Score: A.S Roma 2 Empoli 0FT
Following a harrowing defeat in the derby against Lazio last Sunday, Roma got some confidence back and their UEFA conference League victory in Ukraine. Roma returned home after their Venture in Europe on Thursday for the final matchday before the International break. Roma welcomed newly-promoted Empoli to the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday afternoon. Empoli came into this one and is currently in the top 10 in the league. However, we all know Roma’s track record against newly-promoted teams, having a 30 game unbeaten run with 29 victories. Roma wanted to extend that to go into the break with momentum and confidence as they have to go to Juventus following the international break. Empoli looked very capable in the early part of the game, putting the pressure on the Roma backline with a few chances at the beginning of the game that challenged Roma; however, Roma pushed back, and the Breakthrough was inevitable near the end of the first half Roma Captain Lorenzo Pellegrini who has just signed a new deal with the club gave Roma a 1-0 lead at the end of the first half. In the second half, Roma finished the job as Tammy Abraham has a beautifully hit strike hit off the post only for Hendrik Mkhitaryan to pick up the scraps and put it in the back of the net as Roma got a tough 2-0 victory as they bounce back with a clean sheet and a sustainable performance that should only give them the momentum to go to Juventus and get a result. Empoli made things difficult at times and looked like a team that could continue to impress this season, but on Sunday afternoon, they were just outmatched. Once Roma had that confidence they finished the job as yet again they brushed aside another newly-promoted team to get the Roma back on track and into the Champions League places once again.
Jose Mourinho would set up his Roma team out of the usual 4-2-3-1 formation; however, he did make a few adjustments from the team that lost the Derby last Sunday. In goal, as always, would be the Portuguese shot-stopper, Rui Patricio. In at left-back was Matias Vina; beside him would be the center-back partnership of Chris Smalling, who gets his first start of the season, and Gianluca Mancini beside him. Then at right-back, as always would be the ever explosive Flying Dutchman Rick karsdorp. A slight modification in defensive Midfield Jordan veretout as always but beside him would be the youngster Darbo making his first League appearance of the season as Bryan cristante goes to the bench. The central attacking midfielder would be Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini that signed a new contract yesterday before the game; to his right would be Nicolo zaniolo, then it to his left would be Henrik Mkhitaryan upfront as a Roma’s Central Striker the in-form Englishmen Tammy Abraham.
After preparations and predictions, the match got underway at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on a Sunday afternoon. The game started very quickly for the visitors as they nearly broke the game open in the opening minutes to keep the pressure on the Roma even more so. A beautifully hit ball from Stojanovic into the box as Andrea pinamonti got his head on the end of nearly could have been the opener as he was just inches away, going slightly wide. The key for Empoli in this game was going to be not allowing Roma to start fast; the approach at the beginning of the match worked perfectly as Jose Mourinho side were under duress almost immediately an unexpected charge from the visitors very early in the game they came forward yet again just a few minutes late Ricardo Marchizza looking for the Inter Milan loaned pinamonti trying to test Roma yet again as Rui Patricio getting pushed by the Empoli attacker. Two very high-quality chances from the visitors were somewhat of a concern as Roma were under pressure significantly, and the opening 15 to 20 minutes, Liam Henderson set up bandinelli on a Corner before misfiring then following a Darbo Miss from close range, Federico di Francesco forced Rui Patricio to expand and makes the save. Empoli was the better team at different points of the first half, especially in the opening half-hour when they had the opportunities to test Roma and potentially a breakthrough. Had a broken through early, the entire complexion of the game could have changed, but they were a high-quality chance; it wasn’t a situation where it was poor finishing they had the pressure on, and Roma needed to find a way to respond. Roma wasn’t afraid of conceding, but it was an uncomfortable set of pressure, especially so early in the game. Roma came close almost precisely at the half-hour Mark when henrikh Mkhitaryan tried striking a from a difficult angle after being set up by Lorenzo Pellegrini But ultimately missing the mark. Roma started to grab the momentum as Nicolo zaniolo, who continues to look Stronger by the game, pushed the ball forward in a dangerous area; as he tried to put Empoli off guard, he certainly challenged the keeper but didn’t quite have it on that attempt. Minutes later, Matias Vina connected with Lorenzo Pellegrini, but his header was saved, not testing the keeper after all. Leonardo Mancuso struck with power from Deep as Empoli attempted to grab the moments. They had earlier in the game as the game progressed, it became more and Roma’s favor, and then eventually they broke through. In the 42nd minute, henrikh Mkhitaryan sent through Lorenzo Pellegrini, who struck just inside the Box into the bottom-left corner as Roma took a 1-0 lead in the closing minutes of the first half; it would be his seventh goal of the season he indeed has been the best player in Italy this campaign the ink hasn’t even dried on his new contract and Lorenzo Pellegrini is on the scoresheet again as he ran over to the Corva to celebrate with all the romanista the first half comes to a close with Roma holding on to a very narrow 1-0 lead.
