Roma left “crushed” by defeat to Sampdoria

La Repubblica (Fabrizio Bocca) That blow hit hard. When Luciano Spalletti was asked, nearly an hour and a quarter after Samp’s 3-2 win against Roma had finished, how the players were feeling, he thought for a moment and replied “crushed”. Indeed, you might well feel “crushed” if you arrived in Genoa dreaming of overtaking Juve – it was hardly guaranteed that they would win against Sassuolo in Reggio Emilia – only to see those dreams slip away after taking a beating.

To summarise: they conceded 3 goals to a Samp side who, instead of being fragile and low on confidence, seemed as though they were fighting for a Champions League place; the gap to Juventus extended from -4 (really, it’s -7); they approached the game like a friendly, vastly underestimating their opponent; a fifth away defeat underlines Roma’s clear reliance on getting results at the Olimpico; and title ambitions are now just a purely mathematical hypothesis or empty pub talk.

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Edin Dzeko: Some fans can’t wait to criticise me, but I want to win at Roma

Il Messaggero (Alessandro Angeloni, Stefano Carina, Massimo Caputi and Ugo Trani) People have said that, as a person, he’s a different class and someone who is culturally above average. After spending about an hour with him at Trigoria, we can confirm that’s true: Edin Dzeko is a different class, and culturally above average. A man of substance, not just playing the act. He’s philosophical. He’s simple, sincere, serene. Cheerful. He also smiles when he talks about his mistakes and the insults directed at him. He’s slightly surprised when he sits down to see multiple cameras and four open notebooks in front of him. “How many of you are there?” he exclaims, as if to ask why there is so much attention being given to him. “This isn’t an interview, it’s a forum,” Edin jokes. It soon becomes a – very simple – conversation, which Dzeko uses to tell his story. “If you have any problems, just speak in English,” we suggest to him. But he chooses not to: he always speaks in Italian, however he can, even when he inevitably finds a hole in his vocabulary and struggles to find the right words. Edin stops, thinks, finds the right word (and if he doesn’t find it, he invents one) and carries on, just like he does after he misses a chance in front of goal. Mistakes, (pot)holes, we’re used to everything in Rome. “Rome is a wonderful city, especially for someone who has lived in places like Manchester and Wolfsburg. Of course, it can be difficult to drive around – the streets are like Sarajevo’s after the bombing. You can see that it’s a city in difficulty, in crisis. It needs investment, the streets can’t be left abandoned like this.”

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Is this the best Roma side of the last 10 years?

Il Tempo (Alessandro Austini) There is belief, and there needs to be like never before. Roma are sat just 1 point behind Juventus, though this should be multiplied by 4 given that the Bianconeri should easily win their game in hand against Crotone on 8th February. Even so, that gap is hardly big enough for fans to stop dreaming. It has been a very open title race so far and will continue to be if Roma and Juventus continue to perform on the pitch, where they have been winning all their home games but dropping a few points on the road. The difference, leaving the match they played against each other to one side, is those wretched draws the Giallorossi got at Cagliari and Empoli – the 4 points they dropped in those games have given Allegri a sense of security. But Spalletti’s hopes remain intact: as well as the recent positive signs he can also look back at recent seasons with interest. If we limit ourselves to the last decade, Roma have never been so close to the top of the table after 21 games, from the 11 point gap in 2006/07 to Mancini’s Inter, when Spalletti himself was in charge and the league was getting used to the after-effects of Calciopoli, to the 12 point deficit to Napoli last season: the club’s lowest point came after their defeat in the Juventus Stadium on matchday 21 but was the prelude to the Giallorossi’s remarkable resurgence back up the Serie A table to make up 10 points on Sarri’s side, who in the meantime had been overtaken by Juventus.

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Spezia’s spectre looms over Roma ahead of Coppa Italia clash with Sampdoria

AS Roma Match Program (Tiziano Riccardi) A lot has changed in 400 days. Everything has changed in 400 days. Exactly 400 days ago – no more, no less – it was 16th December, 2015, and Roma were playing Spezia at the Stadio Olimpico in a Coppa Italia Round of 16 game. The game had to be decided on the night, and the winner would reach the quarter finals to play Lega Pro side Alessandria. Spezia were a mid-table Serie B side, so on paper it shouldn’t have been a tough ask. Garcia’s Roma weren’t in the best form, but it was a game they expected to win.

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Roma dreaming of the scudetto

Il Tempo (Tiziano Carmellini) It’s OK to dream, and it’s free. Roma followed up their positive start to the year with another crucial three points away in Udine, but most of all they made the most of Juventus’ slip up as the league leaders were defeated by Sousa’s side in Florence. The defeat showed that, after all the effort that they have put into recent games, Juventus (like all great sides) can be beaten and the leaders now find themselves in a slightly more fragile position.

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Genoa 0-1 Roma – tactical analysis: Roma beat Genoa at their own game

L’Ultimo Uomo (Dario Saltari) When the game kicked off yesterday, there were a number of similarities between Genoa and Roma that would have been almost unthinkable at the start of the season. Both teams lined up with a 3-man defence: Genoa with Izzo, Burdisso and Muñoz; Roma with Juan Jesus, Fazio and Rudiger. Both teams lined up with a heavy emphasis on using their left wing: Genoa lined up with a 3-5-2 formation, although Ocampos was essentially operating as a wide forward; Roma were in a 3-4-2-1 that was weighted towards Perotti, shifting to a 4-2-3-1 when Bruno Peres ventured forward into the final third. Both teams aimed to make the most of their physicality and intensity.

At the end of August, not many people would have thought that there would be so many similarities between Genoa and Roma at the start of January. For many reasons.

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