Apr. 28, 2017
Score: A.S Roma 1 Atalanta 1 FT
Following successive wins against Lyon, Palermo, Sassuolo, Empoli, Lazio and Bolonga Roma would go for their seventh win in a row as they would prepare for their 32nd match of this year Serie A campaign. As Roma would face Atalanta for the second time this season The Giallorossi would be looking for revenge after their heartbreaking loss back in November due to a last minute penalty in that match. Both Roma and Atlanta are fighting for European places as it is a massive game for both sides with Juventus beating Pescara it would almost be a must win for them as a loss or draw here could see the Scudetto slip away picking up consistent wins is something Roma need to do to stay in the title race. With the final automatic Champions league spot still up for grabs any amount points would be importance as 3rd place Napoli is only four points behind dropped points would be costly regardless. Revenge wouldn’t be easy to come by as they underdogs hit first scoring in the first half to give Atalanta the 1-0 lead in the first half with a Kurtic’s opening goal they would hold on to the lead going into the second half Roma had a lot of chances and eventually they would break through as Edin Dzeko brought Roma back on level terms with his 35th goal of the season as well as his fourth goal in four games. Roma would continue to pull out the stops to gain an important victory but in the end they would only pick up the one point I felt it was a fair result Roma had more chances but Atlanta is a very good team so it’s a fair result. Atlanta would pick up an important point towards qualifying for Europe. While Roma coughed up a massive game as it now seems as Juventus will be crowed as champions once again.
This week there has been some massive developments in the news regarding transfer rumors. Back in January it had looked Roma were on the verge of signing rising star Atalanta’s Franck Kessie however it didn’t materialize due to the lack of time left in the window he has been linked with Roma and other Premier league throughout the last few months despite premier league Interest as well as Inter and Juventus also being interested. It appears it will be Roma that will secure his signature in a reported pre-contract agreement of €28M deal as well as two young Roma Prospects massive news for Roma as Kessie is one of the best young players in Italian football it hasn’t quite been confirmed just yet but it seems very likely. With this news it has been confirmed that Roma are ready to listen to offers for Raja Nainggolan Roma would ideally like to keep him but with the financial problems they club have; for the right price they would allow the Belgium International to leave basically giving Chelsea the green light to submit their bid. It was revealed by Real Betis’s German Pezzella agent that Roma are one of the team’s interested in the 25-year old defender Roma sees him as a replacement for Kosta Manolas who is likely off to Inter Milan after the season. Incase Danielle De Rossi leaves the club Roma are interested in bringing in Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla or Jesus Navas as possible replacements. Not really a fan of those moves as they are too old. However is seems like Danielle De Rossi will stay as the club are prepared to table a new contract for the 33-year old Italian. There are still details to be discussed on the length of the deal. However if a deal isn’t reached Juventus and Inter would be his potential destinations however I have to say he has been a Roman his entire life so its highly unlikely that he will go to Juventus. De Rossi has featured in 554 games in all competitions for Roma while scoring 55 goals the club would like to keep him as the Roma board is confident that a deal will be reached soon. With Sevilla’s sporting director Monchi still likely joining Roma. PSG’s Grzegorz Krychowiak has become a transfer target for the Romans having played for Sevilla he knows Monchi quite well and if he joins Roma he might be able to convince Krychowiak to come to Roma he would be a pretty big signings for the Giallorossi I’m sure with Kessie on the way the club will make the right moves for this team going forward and finally this week we celebrated Roma legend Rudi Voller’s 57th birthday. Roma would chance up their formation from last weekend’s 3-4-2-1; as Roma would go with tactical change as they would go with 4-3-3 it’s unclear what inspired Luciano Spalletti to make the chance in formation. It would be an almost identical Roma team this week only two changes made to the side. In goal would be Serie A’s clean sheet leader Roma’s #1 Arsenal Loanee Wojciech Szczesny; the Polish international has proved again and again that he is the best goalkeeper in Italian football this season. The back four would be very similar with only one change being made. At right back would be Antione Rudiger on the opposite side at left back coming in for Juan Jesus would be Mario Rui. Than the center-backs would be Kosta Manolas and Fazio respectively. Controlling the middle of the pitch would be the midfield trio of Danielle De Rossi as the centermid; Kevin Strootman on the right and Raja Nainggolan on the left. Than we would have a return of the three headed monster upfront as Roma played three strikers at the top. In the middle would be Edin Dzeko Serie A’s top scorer with 24 goals (34 goals total) he has scored in three games in a row the Bosnian is RED HOT right now. On the left would be Diego Perotti coming in for Stephen El Shaarawy than on the right would be Mohamed Salah. A very strong Roma team I don’t agree with the formation change but the team is still strong regardless.
