Roma struggle to victory against Pescara but close gap with Juventus

La Repubblica (Francesca Ferrazza) Edin Dzeko has decided that he’s never going to stop scoring. In front of 23,000 fans against a modest Pescara side, the striker was head and shoulders above everyone else as he decided the match with 2 goals. It was his 5th brace of the season, in addition to a hat-trick in the Europa League. With 12 league goals and 17 in 20 games in all competitions this season, he is doing better for the Giallorossi than even Batistuta.

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Roma beat Pescara 3-2 (the 3rd goal was a penalty scored by Perotti), and although they closed the gap on Juventus to four points they struggled far too much in the second half, conceding two goals against the Abruzzesi side. Dzeko was very critical after the game, saying: “We need to improve, we won’t win the derby playing like that. I think about each game as it comes, as we all should. I don’t know what happens to us sometimes, tonight it was important that we won and we started well, but then we thought we’d won and we were losing the ball too often. It will be a different story in the derby, and we have to win it. I’ve scored 12 goals and feel good – I don’t just want to continue like this but I want to do even better.”

Next Sunday Roma will face Lazio, the first of 3 hard matches: Milan travel to the Olimpico after the derby, then comes the trip to Turin to face Juventus (17th December). A series of tests that will be crucial in understanding how far Roma have improved and how consistent they are.

Paredes was ruled out of the game yesterday morning due to an injury to his left ankle, and Spalletti chose to replace him with Gerson – his first start in Serie A – instead of De Rossi, who was given a rest ahead of the derby next week. The coach also believed that the game against Pescara was the ideal game to give the young Brazilian a chance instead of risking De Rossi.

Speaking of De Rossi, Baldissoni spoke about his contractual situation before the match, saying: “Like Totti, Daniele is a unique sort of player, and as a result his relationship with the club is both tangible and intangible. We’ll talk about his contract and I’m sure there won’t be a problem. There is no reason why it shouldn’t be extended but we won’t be hasty when we discuss it. You also always talk about Nainggolan and Manolas’ renewals, but I guarantee that the waiting list for renewals is a long one. Many players are hoping for their deals to be improved, but we don’t believe there is a problem. They are under contract for a long time, and they’re part of the normal conversations that go on between a club and its players.”

The Giallorossi director also spoke about the black outs that the team has frequently had, like yesterday. “This club has had this characteristic for a number of years. I think it’s partly linked to the city. Sometimes higher expectations are an obstacle, sometimes they can be a great advantage. Expectations have increased a huge amount here, but the team has been working hard and they’re a strong side. It’s difficult to maintain high levels of concentration, it’s a mental problem and it’s hard to work on people’s emotions.”

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