Corriere dello Sport (Roberto Maida) The scudetto is a democratic republic, built on hard work. It must be done in a workmanlike manner, without any mistakes, in order to achieve the greatest of all results. So far, on home turf, Roma haven’t made a single mistake. Nor have Juventus, who saw off Lazio in the lunchtime kick-off. And with their victory against Cagliari, their 10th in 10 home league games this season, they have set a record they can be proud of. The players’ joy to the sounds of Grazie Roma is perfectly justifiable: despite a dull game, it was a result that went beyond yesterday evening’s opponents – who were too defeatist – and the league table – which saw them consolidate their position in 2nd place. It was a result that made history, and brought honour on the club.
Only the great Roma side from the Testaccio era, back in 1930, were able to win 13 home games in a row. The current Roma side have now equalled this run, if we’re purely looking at home/away games, but actually if we also consider the derby – which technically was an away game but was also played at the Olimpico – then thanks to Strootman’s and Nainggolan’s goals they have already actually beaten the record. 14 wins in a row in their home stadium, which has sometimes resembled a vacuum because of the empty seats and lack of atmosphere due to the Curva Sud’s protests, but has nonetheless allowed the team to pursue their dreams – at least since Spalletti returned.
If we just look at their league form, Roma have won every game since 20th April, 2016. That, however, was not just any date: it was the 30th anniversary of one of the worst possible games any Roma fan can think of – the defeat (at the Olimpico) against an already relegated Lecce side which cost them a title they already seemed to have won. Their revival, which sees them once again in a duel with Juventus, clearly had to start on a day that Totti (who was one of those pained supporters back in 1986) showed his magic as he scored twice to turn the game around against Torino and earn his side a vital 3 points in their race for a Champions League spot. Yesterday, Totti remained on the bench as Dzeko scored the record-equalling goal.
Along this illustrious, record-equalling path, Roma have beaten Napoli, Chievo (twice), Udinese, Sampdoria, Crotone, Inter, Palermo, Bologna, Pescara, Lazio, Milan and, yesterday evening, Cagliari – some more easily than others. The magnificent Roma team which saw off all comers to Testaccio 87 years ago won every game between 16th March to 16th November, 1930 – 8 months exactly – before finally falling at the 14th hurdle against Lazio. The current team have already gone more than 9 months without dropping a point.
All this despite having a half-empty Olimpico. The move to drop prices to bring fans back to the Curva Sud for the Coppa Italia game against Sampdoria worked, but didn’t bring lasting results – only 5,000 people bought tickets for yesterday’s game. Roma have obviously got used to winning without having the thunderous support of their own fans. It was certainly a different atmosphere at Testaccio.