Last night Italian football returned in the capital. Roma was basking off some really great form before the International break. Unfortunately, after a really productive month, they fell to Parma right before the International break. Roma returns home as they welcomed bottom table Brescia to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to try to get back on track. Mario Balotelli was dropped from the squad after an argument with manager Fabio Grosso. A refreshed and relaxed Roma who saw the return of Lorenzo Pellegrini into the starting lineup absolutely dominated the relegation favorites picking up a massive three points that only enriches their chase for Champions League football. In the first half, Roma did control the game and had the majority of the possession but failed to convert on several early chances. However, once they grew into the game they claimed their superiority. Brescia, we’re often pinned back trying to deal with the offensive prowess of Roma. The Midfield was incredibly fluid with Lorenzo Pellegrini making his impact on his return. Even so, they had a few chances at the end of the first half on the counter-attack. Roma’s backline was at their best eliminating the few opportunities they had. Despite Roma’s control, it was not a very productive first half. It was goalless after the opening 45 minutes. In the second half, it was a completely different Roma team as they displayed their dominance before long the match was already cooked. Roma’s converted on the first chance of the second half as Chris Smalling put his head through a Lorenzo Pellegrini cross into the to give Roma the 1-0 lead. Shortly after Rome scored yet again as Chris Smalling connected on a headed pass to the feet of Gianluca Mancini who struck the ball away from his body rocketing the shot into the back of the neck to give Roma a 2-0 lead. both center-backs scored in what was an incredibly effective game for the pair. Before too long edin Dzeko would give Roma the lead taking advantage of some woeful defending edin Dzeko supplied A touch before blasting the ball into the back of the net in what was an incredibly simple finish to give Roma to 3-0 lead. Roma continued to dominate throughout the entire match as they were just a class above the visitors. Roma picks up a massive three points Momentum and confidence is restored in the Italian Capital as they Supply even more misery on Brescia who is on the verge of suffocation after a dominating display from Roma.
Mario Balotelli Antics
Mario Balotelli is a problem in Italian football it is often something that has confused me about him. The way he is worshipped by many fans and supporters in Italy. By definition, the only reason his support is warranted is that he plays for the Italian national team. He has disgraced the very country he represents by his antics attitude and lack of a work ethic. As a character, it is an issue any team that signs him is taking a big risk. Mostly because he does not take the game of football seriously he has all the talent in the world but refuses to use it. He had an opportunity to be a star but he never wanted enough he is a bad player to have in your locker room because he can disrupt your Chemistry with his poor energy and bad attitude. This was another display of what I’ve always said about him. Mario Balotelli was dropped for this match after a training bust-up. He fails to show respect for his manager and his team. Had Mario Balotelli played in the match would the game have changed probably not but he would have given his team a better chance to win. Mario Balotelli was too selfish to ever become a superstar it really has been a tragedy had he been humble and had a work ethic he could have been something special but this week yet again it is proven the lack of accountability and selfishness he has displayed his entire career. Fabio Grosso dropped him against a really tough opponent when his team needed points that tells you everything you need to know about Mario Balotelli.
Lorenzo Pellegrini Returns
I’ve said this for a while now Lorenzo Pellegrini is the most valuable player on Roma. He’s not necessarily the best player on the team but his impact on the Game and this team is unparallel. Lorenzo Pellegrini has missed the last two months with an injury and even though they found ways to get points in certain spots. They have struggled over this time largely with their inability to finish in front of goal. Last season Rome has the lowest point of the year was when Lorenzo Pellegrini was not playing. When he is not in the Midfield they do not function at the same level which is why Paulo Fonseca had to put Gianluca Mancini as a defensive midfielder. That’s not to diminish the midfielder’s that Roma have but they just do not operate at the same level when Lorenzo Pellegrini isn’t there. The reason Roma have struggled the last few weeks finishing in front of goal is the service from the Midfield hasn’t been good enough. The best passers on Roma Midfield are Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bryan cristante both of those players have been injured. Lorenzo Pellegrini returning changed the perception the way they play. There is an argument to be made that he is one of the 10 best players in all of Italian football. We saw a difference in the way the team played through the midfield yesterday and his ability to get guys open in good spots. He delivered a pinpoint assist on Roma’s first goal and put himself in a position to orchestrate opportunities for teammates. Getting Lorenzo Pellegrini back is a huge deal the identity of the team is different when he isn’t involved. They can cut through the Midfield and use that as their biggest weapon when you have him in the middle orchestrating the chances. He is intelligent a tough player who has incredible vision and he’s able to get service to players who don’t normally get the ball at such an accurate pace. Lorenzo Pellegrini yesterday was fantastic you can see the difference in the way Roma played with his involvement. He takes the Roma team to another level and that was fully on display last night the way they operated together as a unit was fundamentally different because of Pellegrini and the scary thing is he’s not even fully healthy once he gets full fitness this team could be incredibly scary because the perception of the team changes with the way he’s able to impact the game. It is such a relief to get him back he makes the difference.