In the first half, it felt like for large portions, Empoli had momentum, and their confidence was growing but didn’t have the resources to take advantage of those changes. Midway to late in the second half, Roma started growing in confidence, and we’re pulling away in their performance. They had the possession advantage and near the end of the half made it even more difficult for the visitor to reclaim that early start. Roma wasted absolutely no time and increasing the lead supplying the knockout punch that they needed. In the 48th minute, Tammy Abraham picked off a poor pass in Midfield in the attacking half drove the ball forward with Incredible poise and control; the striker ripped a beautifully hit ball from outside the box, hitting the post in what could have been one of the goals of the season so far however henrikh Mkhitaryan was right there at the far post stinging the ball into the back of the net as Empoli tried to react. Still, it was just too late as the goalkeeper had to pick the ball out of his own net as Roma took a 2-0 lead. It would be the Armenians second goal this season as Roma now we’re in total control. Just minutes later, it looked like Tammy Abraham was going to make things even worse following through on a rick karsdorp pass in what looked like a third goal, but the goalkeeper made a brilliant save. Roma, for the most part, had the game in hand and controlled the ball, and tried to see things out. There weren’t that many scoring chances in the second half; after Roma got that goal, they did what they needed to do to collect the three points; late in the second half, Mourinho finally went to the bench as Bryan cristante came in for Darbo. Moments later, Leonardo Manasco was a little ambitious as he hooked the strike to the left in hopes of getting a goal back, but it just wasn’t to be. With less than 20 minutes to go, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Tammy Abraham finally linked up a well-hit strike by Abraham, another goal-scoring opportunity. Still, the goalkeeper made a vital save yet again. With not much time remaining, Stephan El Shaarawy came in for Nicolo zaniolo, and Ricardo calafiori got the runout, replacing Vina. Patrick Crotona right before stoppage time was denied by rui Patricio In the closing moments, Rodger Ibanez came in for Chris Smalling. Nicola Zalewski came in for Hendrik Mkhitaryan Roma held off the last couple minutes of stoppage the whistle blew as Roma finished the job with a 2-0 victory and a clean sheet as they return to the top four as we head into the international break as Roma are in good spirits once again add the fans at the Stadio olimpico continued to sing.
Jose Mourinho got the performance he needed out of his Roma side even though they could pick up another three points in the conference league; as usual, a lot of pressure would be on a rebound performance after the loss in the Derby last Sunday. Roma is looking at the situation in a completely different light. Had it; they picked up the points last weekend. Roma has Juventus and Napoli this month and will need to be battle-tested for them to thrive in those games. Roma heads into the international break picking up 3 points against a worthy Challenger as Empoli has had a promising start to the season. The visitors pushed and tried to make Roma uncomfortable in the first half-hour with a lot of high-quality chances going at Roma but Not applying the correct pressure to dictate the game; however, the game eventually went in Roma’s favor. Lorenzo Pellegrini scores to end the first half. Then, for the most part, it was smooth sailing with Tammy Abraham being a menace in attack after hitting the crossbar, only for Hendrik Mkhitaryan to pick it up and score again for Roma. It was an all in all good performance against A team that did give them difficulty at times throughout the game; the man of the match is Tammy Abraham that constantly put the defense under duress and could have scored a couple of times he might only have two goals in the league so far this season. Still, he’s been incredibly influential as the season starts progressing he will start finding the back of the net regularly after International break Rome will have a tough match going to Juventus in hopes of getting a result Roma got back some much-needed confidence that could play a huge role and how things turn out in Turin after the break.