Corriere dello Sport (Alberto Polverosi) Napoli won with another fantastic brace from Mertens and now the race for second place has opened up again, but the race for the title is now almost certainly over after yesterday’s game. Roma will fall 10 points behind Juve, if the reigning champions win in Udine. While the league table might now be a bit more of a cause for concern, as are the 3 consecutive defeats at the Olimpico in 3 different competitions, more pressing for Spalletti are some bitter reflections on his team’s mistakes (as well as his own), on the declining physical condition of his team and on their inability to react to things going wrong, both from one game to the next and within the 90 minutes themselves.
Kevin Strootman will be available for Roma’s upcoming fixtures against Milan and Juventus after his 2 match suspension for simulation was overturned on appeal.
Corriere dello Sport (Guido D’Ubaldo) Roma’s grounds for appeal have been considered admissible, and their appeal will be heard at 10am tomorrow [9am UK time] at the court of appeal for sports on via Campania. General director Mauro Baldissoni and lawyer Antonio Conte (an expert on sports law, who drafted the letter of appeal) will represent the Giallorossi, and Kevin Strootman, who will be in Bucharest tonight for Roma’s final Europa League game against Astra Giurgiu, will probably be there as well.
laroma24.it (Gabriele Conflitti) Jurisprudence. The science of law, invented – coincidentally – by the Romans. 2,000 years later, it is now being practiced against them with arguably deliberate precision. The Giudice Sportivo has once again decided to use its powers to use Roma as a guinea pig, experimenting on them using methods that have never been practiced before. Strootman’s suspension is just the latest example of a series of unfortunate coincidences – the Giallorossi have had to pay a heavy price for the existence of previously unused laws and regulations over the years.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (Chiara Zucchelli) By 7pm, 2 hours after the court of sporting justice announced their decision, Kevin Strootman had been trending on Twitter for some time. People were talking on social media and on Roman radio stations, and for once (almost) everyone was in agreement: “Leave Kevin alone, there was no simulation”. According to Romanisti, the Dutchman’s collapse to the floor was “possibly excessive, but caused by the fact he felt he might be about to be hit from behind.” One guy on the radio accurately said that, “If he really wanted to simulate, he would have stayed on the ground, stone dead.”
Roma have already confirmed that they will appeal against the 2 match ban imposed on Kevin Strootman, given retroactively for his actions during the derby and which will see him banned for the key games against Milan and Juventus in the likely event that the Giallorossi’s appeal is unsuccessful.
La Repubblica (Matteo Pinci) If you had given him a pen and paper before the game, he might not have been able to write a better story: running towards the Roma supporters, having scored the decisive goal in his first derby since his comeback. And what better occasion than a derby, with a place in the Champions League up for grabs, to go back to being the real Kevin Strootman.