Score: A.S Roma 1 Sampdoria 0FT
Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
Following a come-from-behind 2-2 draw against Florentina midweek, Roma faced another test. After a very important point at home, the Romans traveled to Genoa to take on 9th place at Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Going into this game Sampdoria were only three points away from Roma with a victory they would go level on points with the Romans. For Roma, it was a chance to strengthen their Champions League race with AC Milan loss to Juventus they could go within two points of the top 4 which seemed almost impossible just a week ago. When these two teams faced off earlier this season it was very one-sided at the Stadio Olimpico as and El Shaarawy Led Roma clobbered Sampdoria 4-1. A win here would complete the league double over the always difficult Sampdoria. Both teams would have something to fight for with the European race being as tight as it is. On primetime Saturday Night Football, we would see a battle. For a good portion of the first half, Sampdoria controlled the game and looked like the better team. They did a great job controlling possession and getting in dangerous positions often Roma defensively we’re doing their best to contain them but Sampdoria it did seem superior through the first 45 minutes. In the second half a switch went off and Roma regained some control. It was an ugly battle between two teams fighting for their lives. The conclusion wouldn’t be revealed until very late in the second half. It turned out to be a captain’s contribution as Daniele De Rossi found the back of the net very late on as Roma eventually held off a late charge by Sampdoria to secure a massive three points that largely impact the context of the season for Roma this was a result they needed once again they are and within Striking Distance of Champions League football this was the first step towards that.
Claudio Ranieri opted for the 4-2-3-1 formation once again as it seemed to be effective against Florentina in midweek. Antonio Mirante once again started in goal for the Roma. It appears by all accounts that Robin Olsen probably has played his final match for Roma. It would be a very similar defensive back line to what we saw in midweek with a few changes. At left-back as always would be Alex Kolarov. Beside him would be the center-back partnership of Kostas Manolas and Federico Fazio while Rick Karsdorp was being occupied at right-back as he filled in for the injured Alexandro Florenzi. There would be a slight change in Roma’s defensive Midfield. As Danielle de Rossi comes into the side for Steven Nzonzi. As always he would be paired with regular starter Bryan Cristante one of Roma’s most consistent players. In Roma’s attacking Midfield we would see the return of the Lorenzo Pellegrini to the starting lineup as he recently returned from injury. He would occupy Roma’s Central midfielder position. Beside him on the left wing would be youngster Justin Kluivert who was coming off a strong performance on Wednesday. On the opposite side occupying the right-wing would be Roma’s teenage sensation Nicolo Zaniolo. Then up front, as the main Striker would be Patrik Schick as he fills in for Edin Dzeko. This Roma team would also have a strong bench with the likes of Cengiz Under, Stephen El Shaarawy Diego Perotti, and Edin Dzeko. After having some issues with Ranieri his team selection was excellent.
After preparations and predictions, we were just about ready to kickoffs in Genoa for this much-anticipated match between Roma and Sampdoria. Everything was on the line for both of these teams and a game that could greatly affect the European Chase in Italy. The match got underway at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Sampdoria has one of the toughest grounds to play as an opposing team and that was evident early. Sampdoria started fast-paced an energetic. At the beginning of the match they seemed to have the control as they attacked Roma very early. Saponara tried to surprise Roma with a deep strike. It was only the beginning as the League’s top scorer Fabio quagliarella mere minutes later got in near-perfect position but had a poor touch however they just kept coming Ronaldo Vieira was on the verge of a breakthrough just shortly after. Ronaldo Vieira nearly gave Sampdoria a breakthrough with a powerful shot. However, Antonio Mirante had incredible poised making a jaw-dropping save. Sampdoria was the far superior team they had energy and enthusiasm and everything Roma seem to lack in the first half. The most difficult thing from Roma point of view is they could not control the ball Sampdoria had such a big advantage in possession that it made things incredibly difficult for Roma. Roma eventually was able to break through a little bit but for the most part, it was Sampdoria running the show. In that first 25 minutes, Sampdoria definitely should have taken more advantage of it because of how freely the game was flowing for them. Lorenzo Pellegrini who was Romans best player at least up to that point came close from a chance coming down the wing. He put his head through a cross from Nicolo Zaniolo. Very well executed but missed the target. Just moments later Justin Kluivert fired a vicious shot from outside the box that had it just a little too much on it. However, even though Roma had a few good chances Sampdoria still had the control. Gregoire Defrel connected on a deep strike but again finishing for Sampdoria wasn’t good enough. It was chance after chance after chance for Sampdoria however given all the action and all they created they failed to hit the target. With about 10 minutes to go in the first half, Bryan Cristante had a good look coming off a set piece it came incredibly close to an opener. it became somewhat of a physical battle in the remaining 10 minutes of the first half. Despite the fact that Sampdoria was in control they failed to get the Breakthrough as the first half ended in a goalless draw.
