A.S Roma 2 Bologna 1FT
Following back-to-back wins against Sassuolo last weekend and midweek in the Europa League against Istanbul, Roma head out on the road for their first away match of the season. As were welcomed to Stadio Renato Dall’Ara to take on a bologna team that has had a rather strong start to the season coming off an improbable comeback last week. Bologna has been victorious in their last eight games at home as they have turned this place into A fortress. Roma and bologna split the season series last season with both teams picking up a victory. Roma would be their first test of the season but it turned out to be a test for both teams. The attacking Masterpiece that we have seen from Roma over the last two games didn’t quite come to life in this game. It was a back-and-forth opening 45 minutes with very little chances coming from both sides. It was turning into quite an ugly game but the three points were vital for both teams. A win for Roma would have taken them into the top four meanwhile for bologna it would be keeping the momentum to the hot start to the season. Early in the second half free-kick specialist Alex Kolarov struck gold from the free-kick to give Roma the 1-0 lead. Shortly after bologna would win a penalty as Sansone converted from the spot. A continued to be a battle with opportunities from both sides but no one seemed to be able to breakthrough. Controversy struck with five minutes ago as Gianluca Mancini was given a questionable second yellow card as he was sent off. You would have thought that that would have ended any chance of a winner from Roma. It was truly an ugly battle throughout however down to 10 men in the 93rd minutes at the stroke of death Jordan Veretout came forward on the break finding Lorenzo Pellegrini delivering a cross inside the box to Edin Dzeko securing the Finishing Touch putting it into the back of the net as Edin Dzeko with some late drama win it for Roma at the death. Roma wins their third consecutive games and they’re second consecutive in the league as Roma move into the top four after an ugly win in Bologna.
As we have come to expect from this Roma team Pablo Fonseca set up his team out of the customary 4-2-3-1 formation. He made a couple of changes to his side but overall the same core players we have seen. In goal would be Roma’s Spaniard shot-stopper, Pau Lopez. A somewhat similar backline that we saw in the Europa League on Thursday. At left-back would be Alex Kolarov, beside him would be the center-back partnership of Federico Fazio and Gianluca Mancini. Then patrolling the right-back position would be Roma Captain Alessandro Florenzi. In Roma’s defensive Midfield we would see an identical pair to the one we saw at home against Sassuolo last weekend. This is likely to be the regular starters at this position. It would be the pair of Bryan Cristante and Jordan Veretout. In the central position in the attacking Midfield would be Lorenzo Pellegrini. Beside him on the left-wing would be Hendrick Mkhitaryan. Then on the opposite side the in-form youngster Justin kluivert. Nicolo Zaniolo is on the bench in this the game as the manager probably wants to give him rest before a big clash with a Atalanta on Wednesday. Then upfront as the main Striker one of the highest scores in Roma’s history Edin Dzeko who is in terrific form. Then as always, Roma will have a strong bench with Leonardo Spinazzola and Nicolo Zaniolo.
The match was just about to get underway in Bologna. The home side has yet to lose this season as well as holding an 8 game win streak at home. In the early parts of the game, no team seemed to have the control or the momentum on their side. From the beginning of the game, it was kind of a gritty but ugly game of football. The attacking Masterpiece that Roma had shown over the last two games wasn’t as prominent. Roma was finding some difficulty finding that balance in the early parts of the match. It turned out to be a slow and gradual start to the game with not a lot of chances between the teams. Early in the match, there were only a few opportunities between both sides. Justin kluivert set up Bryan Cristante who tried to strike from distance but was blocked by the bologna defense. The match started to pick up slightly around the 20th minute as Florenzi tried striking from deep to keep the goalkeeper off balance but he misfired his shot. Roma starting to pick up a little momentum. Edin Dzeko put his head through a corner from Lorenzo Pellegrini but again missing the target. Just minutes later Alex Kolarov would try the same striking from outside the box but it had the same results. Bologna tried to get in front with Sansone who struck from close range but Pau Lopez was to make the save. Both teams started growing into the game a little bit but despite that, it was a struggle from the attacking point of view. Near the end of the half Pellegrini struck from a distance as his shot was denied by the keeper. A few minutes later Sansone was in again as he saw his shot misfire. In the closing moments of the first half, Lorenzo Pellegrini put his head through a cross from Alex Kolarov that was ultimately blocked by the bologna defense. As it was a 0-0 stalemate after 45 minutes.
Fonseca gives instructions to Kolarov during a first-half struggle
It was a very uneventful first-half from Roma and bologna. Neither team seems to have the confidence and technical ability as they lacked creativity. Roma played very poorly in the opening 45 minutes against Istanbul in midweek they would need a similar sort of turnaround not to drop points, especially in this stadium. Early in the second half, Roma had a tremendous opportunity from the free-kick spot. Lorenzo Pellegrini was on a break all by himself before he was collapsed by 3 bologna Defenders gifting Roma a free-kick just outside the box. In the 49th minute, Alex Kolarov stepped up perfectly placing the balls and into the top left corner to give Roma the 1-0 lead. It would be his third goal of the season as well as his sixth free-kick goal since joining Roma in which he ranks second in that time span only it to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
Kolarov bags a dagger free-kick to give Roma 1-0 lead.
