the 1-0 lead. An absolutely horrendous start for Roma and it seems like it was only going to get worse. Napoli seemed to be in complete control as they dominated The Possession battle quite handily. Roma’s first chance of the game didn’t come until nearly the 20th minute when Steven Nzonzi saw his header go wide. Following back-to-back Napoli misses Simon Verde came close the giving Napoli a second goal as we got later into the first half. Diego Perotti tried to respond but ultimately misfired. The later it got into the first half the more in control and dominant it became for Napoli. Verdi and Callejon came close as time was winding down in the first 45 minutes however despite Napoli being the better team Roma Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret made a mistake. He conceded a penalty in the dying minutes of the first half. Diego Perotti stepped up and delivered equalize making it 1-1 after 45 minutes.


Diego Perotti equalizes to end the half converting from the spot



A very poor first-half from Roma as they didn’t create much of anything and were fortunate to have gotten the penalty at the end of the first half. Napoli was the much better team and you could see based on performance. It wouldn’t take very long for Napoli to retake the lead after seemingly being in total control. In the 50th minute, Napoli scored on their first shot of the second half. Dries Mertens buried a strike in the bottom corner from very close range to make it to 2-1 Napoli. They were the much better team and they were proving it. Just 4 minutes later they were on the verge of yet another goal. In the 54th minute, Napoli got on a counter-attack and didn’t disappoint. Simon Verdi finished off the fast break burying the ball into the back of the net to make it 3-1 only to continue to pulverize Roma. About 10 minutes later Roma would make their first change of the afternoon as Nicolo Zaniolo replaced Patrik Schick. Shortly after Roma Captain Danielle de Rossi saw his attempt missed as they continue to struggle. Napoli looks to only continue to add to their lead as a Napoli was on verge of another goal. Roma was having trouble creating much of anything at least any concrete chance. Bryan Cristante came close on multiple occasions before arguably Roma’s best chance of the game. Steven Nzonzi connected on a header that clangs against the post denying possibly their best chance of the game. In the 81st minutes with less than 10 minutes to go, Napoli added fuel to the fire. As Younes struck the back of the neck to give Napoli a 4-1 lead a completely and utterly one-sided affair was evident even more so. Justin Kluivert and Cengiz Under what brought on for the final eight minutes but it was too little too late as the two youngsters who probably should have started didn’t have enough time to turn things around. Roma fall and the Derby Del Sol in humiliating fashion.



Dries Mertens inspires Napoli’s second half onslaught with a brace


Another opportunity completely wasted after a miserable showing as Roma get battered by Napoli at home at the Stadio Olimpico. A match that left me in utter frustration as it is my point of view that Roma was set up to fail from the very beginning. Napoli has a high-powered offense that is capable of taking anyone out on a regular basis. There is a reason they are so securely in second place in the league. They are incredibly strong in a lot of areas not to mention Carlo Ancelotti is one of the very best managers in the world. Napoli had all the momentum going into this game they were heavily favored and for good reason. However, I felt that they could get uncomfortable Roma had the right approach. The way to hurt Napoli is with pace Justin Kluivert and Cengiz Under was available. Despite that Claudio Ranieri not only change the formation but left them on the bench I thought given the situation Roma were up against it from the very first kick of the ball. Napoli absolutely annihilated them. They scored on their very first shot and they just kept their momentum going all the way through. Roma was outplayed and failed to make a mark on the game. Right before halftime despite and an unencouraging performance. Diego Perotti ended up finding the back of the net from the penalty spot. Giving Roma a goal they certainly did not deserve. In second-half, Napoli showed exactly why as they ran it through the Romans in their own backyard. In what was an eventual 4-1 win for Napoli in the derby Del Sol. For Roma, it was the same old story poor defensively and an inability to create much without Lorenzo Pellegrini. It was such an abysmal performance that I’m not sure anyone deserves to be recognized for anything however today’s man of the match goes to Kostas Manolas defensively Roma were poor but he fought for everything and gave everything he had. Even though this could be his last season his passion and desire and love was on display you do not have to be from Rome to be a Roman. It truly was an uninspiring performance without question this display ended any chance at Champions League football.



MAN OF THE MATCH: Kostas Manolas (3)


By the numbers
A.S Roma
Possession 39%
Shots 14
On target 3
Passes 385
Pass success 80%
Possession 61%
Shots 20
On target 10
Passes 617
Pass success 90%

Top of the table
1.Juventus 25-3-1 78pts
2.Napoli 19-6-4 63pts
3.Inter Milan 16-5-8 53pts
4.Milan 14-9-6 50pts
5.Atalanta 14-6-9 48pt

Bottom of the table
16.Udinesse 7-7-14 28pts
17.Bologna 6-9-14 27pts
19.Empoli 4-7-16 25pts
19.Frosinone 3-8-18 17pts
20.Cheivo 1-11-17 11pts

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