Relegation Seems Inevitable
Brescia is in a heap of trouble the recently promoted side could be heading right back to Serie B. They just can’t seem to get it right they did a decent job of building this team to try to make it into something that can compete. However, the fact of the matter is they’re unable to do so. They only have two wins this season and have lost six games in a row this is a big problem. They can’t score goals and the thought was bringing Mario Balotelli would be enough for them to survive but I just don’t see it happening. They have issues all over the place and they can be exploited very easily. Fabio Grosso is doing the best job he can but even so it’s just not been good enough. This team does not have enough firepower to take them to safety. Alfredo donnarumma is a capable goalscorer who has the ability to give the team enough goals to survive the season. However, the problem is they’re always playing from behind. This team has some valuable components to it but it’s just not enough. Maybe they have a chance to strengthen in January but if things don’t change quickly they will lose all hope. If this team loses hope they will mentally beat themselves. They have not won a game in over a month and the longer they fail to perform the harder it’s going to be to Escape From the Bottom. Sandro Tonali is an incredible young star who has ability to be a superstar in this league with him Alfredo donnarumma Florin Aye this team seems to be missing something relegation just seems inevitable now it’s early in the season but they’re not improving and that’s a problem.
The Centerback Partnership of Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini
It was quite a day for the center-back duo of Gianluca Mancini and Chris Smalling they are quietly becoming the best center-back partnership in Serie A. This may not be the best defense but as a tandem, they have been so effective on the offensive end and defensively. The defensive issues Roma have had over the last several years are blatantly clear but they don’t have any problems anymore with Gianluca Mancini and Chris Smalling they are starting to evolve into some of the best in Italian football. The defensive problems have become a strength. There may not be a better duo in the League this season. Both Gianluca Mancini and Chris Smalling have achieved incredible levels of production and effective ability. Both players scored last night in Roma’s 3-0 win. This shows they have a different element to them they have stopped teams defensively and they have made them pay on the other side. Gianluca Mancini even played as a defensive midfielder for weeks meanwhile Chris Smalling has scored twice. The crazy part about all of this is together they cost less than 25 million. There have been a lot of big Bargains this year but this may be one of the best ones because of the roles they have played in the team this season. When they got paired together defensively Roma changed the impact they had on the team It has been absolutely sensational. Chris Smalling was responsible for two or three goals with a goal and an assist. On top of that Gianluca Mancini maybe is Roma’s most consistent player this season. They are only going to grow and develop further together their ability to operate in the attack and the defense shows the progress they’ve made and how effective they can be in this team. Gianluca Mancini and Chris Smalling are what strings the defense together.
Edin Dzeko Is still the most complete striker in Europe
Edin Dzeko was special yesterday and once again was one of the best performers of the weekend. He has been a different type of player under Paulo Fonseca he’s playing with more confidence and is finding the back of the net more regularly. He’s not perfect and does go through stretches where he’s not scoring but despite that, he gets himself and his teammates in positions to be effective. It was a tremendous performance that saw score his 94th Roma goal in his 150th appearance for the club. He truly has been one of the best players that have worn the Roma shirt. He continues to solidify himself as a legend in Rome. Hopefully, that ends with silverware by the time he’s finished. He was Sensational not just because he scored the goal which is obviously great but it was the way he held up the line of play orchestrated opportunities for his teammates as Roma was in complete control throughout the match. Edin Dzeko has found ways to be effective in games he’s not scoring. In the majority of the games he plays, he makes a significant impact as he did yesterday. He has learned to evolve as a player which is why he is having so much success this season he will more than likely double his goal total from last season. He is operating at a different level during this campaign. It comes down with his ability to become more of a complete player and all-around Striker rather than a player that needs to score every week. He made a decision last season that he has more responsibilities and just putting the ball in the back of the net. This is something that Cristiano Ronaldo unequivocally refuses to do. Obviously Edin Dzeko was never at the level of Cristiano Ronaldo but he takes the pressure off himself where he used to feel the need to score now he sees different ways to impact the game we have seen this week in and week out he still will score a large number of goals but the way he plays has helped it not to be the end-all for him. With the team that’s around him, he has been able to score goals and facilitate opportunities making a huge impact even in games he doesn’t score. He has evolved as a player and has made sacrifices to be the best player he can be for this Roma team. Last night was proof that not only did he score he did a lot of things that help his teammates get into position to make a difference that’s what separates Edin Dzeko from the rest. He may not be the best in terms of technical ability and may not put up the same type of numbers. He still is the most complete striker in Europe he can score goals with more importantly he holds up the line and gets his teammates involved and does things that makes the entire team as a whole incredibly dangerous and hard to stop for a player of his size his passing ability is second to none what’s makes Roma incredibly dangerous coming forward given the fact that he is a big imposing Striker with the ability to score & add his passing ability to that he is just special. This week he was just spectacular even if it doesn’t steal the headlines he was as effective as anyone during matchday 13.