Yesterday in Genoa Roma’s faced an incredibly tough test as they battled Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. This match was incredibly important for both teams and their ambitious in the European Chase. Going into the match they were only three points apart a win for either team could have greatly affected the landscape of the champions league and Europa League race in Italy. Prior to the match Roma was coming off their best performance in months in a come from behind 2-2 draw with Florentina at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday. For the first time in a long time, they went into a match with momentum and confidence. Meanwhile, Sampdoria knew a victory would put them on the level with points with Roma and a loss could weaken their ambitions. It was truly a battle but in the end, Roma evidently secured a massive three points. underperforming in the first half in which Sampdoria looked far superior to the Romans. They fought back and turned the switch during the final 45 minutes of play. There was some late drama with 15 minutes to go the leader of the pack Roma’s heart and soul Daniele de Rossi coming off a set piece scored the winner. A late Breakaway by Sampdoria gave them a chance to equalize Fabio quagliarella saw his shot missed in the closing moments as Roma held on for an important Victory. With AC Milan losing Juventus Roma find themselves back in the Champions League race a tough yet ugly battle as Roma do the double over Sampdoria for the first time in three seasons Incredibly important result in a difficult place to play Roma shows and their resilience
Match of Resilience
It was truly a match of resilience that once again as Roma showed true character. It is the second consecutive match in which Roma have overcome difficult circumstances. Things didn’t flow that easily for a good portion of this match. Sampdoria came out early and the looked like the much better team. The battle for Roma in the first half was just trying to create chances. They were being completely controlled and dominated in the Possession battle and it difficult for Roma to create concrete chances. However, they got out of the first half alive. Sampdoria was energized they were pressuring and they made the things really difficult. However, defensively Roma forced them into making bad decisions. Sampdoria had so many chances in the first half and just failed to hit the target. Given the inability to do that it gave Roma a chance in the second half. Slowly but surely it started to turn in their Direction. Sampdoria all of a sudden weren’t in control anymore Roma’s found a way into the game and in the second half without question they were the better team. In a lot of capacities, Roma still struggled to try to mark their superiority. Nevertheless, Roma stays the course and continue to fight until the very end. Ultimately Daniele De Rossi came through with less than 15 minutes ago that was incredibly important but the most important thing was their ability to hold it. We have seen Roma choke away leads far too many times this season. Roma displayed their discipline and their intelligence as they were able to hold off a late push from Sampdoria. Collectively together they stayed the course and got to the finish line. It was a match of character and resilience it wasn’t an overwhelming impressive performance but they were able to play tough discipline football that ultimately was enough to earn a well-deserved three points in an ugly battle that Roma ultimately came out on top.
Sampdoria European Ambitions Take Hit
Sampdoria has been a dark horse team throughout the season. They have an opportunity this year to make Europe for the first time in many seasons. There’s a lot about this team to like they are quite clearly deserving of European football. It would be truly a great story and I think most of the football in the world is hoping they find a way to get in. However, after last night, it’s going to be incredibly difficult. Going into the game Roma and Sampdoria were only three points apart. With that being said a victory last night would have done wonders for the European ambitions. However last night didn’t go as planned as now they have fallen a little bit out of it. The European Chase they are in has taken a massive hit. In Italy, there are four Champions League spots and two others for the Europa League. It makes it incredibly difficult especially if you’re knocking on the door but not quite there. That is where Sampdoria is right now. 6th Place Roma has 51 points Sampdoria still has 45 that is a pretty big gap with only seven matches remaining. Torino has 49 points even to get to them it’s four points away. This has been such a great story but it doesn’t look good. Could they still get into Europe, of course, they could but things would have to align for that to happen. However a week ago everyone thought Roma’s Champions League race was over and now they’re back in it so you never know what can happen. But based on how the table sits right now with not that many games left it seems like it’s going to be incredibly hard to get into Europe had last night gone differently they would still have an outside shot but now it seems very unlikely.
