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Chiesa Di Totti - All Posts

Cautiously Optimistic Since 2007

Updated: 2017-11-23T15:00:04+01:00


Griezmann’s Golazo: One Part Skill, One Part Shoddy Defense



Greizmann’s matchwinner was a stunner no doubt, but it was helped by a heaping handful of poor marking.

With everything and nothing to play for yesterday, Roma chose the middle ground; playing pacifist in the war for space on the pitch, doing just enough to mount a credible threat, while leaving the door open wide enough for Antoine Griezmann to bust it open like the frosted tip, faux-hawked Kool Aid man that he is.

And despite that lack of direction and the imprecision in attack, Roma was only a few moments away from advancing to the knockout stages of the Champions League. For the first hour or so of the match, it looked like Roma was going to hold on for a scoreless draw, making clinical tackles when they were needed most, bending but not breaking to the advancing Atletico attack.

But then something objectively wonderful and provincially perverse happened.

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Griezmann’s wonderful side-volley/bicycle kick was the perfect punctuation to Atletico’s victory, but when you run it back a few times, despite that beautiful individual effort from Griezmann, this goal looks more the result of poor space and positioning from Roma, and Kolarov in particular, than a completely undressing at the hands of Antoine Griezmann.

Let’s start from the beginning, the lob over the top from Fernando Torres.

Atletico forces a 3v2 in the box

While Roma had even numbers in defense at the outset of this play, with Kostas Manolas closing down on Torres, Atletico gained the numerical advantage at the edge of the 18 yard box. Moreover, with Fazio sliding over to cover Kevin Gameiro on the right, both Correa and Griezmann had open channels to make runs to the near and far posts, respectively.

There’s nothing terribly wrong with what Roma did there, it’s just an illustrative example of how Atletico’s passing, space and movement created numerical/opportunistic advantages in the final third. The payoff, as you’ll see, came a split second later when they made use of that odd-man rush, to borrow a hockey term.

First, the goal in gif form:

Atletico Madrid vs. AS Roma, live stream: Time, TV schedule and how to watch Champions League online



A draw, all we need is a draw. Where’s Rudi Garcia when you need him?


Location: Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid

Kick-off time: 20:45 CET, 3:45 EDT


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All Roma needs to advance is a draw, so will EDF play it safe or try and steal away a win at Atletico’s new palace?