They are currently 8 weeks until the end of this year’s campaign if Roma are to have any chance of doing the impossible and lifting the Scudetto for the first time since the 2000-2001 season they have to win as many game as possible and any amount of dropped points would be costly with Juventus playing bottom feeders Pescara dropping points would cough up the title for Juventus. This would be a massively important match for both Roma and Atalanta. With Inter dropping points against AC Milan in the Milan derby it gives Atalanta a chance to put them in pool position to get into Europe for the first time in decades as Atalanta have been this year’s Leicester City as they have gone from relegation favorites to European challengers. 2nd place Roma would welcome 5th place Atalanta to the Stadio Olimpico as the two Serie A sides would face off for the second time this year with Atalanta pulling off an upset in the first meeting back on November 20th. The Bergamo side was awarded a last minute penalty in their 2-1 victory back on match day 13. Roma were looking to do much better this time around winners of their last 4 Serie A games Roma are in exceptional form lately. Roma have the advantage given the fact it is being played at home a place where Roma are pretty unbeatable having lost only one game in two years at home. The big story line here is surrounding Franck Kessie expected summer move to Roma as the Romans would get a first look at their new signing. Atalanta is in pretty decent form at the moment but could be a lot better as they have collected 8 points in their last 5 having 2 wins a draw and an embarrassing 7-1 loss to Inter. Roma in slightly better from with 12 points with 4 wins and one loss this is a massive game a prime time match up with two of best Italian football has to offer a game that could make or break a season especially for Roma with a poor result basically handing the title over to Juventus. Roma would be the slight favorites in this game based on current form and how well they play at home but only slightly as Atalanta’s is a proven side that has challenged Europe this season. Atalanta’s biggest concern going into this game is trying stop Edin Dzeko which is a tall task for any team at the moment as he has been terrorizing defenses all season has been the best player in the league by a country mile. After his debut season where he only scored 10 he took it up a notch as he has absolutely smashed it this season. The Bosnian International leads Serie A with 24 goals and still remains the Europa Leagues top scorer despite Roma no longer being in the competition the 31- year old has scored 35 goals in all competitions he is on a current hot streak having scored in three games in a row. He could be a big problem as Atalanta’s number one priority will be to try to stop him some way. However it isn’t the old problem they will have Mohamed Salah is another player that will be hard to control has he can hurt you is many different ways as a scorer and a passer. Atalanta has been able to handle them the first time so they have the ability to stop them again on the Atalanta front of things they have a few quality players despite not having the big names Roma have aside from Roma bound Franck Kessie. However they work very well as a team and that is why there are so effective. You can stop them but it can be very difficult to be honest it’s hard to stop either one of these teams as they force you to make things difficult. A massive game for both sides looking so secure European places. It would be A make or break game as we got prepared for match day 32 with six games remaining it was really starting to heat up as we got underway at the Stadio Olimpico.
