Spark returns to Roma’s attack after routing Milan

Corriere dello Sport (Furio Fedele, Alberto Polverosi) Yesterday Spalletti played 4 forwards as well as Nainggolan, who can be considered a trequartista – or at least an attacking midfielder – by now. The 5 Giallorossi players contributed as follows. Edin Dzeko: a double and an assist for El Shaarawy, 5 shots of which 2 were on target (the goals). Mohamed Salah: an assist for Dzeko, winning a penalty and forcing a red card (for Paletta). Diego Perotti: a shot off the post and 4 shots. Stephan El Shaarawy: a goal and 3 shots in half an hour. Radja Nainggolan: a shot off the post and 5 shots. The Belgian was eventually substituted after sustaining muscle fatigue.

Milan vs Roma - Serie A Tim 2016/2017

Roma beat both Inter and Milan away from home this season for the third time (having previously done so in 2006/07 and 1954/55), and on this occasion the credit is largely down to their phenomenal attack. Roma have the league’s top goalscorer (Dzeko with 25 goals) and have now scored 79 goals in total in the league, just 2 less than Napoli and 8 more than Juventus. They hadn’t scored 4 goals away from home against Milan in Serie A since January 1935.

The first goal came about after the Egyptian won the ball off Deulofeu. He showed more desire to win the ball off him, exchanging passes with Dzeko before his final pass was converted in style by the Bosnian. It was a move in which Salah showed strength, stubbornness, technique, speed and concentration. Yesterday he had a clear desire to run, to sprint, and to attack. With the score at 3-1, he ran at Milan’s stretched and open defence, and got into the penalty area where he was brought down by Paletta, who was shown a red card. Salah has now made 7 assists for Dzeko, a Serie A record for the number of assists one team-mate has provided another. Moreover, the Egyptian is Roma’s only player to reach double figures in both goals and assists this season.

Spalletti was forced to make 2 changes from the derby following suspensions to Rudiger (Emerson Palmieri was played at right back, with Juan Jesus on the left) and Strootman (replaced by Paredes). But he also made an additional tactical change: El Shaarawy was dropped, having already been substituted at the end of the first half against Lazio for Bruno Peres, for Perotti, who came on after 19 minutes of the second half for Fazio. The change paid off because Perotti, who was substituted after exactly an hour due to an ankle problem, played outstandingly, and helped out in defence when required as well. He destroyed the unfortunate De Sciglio, taking him completely out the game, hit the post and was involved in creating numerous chances.

After scoring in San Siro as a Romanista, El Shaarawy explained how the post-derby revival came about. “We’ve made a strong statement, we told ourselves many times this week that these games were crucial and this is the result.” On Sunday evening, they play Juventus. “To beat them, we need to play a perfect game, combining all the good things we’ve done recently. We need everyone to be behind us and the victory against Milan will give us a lot of strength ahead of this challenge.” As for Totti being left out, “I think he’ll have his say at the end of the season, after the final 3 games. We, like Francesco, are focused on the league. He will be the one to decide what he wants to do.”

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