A.S Roma 4 Cagliari 3FT
Ahead of this game, Roma was coming off back-to-back positive results. Over last weekend Roma put together one of their best performances of the season putting four past Lecce in a 4-0 victory against a team that was on a winning streak at the time. Then on Thursday night, Roma saw themselves go through into the round of 16 of the Europa League after Justin kluivert away goal proved to be enough to get the job done for Roma as they will face Sevilla in the round of 16 in a week’s time. Roma travels to Sardinia this week to battle Cagliari for the second time this season. Earlier in the season, a late Nikola kalinic goal was taken away by VAR that decision caused Paulo Fonseca to be thrown out and get a three-game suspension as Roma was robbed late at the Stadio Olimpico on that occasion. This was a match Roma was looking for Revenge as they go to Sardinia in hopes of getting that win back that they deserved early in the season against a Cagliari team that has hit a wall since their hot start to the season. It turned out to be a wild Sunday night in Sardinia it was one of the best matches of the entire season in a goal-fest. From the very beginning of the matchup, Roma had complete control and dominated. They went for the throat early and often as it was an offensive explosion. They tested Cagliari almost on a regular basis it looked like a game that was going to get out of hand early. Despite their domination, it would be the hosts that struck first. Joao Pedro scored a stunning strike out of the air to give Cagliari a 1-0 lead. The lead would last less than a minute as Nikola kalinic header would bring the game back on level terms. Roma would continue to dominate the first half as the control seems to be going one direction. Right before the end of the first half Nikola kalinic gets his Roma double as Roma would lead to 2-1 after the first half. In the second half, it was a mouth-watering football from both sides as we saw just attacking football at its highest level. Justin kluivert gave Roma a 3-1 lead on a counter-attack as Roma seemed to be pulling away. Cagliari would hit back at their next opportunity. Gaston Pereiro minimized the deficit for the hosts. As we had one to remember in Sardinia. Roma ended up extending their lead once again coming from a Kolarov free-kick that fell to the feet of henrikh Mkhitaryan to make it 4-2 in the favor of Roma. Cagliari just woudnt go away minutes before the end of the match Joao Pedro scored on a penalty rebound to reduce the deficit just minutes before the end. Despite the ambitious efforts to get back into the game, Roma held on in what was 90 minutes of a drama in a shootout in Sardinia Roma get revenge from the robbery early in the season as the Romans win back-to-back in the league winning a tough one in Sardinia.
Paulo Fonseca would make limited adjustments to his lineup in his accustomed 4-2-3-1 formation. In goal as always would be the Spaniard Pau Lopez. The backline would have a couple of changes ahead of the match. At left-back would be as expected Alex Kolarov, beside him would be the center-back partnership of Chris Smalling and Federico Fazio. Gianluca Mancini picked up a suspension for the game as he is not selected. At right-back starting his third consecutive League match the birthday boy Bruno Peres. He was in Brazil until recently he has been a surprise selection by Paulo Fonseca that has worked out quite nicely. In the defensive Midfield, we would see a change as Bryan cristante would play alongside new signing Gonzalo Villar as he gets his first start in the Roma colors. In the attacking Midfield patrolling the central position would be henrikh Mkhitaryan as he continues to play well in the absence of Lorenzo Pellegrini. On the left-wing would be Justin kluivert the hero from Thursday night’s match. Then on the opposite side on the right-wing would be Cengiz Under. As a surprise selection upfront would be Nikola kalinic as edin Dzeko would be given the night off for rest after having played practically every game for the last 2 months it was much needed for the Bosnian to refresh. The bench will consist of Carles Perez Jordan veretout and others.
