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.
Il Tempo (Adriano Serafini) He doesn’t leave for some time yet, but Roma are already starting to feel his absence. Maybe it’s because his hat-trick against Bologna is still fresh in the memory, or maybe it’s just because no one at Trigoria will be smiling when he goes. Either way, the Giallorossi have two things they want to do while Mohamed Salah is away at the African Cup of Nations. Firstly they want (and need) to go back into the transfer market to look for a replacement who can fill the void left by the Egyptian, and secondly Roma will initiate contact with the player’s entourage in the coming months to discuss a new contract extension.
La Stampa (Matteo De Santis) A perfect home record, with 18 points from 6 games at the Olimpico, and the most prolific attack in the league have not only made sure that Roma remain in second place but also stopped Juventus from establishing an even bigger lead. A week after seeing their own Skorupski perform miracles at Empoli, Roma were back with 3 goals against Bologna, all scored by Salah (with the considerable assistance of Masina for the first one). Two points gained on Napoli and Lazio, none lost on Milan or Juventus, and to top it all they are the league’s top scorers with 29 (20 of which have been scored or created by Dzeko and Salah), 2 more than Torino. Spalletti can therefore feel relaxed going into the international break.
Roma closed out the season with a comfortable win away at Milan, and had there been a few games more it’s possible that they would have edged out Napoli in the race for second. In the end it was a creditable third place finish, and the dour play in the latter stages of the Rudi Garcia era has been long forgotten after Luciano Spalletti took over for his second spell in charge of the club. There have been failings at all levels during the course of the season – from owners, directors and players, not to mention Franco Gabrielli and Roma’s relationship with the former prefect of Rome – but the club’s recovery in the second half of the season to secure Champions League football again mean it should be seen as a positive campaign overall. Continue reading
Roma are out of the Champions League after succumbing to Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, but while their exit may not have been unsurprising for long periods of the game it looked like it could have ended very differently. An aggregate defeat by a hefty 4-0 scoreline is hard to argue to be undeserved, but it’s certainly hard on Roma and combine the refereeing decisions from the first leg and the incredible amount of missed chances in the second leg and it’s certainly arguable that the Giallorossi had an opportunity to progress.
Roma marched onto 7 straight league wins on Friday night with a win over Fiorentina that was far more comfortable than was expected. Although the Viola were outclassed by Tottenham in the Europa League, they held Napoli to a draw last week and were unbeaten in 7 coming into the game. In the end though, Roma scored 4 and could have had a couple more, while Fiorentina’s only goal was a disputed penalty.
When Roma got drawn against Real Madrid in the Champions League last December, the consensus was that it was basically a walkover for the Spanish side. It’s a mark of how far Roma have come under Luciano Spalletti already that when the Giallorossi qualified for the last 16 they were jeered off by the fans, but after tonight’s 0-2 defeat against Real Madrid they were applauded off. For 90 minutes, Roma were their old selves: full of energy, tactical discipline and pride in the shirt – all instilled and restored under Spalletti’s charge.