La Gazzetta dello Sport (Andrea Pugliese) Statistically speaking, when something keeps happening, the more it occurs then the more it isn’t occurring by chance. This has now been made abundantly clear at Roma. It’s a bitter truth, particularly when it is connected with their aims and ambitions. Roma struggle away from home, they crumble, sometimes they collapse entirely, which is exactly what happened in the second half of yesterday’s game. Whether it’s self-inflicted or not, it’s up to Spalletti to understand what’s going on. What’s absolutely clear is that a team that has the minimum objective of getting back into the Champions League and harbours hopes of winning the scudetto cannot continue their run of 8 points in 7 away games. It’s a run that wouldn’t even result in a European place if it continues.
So far this season, Roma have only won against Napoli and Sassuolo away from home (3-1 on both occasions), paradoxically they were both excellent results. Then came draws with Cagliari (2-2) and Empoli (0-0) and defeats away to Fiorentina (1-0), Torino (3-1) and Atalanta, just yesterday. In total, 8 points have been collected, an average of 1.14 per game. Currently Roma are ranked 7th in the league for their away performances, behind Juventus (12 points in 6 games, an average of 2 per game), Milan, Atalanta and Fiorentina (all 10 points from 6, an average of 1.66), Napoli (11 from 7, average of 1.57) and Lazio (9 from 6, 1.5 per game). Not exactly the ideal route to finishing in one of the top spots.
It’s true that they have been unlucky not to pick up a couple of extra points, but in the end the league table doesn’t reflect luck, only the result on the pitch. “We aren’t able to reproduce what we can do at home when we play away,” new sporting director Ricky Massara said at the end of the game. “It’s a problem that needs correcting, although when we analyse the various games the one real regret we have is for the game at Cagliari, where we were 2-0 up. We struggle when games start to get a bit dirty.” And there we have it, maybe that’s the key to it all, in knowing how to win ugly, difficult games. If we think carefully about it, Spalletti also mentions that from time to time. He talks about having more personality, more character, more maturity in managing certain situations in games. That is the only way Roma will be able to have a part to play in the Champions League race. If they can’t manage that, it’s best not to think about what will happen.