Justin Kluivert trying to inject Energy in a flat Roma first half
It turned out to be a less-than-impressive first half for Roma but they had 45 minutes to turn it around. In the second half, it was a switch Sampdoria were not in cruise control any longer. As it progressed Roma got more and more into the match. Maybe getting a result in this stadium was possible. Patrik Schick came close to an opener as he put his head through a Karsdorp cross that was mere inches away from finding the back of the net. Minutes later Rick Karsdorp picked up an injury Juan Jesus entered the game to replace him. Immediately after the injury Patrik Schick got into position again as he connected on a header from close range Roma were nearly there but the execution was a little off. Roma struck again moments later as Nicolo Zaniolo try to pull a curler from the side of the box. After Sampdoria incredibly strong first half they were finding things more difficult all the control they had wasn’t there anymore. Saponara tried to respond but his shot from distance left Antonio Mirante unchallenged. The game just continues to progress with everything still in Balance but there was a sense there would be a breakthrough. Fabio quagliarella tries to take his moment on a direct free kick but did not have the magic touch on the ball that was required. Claudio Ranieri made the decision to go for it as he brought in Edin Dzeko and Stephan El Shaarawy for Justin Kluivert. It was winning time and Ranieri decided to bring in the Firepower. In the 75th minute with not much time to go Roma had that moment. Coming from a corner kick that had almost perfect delivery from Kolarov. Patrik Schick put his head through the ball as it deflected off the goalkeeper. However Roma’s captain Daniele De Rossi made a captain’s contribution being there at the right place at the right time as he slashed the ball into the back of the net to give Roma the 1-0 lead with 15 minutes to go. Roma nearly doubled the lead just a few minutes later but Edin Dzeko long ranger was denied in the bottom corner by the keeper. Roma had a lead in an important game that was in a tough environment it was important now that they hold it until the end. The game would continue and continue to tick on however it would take discipline to hold off Sampdoria. In the games closing moments on a breakaway, Fabio quagliarella put one last touch the ball in stoppage time to try to steal points but the touch was narrowly off as Roma held on securing a massive three points in what was a 1-0 victory thanks to the leader of the pack Daniele de Rossi.
Captain Daniele De Rossi leads his side to victory with late Drama
After a miserable month of March things in April seems to be swaying in a positive direction. Just a few days after a come-from-behind 2-2 to draw with high-powered Florentina Roma faced a huge test. The Romans traveled to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to take on European ambitious Sampdoria in one of the most difficult environment to play. This was always going to be an incredibly difficult game because of what it meant for the status of the table. Going into this one Sampdoria were only three points behind Roma and a victory would have taken them to level with their friends from Rome. The scenario could not have been more important for both teams. AC Milan’s loss to Juventus meant a win for Roma could take them back into the Champions League Chase. It was an incredibly tough match but Roma showed their spirit in what was an incredibly difficult victory. Sampdoria for much of the first half looked like the much better team with several opportunities to take the lead. They had full control and Roma had difficulty staying with them in the opening 45 minutes. However the more the game developed the more Roma got into it. Sampdoria lost the game in the first half for not putting this away earlier. In the second half, the advantage started this sway in Roma’s direction. They played smart football and even though chances were limited they were getting into dangerous space. For a large part of the game it looked like it was going to be a draw Roma in a tough match in a tough environment they found a way to break through Roma Captain Daniele De Rossi had a moment of optimism finding the back of the net with only 15 minutes to go. Ultimately give it Roma the crucial goal. However, it was more than they’re just their ability to be resilience and overcome a strong Sampdoria side. It was their disciplinary ability to hold it to the end. Sampdoria came out incredibly aggressive to finish off the game but the defense held strong and Antonio Mirante in goal helps guide them to the end. Everyone thought the Champions League Chase for Roma was dead in the water but a really strong performance against a very tough opponent has put them back into the fold. Champions League football might be possible after all. Claudio Ranieri put together a very strong lineup one that proves its quality as he brought Lorenzo Pellegrini back into the starting 11 for the first time since his injury he proved to be very important. El Shaarawy also returns which makes Roma even stronger going forward. However, despite individual performances that highlight the victory there was one moment in particular that guided this team to a very crucial three points in this Champions League race. Daniele de Rossi played very physically tough football both defensively and in the attack. His game-winning goal late proved his leadership and his impact on the game. It wasn’t that he scored the goal it was that in a situation where Roma needed a response De Rossi supplied it with a late goal that is going to be incredibly important for his childhood Club. This was a true test for Roma and even though throughout the match it was very tough they conquered it and find themselves in a Champions League battle once again. Collectively a team performance cohesively together Roma found a way to secure three crucial points as they ultimately do the double against Sampdoria for the first time in 3 years everything Roma were lacking in confidence and momentum has been completely restored in a performance of togetherness.
Man Of The Match: Danielle De Rossi
By the numbers
On target 4
Pass success 76%
On target 2
Pass success 86%
Top of the table
1.Juventus 27-3-1 84pts
2.Napoli 19-6-5 63pts
3.Inter Milan 17-5-8 56pts
4.Milan 14-10-7 52pts
5.Atalanta 14-6-9 48pts
Bottom of the table
16.Udinesse 7-8-14 29pts
17.Empoli 7-7-16 28pts
19.Bologna 6-9-14 27pts
19.Frosinone 4-8-18 20pts
20.Cheivo 1-11-17 11pts