AS Roma Match Prgram (Tiziano Riccardi) The UEFA Cup/Europa League Round of 16 hasn’t been kind to Roma fans for a long time. For nearly 20 years, in fact. The Lira was still being used in Italy, Massimo D’Alema was Prime Minister and Francesco Rutelli led the Roman government. Their last success in this round came on 8th December 1998 in Switzerland, in the Letzigrund-Stadion, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception: Zeman’s Giallorossi drew 2-2 against Lima’s FC Zurich (the same Lima who played for Roma between 2001 and 2004) and led by coach Ponte (not the DJ Gabry, but the coach Raimondo). The draw was enough for the capital club to reach the quarter finals.
Corriere dello Sport (Guido D’Ubaldo) Roma left it until the last possible moment to reach the Coppa Italia semi-final. It needed a penalty from Totti, scored in the 7th minute of injury time, to seal the Giallorossi’s qualification to a two-legged tie against Lazio. Roma made life difficult for themselves against Cesena, who are currently in the relegation zone in Serie B, and were on the verge of going to extra time. Camplone’s team troubled the Giallorossi even in the first half, when they hit the post and created more opportunities than Roma. In the second half, after Dzeko had scored the opener, Garritano scored an equaliser and it took a last minute penalty for Roma to win a game that should have been a gimme. Roma looked distracted, particularly in defence where Manolas was a shadow of the player that has previously played so well this season.
Ex-Roma forward Antonio Cassano has said that his former-team mate Francesco Totti can keep playing at the highest level for Roma for at least another couple of seasons yet.
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.
Corriere dello Sport (Roberto Maida) Behind a great team there is always a great club. Roma are working towards achieving both, almost simultaneously, identifying and renewing every piece of the mosaic. This is why there is currently discussion at Trigoria about the possibility of selecting a new person to join the management team, a charismatic former player who can act as a link between the team, the club and the media. The model is, again, laid down by Juventus, who appointed Pavel Nedved to the board of directors in 2010 before promoting him, a year ago, to vice-president.
Il Corriere dello Sport (Roberto Maida) They were hoping for Francesco Totti, but they’ll get Riccardo Marchizza. The Austrian fans will be disappointed by this major absence, as Totti is suffering from a muscle problem he hasn’t quite been able to shake off, but they may also be preparing to see a completely new Roma side, full of the club’s excellent youngsters – freshly crowned Supercoppa champions – as their first team ravaged by injuries.
On the face of it, Roma’s 4-0 victory against Crotone appears to be the perfect antidote to last weekend’s late defeat against Fiorentina. Edin Dzeko scored twice, Stephan El Shaarawy notched his first of the season, Wojciech Szczesny saved a penalty, Francesco Totti played 90 minutes for the first time in 479 days and marked it with another sublime assist – all that was missing was for il Capitano to score his 250th league goal for the club.