Roma show the key to Serie A is a prolific attack, not a tight defence

La Gazzetta dello Sport (Fabio Bianchi) Things were set in stone. It shouldn’t have been possible for them to change. But now the old cliché of Italian teams setting themselves up primarily not to concede goals has finally been turned on its head. Scoring is, finally, at the forefront of our league’s top sides. It’s the most obvious thing of all to say that to win you have to score goals. To score goals, teams need lots of attackers – and good ones. 20 years ago, the system changed to 3 points for a win, and this helped enormously. But recent seasons have shown a surge of goalscorers, particularly this season. We’re just past the halfway mark of the season, and you can clearly see that this scudetto race will be a race like few others.

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Should Roma be dreaming of catching Juventus or planning how to defend 2nd place?

Il Corriere della Sera (Gianluca Piacentini) As the dust settles after the defeat in the Juventus Stadium, Roma are caught between whether to think with their hearts or their heads. 7 points off top and just 1 point above 3rd place, despite the fact the Giallorossi have beaten both Napoli, Milan and Lazio, the question that Romanisti are asking themselves is whether they should continue to hope for an almost impossible comeback or try to hold onto 2nd place and devote all their energy to winning a trophy, given the fact that the last one they lifted (the Coppa Italia) was back in 2008, when Spalletti was first in charge.

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Curse of Juventus Stadium continues for Roma

Il Corriere della Sera (Luca Valdiserri) 100 points in the calendar year from 38 games, the equivalent to an entire season. 25 consecutive league victories at the Juventus Stadium, the last time they failed to win was the 1-1 draw with Frosinone on 23rd September, 2015, and their last defeat was the 0-1 loss at home to Udinese a month before that. Winter champions with two games to spare, Roma trailing 7 points behind them, Milan 8 points back. All in all a perfect Saturday for them in order to plan ahead for the second half of the season and manage their squad when the Champions League returns. Meanwhile they inflicted yet another defeat on the Giallorossi, who have often been their only credible rivals for the title in the last few years – at least until it comes to the head to head match. Higuain won his duel with Dzeko, helped by the fact his team weren’t just trying to pick him out with a long, high ball, but also thanks to his dual ability to be lethal when he is close to goal and unselfish when he is playing as the second striker to Mandzukic, in that odd but effective attacking setup.

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Wojciech Szczesny: Roma players need to be men not boys

Il Tempo (Adriano Serafini) The pair of them tried to carry Roma on their own, spurring on their team-mates and stopping the team from collapsing during the most delicate points of the game. They raised the overall standard of the team, but it wasn’t enough to help them get anything from the match. Of Nainggolan and Szczesny, it was the Polish goalkeeper who was clearly the more bitter of the two during the post-match interviews.

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Gonzalo Higuain all that separates Roma and Juventus

Il Tempo (Alessandro Austini) There’s nothing you can do. That was the refrain once more after the clash between the title challengers at the Juventus Stadium: Juventus won, as they have for the last 6 years here, but this time they weren’t at their best. In fact, Roma may have deserved a little more out of the game for their courage and domination of the ball, having got through a terrible start to face the countless challenges of the game head on. In the end, Higuain was the difference – the €94m man who is performing when it matters most: he decided the match against Napoli, the derby, and now yesterday’s game. As a result, Juve moved to +7 and are already winter champions, and can now focus on the Supercoppa against Milan and make preparations for when Serie A returns in 2017.

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