Daniele De Rossi is THE LEADER OF THE PACK
Daniele de Rossi has proven he is the heart and soul of this football club and a true leader. He wears the captain armband for a reason. Last night was further proof of that. Daniele de Rossi has been with Roma over 15 years he is a Roma boy and there is not a better player in football to lead this team. From a technical perspective, he’s not the player he once was he can’t do some of the same things. In the global scale of Italian football, he is no longer considered an elite. However, father time is undefeated he is 35 years old will be turning 36 in the summer and this could be his very last season. With all that being said from a leadership perspective he sets an example. He is one of the very best leaders in Italian football and even Beyond. There is no one who knows what it means more than Daniele de Rossi. He is part of the old school generation before social media He commands respect from his locker room and when he isn’t playing or was out injured it is something they lacked. The Roma Captain does not need to start every game he’s not at that level anymore but he leads his team through all adversity and displayed a great example of that. He works incredibly hard for the team I’m not sure there’s a player on Roma that gives more effort. He is Roma he went from a young boy into a club Legend. Last night was furthermore proofing that he is the leader and the captain of this ship. The heart the soul the blood the tears of this club. He scored a crucial goal very late to secure three points but it wasn’t just the fact that he scored the winner. He was a tireless worker throughout the match both defensively and in the attack. He does what captains do he made a contribution when his team needed it most. It is unclear how the match was going to end but Roma needed that moment to put them back in the Champions League race. You could see it the passionate energy that flowed through him. This very well could be his last season he has someone that Roma will miss not only because his ability but because of his leadership qualities he is a true leader in football last night he showed and proved what captains do he delivered at the right time in a match of uncertainty we all got reminded of Daniele de Rossi importance.
Sampdoria’s Inability to Finish
Sampdoria should have not let this one slip away. They were at home at the Luigi Ferraris one of the toughest places to play as the opposition. Even though Roma beat them earlier this season Roma has been so inconsistent and rarely displays back-to-back quality performances. Early in this match, Sampdoria was the best team without question. They were fiery energetic and they attacked Roma really pressurizing them in the opening 45 minutes. In that first half Sampdoria definitely without question should have scored. It wasn’t Misfortune it was poor execution which somewhat highlights their night. Sampdoria had it so many opportunities to score they just failed to deliver when it counted the most. Their clinical finishing ability was as bad as it has been this season. They had 67% possession throughout the match and in the first half, it was even more than that. Roma could not create anything really because of the dominance they had in the possession. Everything was going for them in that first half there’s no question they should have taken advantage of the opportunity. Roma was lucky to get out of the first half with a clean sheet. In the second half, Roma got back into the game and Sampdoria’s superiority started to fade away. However, Sampdoria still continues to have opportunities. They just were unable to convert on any of them. Antonia Mirante made a few great saves but outside of that, he had a relatively slow day. Practically none of Sampdoria’s shots even remotely challenged the Roma goalkeeper. They had so many chances to put this one away and it cost them a result that could have helped their European Ambitions instead it hurt them.
Roma’s Champions League Chase is Back on
Just one week ago I declared that Roma’s Champions League ambitions DEAD I even suggested that they might not get into Europe at all. This was one week ago after Roma got crushed by Napoli I thought Roma were completely out of the Champions League consideration and would have to fight for Europa League football. However, coincidentally the Champions League race that I thought was dead is completely back on with a huge win against Sampdoria. The erosion of AC Milan over the last week and a half has got them back into the race. In Milan’s last two games they have collected 1 point which has shrunk the gap between Roma and AC Milan. In fact, as it stands right now Atalanta is ahead of AC Milan in the table. Roma now is very much active in this Champions League dog fight. Roma finds themselves in 6th Place with 51 points. AC Milan & Atalanta has 52 points each. Not only is Roma in the Champions League race at this point they might have a pretty good chance of getting it if they play their final seven games the way they’ve played the last two. If you look at the Roma schedule there are only two games in which Roma should drop points. The bulk of their schedule that that presents challenges is over with. There are two important games left in which Roma could drop points. At the San Siro against third-place Inter Milan and at home against Juventus. If Roma is able to take two points in both of those games they have a legitimate chance at 4th Place. Inter Milan will be incredibly tough but if they continue to take the momentum and confidence they have over the last week into the remaining schedule maybe there’s a chance. Roma has struggled with some of the lesser teams this season but with that being said if Roma takes care of business this might be possible after all. Inter Milan is the main one because by the time Roma playing Juventus they will have already locked up the Scudetto the match itself will not mean as much especially given their Champions League campaign. All of a sudden Roma are in a very good place Champions League football could be the difference of whether or not Cengiz Under leaves or not. Plus if Champions League football is achieved they will have the money and resources to start the young Italian revolution that Roma is planning. Roma cannot get distracted they must stay the course because at the moment they have a legitimate chance at Champions League football after that dream seemingly died a week ago.