After preparations and predictions, the match was just about to get underway in Sardinia as Roma came to town to get revenge on Cagliari from the robbery that took place in the first meeting between the teams. Roma very early in the game had an attacking mentality about them. There was a certain aggression about the way they were playing. It didn’t take them very long to slowly but surely carve Cagliari open. Just a few minutes into the game henrikh Mkhitaryan blasted a strike from the side of the box at Robin Olsen. The Swede ended up making the save. Robin Olsen ended up having a very productive game. Just a few minutes later Nikola kalinic tried to squeeze a strike from my very difficult angle Robin Olsen was there to again. On a corner kick a minute later Federico Fazio put his head through it but misfired. You could tell in the very beginning parts of the game that Roma was in complete control clearly oddly enough at least at that point in a game Cagliari ended up with the advantage in the Possession battle despite this Roma were running over them it was a match that looks like it could get very ugly. Shortly after Cengiz struck from a distance as the Turkish International tried to catch Robin Olsen by surprise henrikh Mkhitaryan received the ball from Justin kluivert on the rebound. The Armenian blasted the ball at the goal but was denied and then finally Nikola kalinic tried to stick it in the back of the net but his shot was blocked. Very fortunate that Cagliari did not concede in that instance as Roma had multiple chances to break them on the attack. Robin Olsen was playing out of his mind just a few minutes later denying Bruno Peres. The match had yet to reach 15 minutes and Roma seemed to just be ripping them apart. In a huge surprise based on the way the game was playing in the 28th minute Cagliari had the opportunity and took advantage of it. Joao Pedro receives a ball sent from the Midfield the striker ripped the ball out of the air into the back of the net to give Cagliari a 1-0 lead. They had been significantly outplayed the entire match. A player of his quality makes a clean strike on the ball giving the Spanish goalkeeper no chance. He continues to be one of the best players in the league this season as the amount of goals he has scored for this team continues to stack up. The home section erupted as they had a lead they probably did not deserve. Cagliari wasn’t able to hold the lead for even two minutes. A minute later in the 29th minute a poor clearance from Luca Pellegrini landed in the space of Nikola kalinic the Croatian Striker connected on the header as the ball ripped through the back of the net to equalize just a minute after conceding. A complete collapse as Roma gets the goal they should have gotten earlier in the game It was a completely dominated first-half from Roma and you see that with how quickly they got back into it. The momentum that Roma had continued to build. Then in the 41st minute, Roma pushes themselves in front. The wizard in the Midfield henrikh Mkhitaryan drove the defender away from Nikola kalinic as he passed the ball right in the path of the striker. Nikola kalinic stuck the ball in the back of the net from close range as Roma take a 2-1 lead. It would be his second goal of the game as he scores his first two goals for the club the opening 45 minutes. the clock would run out as that would signal the end of the first half as Roma had a 2-1 lead thanks to Nikola kalinic with a double.
Nikola Kalinic scores double in first half as Roma take lead.
A very promising first half or for Roma who looked cutthroat throughout the first half with how well they came forward and looked dangerous almost on the break constantly. Very unfortunate to concede a goal when they did given the fact that they dominated the majority of the match and didn’t have to do much. Joao Pedro just connected on a phenomenal strike Roma easily could have scored more goals. It became more or less the same tune as we saw in the first half at least in the early part of it. Roma continues to look dangerous as it appeared they were more than capable of blowing them out and killing off the game that is easier said than done. Just a few minutes into the 2nd half Roma came within inches of another goal. Justin kluivert saw his shot from close range clang off the post. Even though Cagliari was a little bit more into the game Roma still was in control for the most part. The visitors continued and continued to try to chip away and extend their lead. Alex Kolarov put his head through a cross coming from henrikh Mkhitaryan Robin Olsen managed to make this the save. A minute later Justin kluivert nearly scored on a fast break but his touch supplied too much power as his strike went wide. Radja nainggolan tried to bring Caglalri back as the former Roman struck from outside of the box but Pau Lopez managed to make the save. A minute later in the 64th minute Roma started to create some separation. A headed pass coming from Nikola kalinic allowed Justin kluivert to get on the break as the Dutchman it did a phenomenal job staying on side and once he went forward it was good night he used his speed and pace to get inside the box before his strike ended up into the back of the net to give Roma a 3-1 lead. it would be Justin kluivert’s seventh goal of the season for Roma as he has drastically improved from his debut season from a year ago. After the goal, Cagliari made two changes to try to infuse some energy. Ultimately it turned out to work in the 75th minute a beautifully orchestrated strike from Gaston Pereiro as Cagliari saw his shot rip through the top corner to minimize the deficit. Once again leaving Pau Lopez with nothing to do as it was a superb strike. All of a sudden it was a 3-2 lead for Roma with a possibility of a collapse. it was already late in the game but none the less there were opportunities to be taken for both. Roma would go to the bench as Under would come out for Carles Perez. immediately after the change Justin kluivert cranked one from the side of the box but was denied from the keeper. Minutes later in the 81st minutes Roma looked like they put the game away for good. Coming off a free-kick from the side of the box at a very tight angle. Alex Kolarov delivered a perfect ball he whipped the ball into the box as henrikh Mkhitaryan got a late touch as the ball rolled into the back of the net to give Roma a 4-2 to lead. It should have been all but over at that point but this game was given even more drama. In the 89th minute, Chris Smalling was called for a handball in the Box as Cagliari was given a penalty. Joao Pedro was denied by Pau Lopez but unfortunately, he connected on a header on his rebound minimizing the score once again as it was 4-3 with the stoppage time remaining. Roma controlled the game out over the last several minutes of the match as Roma win a dramatic and exhilarating 4-3 Victory away in Sardinia.