The match kicked off as the big prime time matchup between two of Italy’s best sides would begin when P. Giacomelli blew his whistle to start the game on a Saturday afternoon in Rome. Like you would expect it was an evenly matched game with both teams in control of their own fate as we saw precision passing from both teams. The defenses were also doing very well early getting in the way of shots take early in it looked like it was going to be a defensive battle. The first real chance of the game would come in the 8th minute when Atalanta’s Bryan Cristante fouled Roma captain Danielle De Rossi on the left wing of the box giving roma the free kick. Danielle De Rossi would send in the free kick from the wing; his cross would connect with Fazio as he found the Argentine in the center of the box but Fazio’s header was saved by the keeper. Atalanta came in with an almost immediate response just a few minutes after Roma’s scoring chance. As the Romans would get a first look at Roma bound Franck Kessie as he would get a chance as he would show his length; Kessie would strike a ball from distance hitting a shot from 35 meters out but would miss just to the left an ambitious try by the midfielder. Atalanta would keep their momentum going getting two back to back chances. Andrea Petagna taking a shot from deep hitting it from outside the box but it would be poorly taken. Jasmin Kurtic would also go from deep not long after but once again a poorly taken shot as Szczęsny was unchallenged. It was a game that would go back and forth with the momentum changing very frequently. Roma would get back on it getting a few changes of their own and we approached the 20 minute mark of the first half. A Foul by Jasmin Kurtic would set up another free kick situation and Danielle De Rossi would cross it in to find Fazio yet again; Fazio would get his head to it but this time he would miss wide. At his size it’s not surprising to see Roma trying to give Fazio the ball in the box. A few minutes later Raja Nainggolan tried to connect with Edin Dzeko off a corner. Dzeko would receive the ball in the middle of park tried to blast it in as Dzeko had too much power on the shot as it went over. Roma did seem to start gaining control of the game but like I have said all season it only takes one good chance to score a goal and that’s exactly what happened. Atalanta took advantage of their opportunity when on the break Andrea Conti sent a pass into an open Jasmin Kurtic who was at the top of the box and the Slovenian would slot it in the bottom left corner to give Atlanta the 1-0 lead. Horrific defense displayed by Roma as they left him unguarded allowing him to get in the right position to score the goal. Roma were on trouble as they knew what a dropped point would mean for the title challenge. It was a very defensive game it would be Atalanta’s last shot of the half but Roma were able to put together a few more chances before the break. Mario Rui tried to bring Roma back not long after with a well taken strike from outside the box but his shot was saved in the top corner. Then deep in the second half Roma would get two good chances to try to equalize before the end of the half. Danielle De Rossi this time would be on the receiving end of the cross; Raja Nainggolan would send a cross into De Rossi late in the first half but De Rossi’s header was saved by the keeper. The two would connect in practically the same play in stoppable time when Raja Nainggolan would send another cross into De Rossi but once again De Rossi’s header was just off as it went too high. After the first 45 minutes Atalanta would go into the break with a 1-0 lead thanks to a Jasmin Kurtic goal.
Roma's Danielle De Rossi Shows Frustration in the first half of Roma's 1-1 Draw against Atalanta
Roma weren’t playing the way they are capable of they have yet to get Edin Dzeko really involved in the game I’m sure it’s something that was excessed over the break as Dzeko is the best chance Roma have at a comeback. Danielle De Rossi and Fazio have been Roma’s breakout stars so far in this game both players getting some good chances it will be key to continue to involve them in the second half. Roma would make one change going into the second half as Luciano Spalletti went to his bench; he brought in Bruno Peres to replace Kosta Manolas who was have an absolute horror show of a game. Roma when in this situation always shows they have fight and the Giallorossi would fight back. It only took 5 minutes into the second half. In the 50th minute Mario Rui Sent a deep cross into the box to Mouhamed Salah; the Egyptian would give a header pass to Dzeko who was nearby and the Bosnian would place it in the bottom right corner to equalize for Roma to make it 1-1. It would be Edin Dzeko’s league leading 25th goal of the season and 35th goal in all competitions. The Bosnian has been nothing short of sensational this season. The goal was assisted by Mouhamed Salah giving him his 10th assist this season becoming Roma’s only player this season to have double figures in both goals