Following Roma’s go-ahead goal Paulo Fonseca we go to the bench for the first time. Nicolo Zaniolo would come in from Justin kluivert. Bologna would get right back in the match just a few minutes later in the 51st-minute bologna were given a penalty. Santander went down in the Box despite the questionable circumstances. Sansone put the ball into the back of the net to equalize making it 1-1. In what turned out to be a battle. The match started to open up slightly as chances were coming a little bit more freely but despite that, it was still a struggle from both teams in what continued to look like an ugly game. Hendrick Mkhitaryan came close with a strike from in retaliation. A few minutes later Soriano nearly gave a Bologna the lead as it came forward in great Space striking the ball at a high velocity but Lopez made an ambitious save to keep the game level one of the best saves of the weekend. It remained a struggle as opportunities still seemed fierce and far between. Roma had somewhat control late in the match with possession and we’re getting momentum as they came forward but it certainly wasn’t as imposing as it was midweek. Riccardo orsolini who had a relatively quiet afternoon tried the strike from close range as his effort from the side of the box misfired. Roma would make their second change of the afternoon as Leonardo spinazzola came in for Alessandro florenzi. With just a little more than 10 minutes ago Roma continues to try to carve bologna open. Lorenzo Pellegrini put his head through an Alex Kolarov cross that came close then edin Dzeko was inches away with a strike from distance. Roma was starting to get some momentum they needed that Killer Instincts to finish the game off. Roma only continued to come forward as Hendrick Mkhitaryan set up Lorenzo Pellegrini who again tried from distance but couldn’t finish it off. Edin Dzeko followed it with another opportunity but the results were the same. Drama hit with about 5 minutes ago Gianluca Mancini was given a second yellow card in what was a questionable decision the young Italian Defender was sent off reducing Roma to 10 men. Despite that Roma continued to look strong in the attack as they still appeared by all accounts the better team. Lorenzo Pellegrini and edin Dzeko came close at the very end. Pellegrini just narrowly missing on a free-kick and on the counter-attack. Then edin Dzeko had a chance to break the game open. Coming forward just outside the box The Bosnian tried to curl it into the top corner just narrowly missing. It looked like we were up on our way to a point split in bologna. Then at the stroke a death down to 10 men the moment arrived. In the 93rd minute following a free-kick Roma took very quickly. Jordan Veretout came through on a counter-attack cutting through several Defenders getting very close outside the box before laying it to Lorenzo Pellegrini who took a few dribbles before sending a cross into the box that found Edin Dzeko who viciously put its head through the ball into the back of the net to win it for Roma. Edin Dzeko along with the majority of the Roma team exploded with celebration running over to the away supporters to share the moments of late drama. It would be the Edin Dzeko’s fourth goal of the season and his third goal in three games. It was a brilliantly executed attack in the most crucial moment of the game a lot of credit must go to Jordon Veretout who came through on the counter-attack before finding Lorenzo Pellegrini eventually connected with Edin Dzeko with a perfect ball in what was the eventual winner. Roma came through when they were needed as the Romans concur Bologna.
Late Dramatics From Edin Dzeko wins it for Roma in the final minute
Roma ends Bologna’s home win streak with a gritty victory at the stroke of death. As well as their first victory away from home in their last five matches. Something that needed to happen sooner than later. It was an important victory the toughness and ugliness of this games show exactly why this match was so important. Winning games like these never come easy and to come out in the end and take all three points in a match that they did not play particularly well shows the character and the determination of this team. Roma is one of the best attacking teams in all of Europe and has the personnel within their squad to run through teams the way they attack. Consistently over Roma games this season they have been incredibly strong coming forward and have created a lot of chances to score goals. The identity of this system is an attacking football very few teams can handle it when Roma are at their best. This afternoon Roma were not at their best they had a hard time putting together anything significant, especially in the first half. They had a fair few chances that although came close at times it was a very underwhelming performance. The Roma attack that we are accustomed to seeing on a regular basis with this team under Paulo Fonseca it didn’t have that bite. In the match, I thought Roma’s attacking Style would keep bologna off balance and give them a high level of frustration. However, there was a lack of output in that area. They took advantage of minimal opportunities in second-half which proved out to be really important. A dagger of a free-kick from Kolarov gave Roma the lead. They lost it almost immediately on a penalty decision that I still question Roma would be just minutes away from a hugely disappointing performance. Before edin Dzeko came through in the clutch like we have seen in the past putting his head through a perfect counter-attack largely by Jordan veretout and Lorenzo Pellegrini he came through when his team needed him the most which is why he is my man of the match. Edin Dzeko is a different player this season then a year ago he has already scored four goals this season which is a drastic improvement. It is proven it despite a disappointing display today that edin Dzeko is the perfect Striker to adopt in this system. He is a very experienced player that has come through and for Roma in these moments quite often. It was an incredibly exciting finish as Roma win the game at the death. Despite that just because Roma won does not mean that they played particularly well. All in all, despite their ability to win this game and dramatic fashion it was not a very unencouraging performance and really need to work on trying to get their attack in better situations before their match on Wednesday. It may have been an ugly victory but it will prove to be an important one. Roma has strung together three consecutive victories back-to-back wins in the league as they jumped into the top four. It wasn’t pretty it wasn’t impressive but regardless Roma got the job done in a very difficult place to play against a strong team. Improvements will be needed but Roma finished the game and that’s what matters.
Man of The Match: Edin Dzeko