Justin Kluivert second half goal spurts Roma on in crucial victory
Roma wins back-to-back matches in the league in what was an incredibly dramatic match. It seemed to be back and forth the entire time at least on the scoreboard. On the pitch, Roma dominated the entire match and looked deadly in the attack. There’s definitely a lot of positives to take from their performance and even though Cagliari ended up coming back in this game on several different occasions. It wasn’t a lack of defensive pressure, in fact, the Sardinia club ended up just coming through in big moments when they needed to. Roma has lacked confidence for a good portion of the season. This team lost three straight games and a large part of that was a lack of concentration and confidence. This team finally had the confidence required to go into games with the ability to get the job done and pick up all three points. Roma hit their losing streak at the wrong time as they have fallen out of the Champions League race at least to a certain extent. However, since the confidence has been restored Roma performances have much improved. Roma looked incredibly dangerous going forward and now in back-to-back performances, Roma has scored four goals. The back-to-back wins in the league will do well for the team’s confidence and they carry that momentum into the rest of the season. While they still have a ways to go to catch Atalanta if they continue to play like this there’s a good chance they at least will challenge them for that spot. It was a really great performance from All Parts even though Cagliari showed what they are made of and they have the qualities to be a great team Roma just had a little bit more on the night. Joao Pedro was such an impactful player in this match as he has been for the majority of the season. He’s such an underrated player that doesn’t get the respect he deserves by the media. Even though he got a yellow card that will prevent him from playing in the next match he scored two goals and was really difficult to deal with. On top of everything, Roma had so many opportunities to collapse and they managed to stick together and come through. Cagliari tried to come from behind on numerous occasions but Roma stood firm. Every single goal was required it was an absolute thriller and goals show. It was a game of an unlikely hero Justin kluivert scored again and henrikh Mkhitaryan and continues to play at an incredibly high level. However, edin Dzeko was rested for this game. Nikola kalinic is not a player that has been embraced by the Roma fans he has yet to make an impact in the team and to this point had been an utter disappointment. frankly, most Roma fans don’t really want to return next season. There’s a lot of criticism surrounding him going into this game and he delivered. Edin Dzeko is one of Roma’s greatest ever players it has been over a year since he’s had a two-goal performance wearing the Roma colors. Nikola kalinic scores two goals and in a half something Dzeko has not managed to do all that recently. He had two goals and an assist It was a terrific performance from the Croatian Striker. Certainly, a performance that no one was really expecting. He needs to perform on a much more consistent basis but this was something that took Everyone by surprise. He answered the critics at least to a certain extent with his performance he is the man of the match after that display. This was a match that Roma attack was necessary Cagliari could have quite nearly come back and stolen a point from them. At the end of the match when the final whistle blew it was a sense of relief. Roma wins away from home to keep the momentum going. Ideally, Roma will not have to do what they did tonight the rest of the season it was hard-fought and they showed the true character as they win a wild battle away from home ultimately getting revenge from The reverse fixture as they go into Sardinia and leave with three points.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Nikola Kalinic