Score: A.S Roma 3 Cagliari 0FT
Following a 1-1 draw at the San Siro against Inter Milan Roma try to make it 5 unbeaten as they return to the Stadio Olimpico as they host Cagliari . In what was the second meeting after Roma choked away a 2-0 lead in the reverse fixture. An absolute horror show on the night as Roma are looking for revenge after what occurred last time. We are getting to the very end of the season and the Champions League campaign is still very up for grabs. Roma had the opportunity in this match to retake 4th Place at least temporarily. The hard part of Roma’s remaining fixtures is over as the Romans try to coast through to what looks like now as a very attainable Champions League spot. Roma came out aggressive with consistency and convection there was really only one a team in this. Very early in the first half, Federico Fazio beat Alessio Cragno on a set piece as Federico Fazio finished off the chance to give Roma the 1-0 lead. It was only the beginning of an extremely strong start just minutes later Roma got a second goal from the most unlikely of sources. Little-used Javier Pastore put his foot through a Justin Kluivert pass to give Roma the 2-0 lead. Roma was in complete and utter control of the game despite having less of the possession they made the most of their opportunities. In the first half, Cagliari only had one chance that even looked a little dangerous. In the second half, it turned out to be more of the same from the Romans as they continued their control and dominated the run of play. Cagliari barely got any chances in the second half either it really was a poor display from them. Roma has blown several leads this season but this afternoon it was a different story at no point in the game did it remotely look like they’re going to lose their grip on it. At the very end, Roma grabbed a third goal from Alex Kolarov as Roma secure themselves into the top four at least temporarily. An incredibly strong performance as Roma continues their good run of form as they extend their unbeaten run to five matches. In what was a collective performance proving to be one of their best performances of the season
Claudio Ranieri, as usual, came out with the 4-2-3-1 formation for Roma. In goal would be Roma’s number one experienced goalkeeper Antonio Mirante. In front of him in Roma’s defensive line would be the return of Roma starting defense. At left back would be Alex Kolarov, beside him would be the center-back partnership of Federico Fazio and Kostas Manolas. Then filling out the team at right-back would be Roma vice-captain Alessandro Florenzi. There would be a slight change in Roma’s defensive Midfield as Bryan Cristante is out with suspension. It would be Steven Nzonzi alongside Javier Pastore who hasn’t made an appearance in quite some time. There would also be a suspension in Romans attacking Midfield as Nicolo Zaniolo also serving a suspension. In central Midfield would be at Lorenzo Pellegrini On the left wing beside him would be the red hot Stephan El Shaarawy. Then on the opposite side controlling the right-wing would be Roma athletic youngster Justin Kluivert as he returns to the starting lineup. Upfront as the main Striker would be Edin Dzeko. Despite some changes a relatively strong team that should have no problem getting to the Finish Line with three points.
After predictions and preparations, we were just about to kick-off the match at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on this Saturday afternoon. A beautiful day in Rome as we got underway. It was an instant and immediate impact for the Romans who ended up playing some of their best football of the season during that first half. Even being without Bryan Cristante and Nicolo Zaniolo Roma found a breakthrough almost instantly. In the 5th minute coming from a corner, Federico Fazio connected on a header that beat Alessio Cragno to the far post hitting the crossbar going over the line to give Roma the 1-0 lead. It would be the 5th goal of the season for Federico Fazio. However, it appeared to Roma were just warming up as Roma converted again mere moments later. In 8th minute following an exceptional Breakaway by Speedster Justin Kluivert, he found Javier Pastore in the middle of the box he sliding the ball into the bottom corner to give Roma a quick-fire 2-0 lead.
Federico Fazio used his size to get Roma the very early lead that inspires hot start
From the most unlikely of sources as it has been months since he has made an appearance. Just a minute later Roma was nearly in again as Federico Fazio saw his strike saved in the bottom corner. Roma was ripping them it to shreds Cagliari had very little resistance for the speed and Pace that Roma was providing. A few minutes later Leonardo Pavoletti tries to get his team back into the game with a good strike but Antonio Mirante denied him it was Cagliari’s lone chance. First-half tactics from Cagliari made sense but it was leaving them exposed especially with the pace that Roma had on the outside. They were pressing high and having to catch up when Roma started running. Roma was in complete control and dominating this match in all aspects of the game a very fluid display from the Romans. Just a few minutes past the half-hour Mark Stephan El Shaarawy who once again was displaying genius try to connect on a header hit from Justin Kluivert. I rare situation as he didn’t win them very often but it was a good touch but failed to challenge the goalkeeper. Just a few minutes later at the very end of the first half Roma nearly scored the Third. Following an excellent run and pass by Justin Kluivert, he sent through a near-perfect pass to Javier Pastore. Pastore hit a well-hit strike that hit the bar and came out as Lorenzo Pellegrini missed very close on the rebound. This only followed another chance as Stephan El Shaarawy saw a strike from deep saved. Then in the closing moments of the first half Lorenzo Pellegrini connected with Edin Dzeko on a header But ultimately Cragno was able to make the save as the first half came to a close with Roma up to a 2-0 lead thanks to Federico Fazio and Javier Pastore.