and assists he been pretty special this year as well. At this point the tide turned as Roma began to run raid on the Atalanta goal. After receiving a corner Raja Nainggolan sent in a cross off the corner into the box to Danielle De Rossi who would take a shot from the inside of the box to try to put Roma up but missed to the left. A Very good chance for Roma De Rossi has been unbelieve all game on both sides of the ball. Three minutes later Raja Nainggolan would get a chance of his own after receiving the ball from Salah he would go for distance hitting it from outside the box but it went too high. The onslaught just continued and continued for Roma as no less than two minutes later there was another scoring chance. This time it was Rudiger took a shot from deep after receiving the ball from Perotti but the German would miss to the left. It was still heating up less than a minute later Dzeko send a ball to Diego Perotti and the Argentine hit the ball from outside the box but his shot was saved by the keeper. The second half dominance would continue as Raja Nainggolan would give Roma perhaps Roma best chance in the second half. After receiving the ball from Perotti near the right side of the box the Belgium International would smash a perfectly taken shot at the right side of the box but he would hit the inside of bar as Roma were denied once again. Over a 15 minute period Roma had 9 shots very unlucky not to have scored; some of the shots weren’t the best but the chances were endless. Atalanta barley had a sniff in the second half as they we just trying to lay back and take the point. Which given how Roma plays at home a draw is their main objective. Over the next 10 minutes it became more or less a very defensive from both teams other than roma having a few shots blocked. Roma still was very much in control of their own destiny as they had time to get the one goal to keep their title race alive. After a ten minute period with not much action Atalanta tried to get themselves in front; when Bryan Cabezas to a shot from the side of the box but missed as it was poorly taken it would be their last shot of the game. Roma would than go to the bench for the 2nd time as Stephen El Shaarawy would come in for Danielle De Rossi. De Rossi played brilliant all game to me has been man of the match earning the rest as El Shaarawy would come to help the charge. Right after the sub was made Roma would get another chance with Fazio as El Shaarawy delivered the cross into the 6’5 defender but his header miss just a little high. Fazio has got into several good chances off several crosses you can’t fault him as he did everything he could he has been one of Roma best players in this match despite not scoring from his chances. With 5 minutes to ago Roma would make one final change to give a late push as Francesco Totti replaced Diego Perotti. It would be Francesco Totti’s 782nd appearance in the Roma shirt. Totti would connect with Salah in stoppage time to give Roma one last chance to nick a late winner for Roma. Totti would send a cross into Salah but his shot was blocked than in the closing minutes Totti would connect with Rudiger off a corner and the German got his foot to it but it would be cleared away as P. Giacomelli blew his whistle for full time as Roma only getting a point as the title hunt ends.
Edin Dzeko Scores his 35th Goal of the Season in the Second Half Of Roma's 1-1 Draw at Home vs Atlanta
With the loss it is most likely to end of the title race as Juventus will in all likelihood capture the Serie A title for the 6th year in a row. The sequence of the seven chances they had midway through the second half did it they had some many good chances during that period that caused the result in my opinion. They just had to score there very disappointing result for the Romans. The Man of the Match is shared this week with Danieele De Rossi and Fazio both players did everything possible to get the right result despite not being able to win the match they showed their brilliance. Roma follow this up when the team travels to 20th place Pescara to try to make it 2 wins out of 2 against the Serie A bottom feeders beyond that game they will face tough match ups against Lazio and against AC Milan at home. Roma remain in second with 72 points but Napoli’s will 3-0 over Udinese the point difference is reduced to 2 points but I still believe that they will get second this season. With this latest result the title race is now surly over and Spalletti’s future now will be surely under threat as a departure now seems likely.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Danielle De Rossi and Fazio
Next Match: @ Pescara Monday, April 24th, 2017
BY THE NUMBERS
On Target: 5
Passing Accuracy: 86%
On Target: 1
Passing Accuracy: 71%
TOP OF THE TABLE
1. Juventus 25-2-4 80Pts
2. A.S Roma 23-3-6 72Pts
3. Napoli 21-7-4 70Pts
4. S.S Lazio 18-7-6 61Pts
5. Atalanta 18-5-8 59Pts
BOTTOM OF THE TABLE
16. Genoa 7-9-15 30Pts
17. Empoli 6-818 26Pts
18. Crotone 5-6-21 21Pts
19. Palermo 3-7-21 16Pts
20. Pescara 2-8-22 14Pts