Javier Pastore scored in his return after having not been featured in months
A really strong first-half from Roma as they were the much better team by quite a distance it quite honestly they could have scored even more with the convection they had in creating the chances. Justin Kluivert, in particular, was unbelievable in the opening 45 minutes using his speed and athleticism to create space between him and the defense. Cagliari struck early in the second half in what hat was another wise quiet afternoon. Luca Pellegrini connected with Birsa with the cross but his header went over the goal. Outside of that early chance, Cagliari failed over and over again to try to get themselves back into the game. They had the possession advantage but they weren’t doing anything with it. Roma seems to be comfortably in control. There have been games this season in which they have taken their foot off the gas in the second half but it did not seem to be the case here Roma have self-confident and had the momentum and were using it to their advantage. They came out with as much intensity and connectivity. A little later Lorenzo Pellegrini was on the verge of a third goal for Roma. On a breakaway Kolarov sent a ball into the box Lorenzo Pellegrini Struck it Just wide it was a very close chance. The ball came from behind which made it a more difficult chance for Lorenzo Pellegrini as he was making his run the pass came earlier than he expected and didn’t have the time to reorganize his body but nonetheless very close chance. Roma continued to display their superiority in the match there was very little resistance from Cagliari a large part of that could because they were not in any threat of relegation they didn’t need to have a desperate mentality. Roma eventually made their first change as Javier Pastore came out after a wonderful game as he was replaced by Diego Perotti. Roma, we’re getting into dangerous areas on an almost regular basis as they were very efficient especially in their ability to create chances. Roma found this game a very easy with the way they played together it made things very difficult for the opposition. Federico Fazio came close to a second but his header misfired. Incredible quick ball movement allowed Stephan El Shaarawy to be on the verge on a goal but his header from a perfect Justin Kluivert cross on a counter was denied by Cragno absolutely unbelievable save as it left the midfielder in shock. Just a few minutes later Diego Perotti set up Edin Dzeko for a superb opportunity but Edin Dzeko supplied too much power as it coasted over the goal. Nonetheless, Roma, we’re not backing down and continued to be aggressive trying to get another goal that would surely be the nail in the coffin. Roma would make the second change of the afternoon as a Stephan El Shaarawy came out for Cengiz Under after yet another unbelievable performance. Just a few minutes later in the 86th minute, Roma would kill the game off once and for all. After Justin Kluivert ran with his pace he tried to strike from distance the shot takes a slight deflection as Diego Perotti gets his foot to it just inches in front of the keeper. Evidently, the ball came out to Alex Kolarov as the Serbian buried the ball in the back of the net despite heroic efforts from Cragno to try to make another save as of Roma took the 3-0 lead. It would be out of Kolarov’s eighth goal of the season as Europe’s highest Defender adds another to his total in what was a very late goal for Roma. The Romans would see the rest of the game out at the Stadio Olimpico during the final minutes as they secured and very important three points as a temporarily reclaim 4th Place as its all smiles in the capital on a Saturday afternoon.
Kolarov’s late goal leads to celebration at the Olimpico as Roma secure a big three points
One of the best performances of the season from Roma certainly the most complete performance since Claudio Ranieri took over. Despite some of the circumstances they get the reward as they get the revenge. In front of the Stadio Olimpico they secure a massive three points that enhance their Champions League ambitions. With everything that has gone on with the club and the rumors for the summer, this is something that Roma absolutely needed. Antonio Conte seems to be the heavy favorite to take over Roma at the end of the summer getting Champions League will make this job more enticing for him. Roma understands what they need to do and over the last five weeks, they are unbeaten. Roma desperately needs to keep this up as they’ve gone past the most difficult part of the schedule all the challenges seem to be behind them for the most part. Roma must stay the course and continue to fight as we saw them today perform to their absolute best. Bryan Cristante and Nicolo Zaniolo both missed the match due to suspensions nonetheless Roma still performed to an extremely high level. We saw Javier Pastore returned to the team after having not been picked in months and by dumb luck found the back of the net in the 3-0 win. However, Justin Kluivert stole the show he was absolutely sensational with a jaw-dropping performance getting an assist and possibly could have added more to that. He completely displays a performance that justifies why Rome brought him here. He has continued to gain experience with each start and I think he can be a core part of this team in the future. Next season is going to be a big year for him I can feel it. He was superb today but it was a very Collective performance El Shaarawy was spectacular yet again as he continues to be one of the most consistent performers in Italian football. Not to mention defensively Florenzi was an absolute workhorse defending really well and getting forward as much as possible making Roma’s approach incredibly dangerous. Collectively the entire team deserves a lot of credit everyone seems to be on the same page are really efficient. Roma we’re the best team throughout it there weren’t any real moments where it looks like Roma weren’t going to win this game. They started strong and finished even stronger Roma could have very easily scored three or four more goals. The Brilliance of Alessio Cragno made the score line closer than the game itself suggested. I can’t say enough how everyone performed. Roma will be very dangerous right now and given the rest of their schedule the Champions League final spot favors them a performance like this has given them a great momentum to finish off the last several games of the season. If they were to get Champions League football it would show incredible progress after at points this season it looks like Roma we’re not going to get into Europe at all. Almost anyone could have gotten the man of the match this afternoon but Justin Kluivert was the man for Roma he created so much and showed his pace and explosiveness that made things very difficult for the opposition. A great display from Roma at the Stadio Olimpico as that Champions League final spot is getting closer and closer within their grasp. 360 minutes away from Champions League football not only are they very much in the race you could make an argument that they are more likely to get it then the team surrounding them.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Justin Kluivert
By the numbers
On target 10
Pass success 85%
On target 2
Pass success 77%
Top of the table
1.Juventus 28-4-2 88pts (CHAMPIONS)
2.Napoli 20-7-5 67pts
3.Inter Milan 18-8-8 62pts
4.A.S Roma 16-10-7 58pts
5.Milan 15-11-7 56pts
Bottom of the table
16.Genoa 8-10-15 34pts
17.Udinesse 8-7-16 33pts
18.Empoli 7-8-19 29pts
19.Frosinone 5-8-20 23pts
20.Cheivo 2-11-20 14pts