Roma Look to Advance in Champions League Against Atletico Madrid


Top of the group with a position to book passage to the knockout stages certainly wasn’t in the cards back in August. Roma being within shouting distance of the Scudetto race was, even for the most ardent skeptics among us, at the very least plausible back in the fall. After all, they were returning the majority of their key players from 2016-2017’s record setting squad, and while they lost Mohamed Salah and Antonio Rudiger, their depth was markedly improved, while their new manager was familiar with Italian football and all its lovely idiosyncrasies. But this!? Who in their right mind expected this? Roma being top of a Champions League group that included English heavyweights Chelsea and an Atletico side that reached the semifinals in two straight seasons was probably a bridge too far for many of us late in the summer when their fates were case. Yet here we are, some six or seven weeks shy of the new year and that’s precisely where we stand: Roma gloriously perched atop Group C, one point ahead of second place Chelsea and five points ahead of third place Atletico Madrid, needing only a draw to advance. Atletico Madrid v. Roma: November 22, 20:45 CET/2:45 EST. Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid. However, before we discuss this match, a quick look back to the first leg at the Olimpico. Last Match September 12: Roma 0, Atletico Madrid 0 src="" style="border: 0; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no"> Eusebio Di Francesco’s first Champions League match as a manager was certainly a tense affair, as Roma were deemed underdogs with the might of Atletico Madrid and their matinee idol, Antoine Griezmann, coming to town. While EDFs attack wasn’t yet at its pristine peak (only one shot on target), he received stellar turns from Alisson Becker, Kostas Manolas and (gasp) Bruno Peres. It was the first true glimpse of something to which we’ve grown accustomed in the intervening months: incredible keeper play buttressed by a well organized and calculating backline. So, what happens tomorrow? Will it be a defensive stalemate or an end-to-end thriller? Wednesdays With Wanda In any other circumstance, walking into Atletico’s glimmering new arena in a must-win would be a DOA for Roma, but this isn’t your normal Roma. This Roma, thanks to a new found determinism, is actually in first place (I just had to type that again because I’m not sure I believe it) and need only a draw to advance through to the next round. UEFA Group C Permutations The unfortunate part of this equation is, quite simply, this is a must win for Atletico, so you can expect them to throw everything but the kitchen sink at Roma tomorrow. The problem for Atletico has been that everything hasn’t amounted to much of anything for Los Colchoneros (The Mattressers...really?) as they’ve struggled mightily in this season, drawing ten times in all competitions, including six in La Liga and three so far in the Champions League. And while a draw would technically keep Atletico alive in the group, it’s really an all or naught proposal for the Spaniards, which means the burden may be on Roma’s defense to hold firm on the road, something they’ve done for, what, 12 consecutive matches now? That doesn’t necessarily ensure anything, mind you, but it should once again provide some solace that this isn’t your mother’s Roma. A few calamities notwithstanding, since Luciano Spalletti took over in the winter of 2016, and now with EDF kicking it up another notch, Roma is no longer the side that wets the bed the minute the monsters crawl out from underneath. So while they may be blinded by the Wanda and all her modern conveniences, not to mention Griezmann’s good looks, this Roma won’t wilt on the grand stage. With Daniele De Rossi, Radja Nainggolan, Kevin Strootman, Kostas Manolas and Aleksandar Kolarov in tow, Roma has more than enough muscle to bleed Madrid[...]

Serie A Title Race Update


A look at the upcoming fixtures for the Scudetto contenders For the first time in what feels like forever, Juventus’ reign over Serie A has become tenuous. A loss to Sampdoria over the weekend has left Juve in third behind Napoli and Inter, with Roma just a measly point behind. The next few weeks are vital to Roma’s Scudetto aspirations, so lets take a look at the upcoming fixtures for the title contenders, which include the aforementioned clubs as well as Lazio, who are still in the thick of the title race despite the loss to Roma over the weekend. Napoli Home vs Shakhtar Donetsk – 11/21 Away to Udinese – 11/26 Home vs Juventus – 12/1 Away to Feyenoord – 12/6 Home vs Fiorentina – 12/10 Probably the second toughest group of fixtures behind Juve’s, Napoli’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds of the Champions League rest on the upcoming fixtures against Shakhtar and Feyenoord. A failure to gain a positive result against the Ukranians, and Napoli are likely to go all in on Serie A and treat the Feyenoord game much less seriously. Inter Milan Away to Cagliari – 11/25 Home vs Chievo – 12/3 Away to Juventus – 12/9 Home vs TBD (Coppa Italia) – 12/13 The lightest workload of the contenders by virtue of no European competition, Inter’s most difficult test is clearly going to the Allianz and facing Juve for what very well could be for the opportunity to jump up to the top of the table. Juventus Home to Barcelona – 11/22 Away to Crotone – 11/26 Away to Napoli – 12/1 Away to Olympiacos – 12/5 Home to Inter – 12/9 Easily the toughest series of matches in comparison to their fellow title contenders, starting with a brutal matchup against Barcelona, who are on a brilliant run of form. Stretches such as this one can make-or-break a season, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Juve beat both Napoli and Inter and reclaim a spot at the top of the table. Lazio Home vs Vitesee – 11/23 Home vs Fiorentina – 11/26 Away to Sampdoria – 12/3 Away to Zulte Waregem – 12/7 Home vs Torino – 12/11 Two tricky away games sandwiched between three home games, Lazio can ill afford to lose any more ground in the title race, as they are already 7 points back of Napoli (albeit with a game in hand). Roma Away to Atletico Madrid – 11/22 Away to Genoa – 11/26 Home vs SPAL – 12/1 Home vs Qarabag – 12/5 Away to Chievo – 12/10 This stretch of games is Roma’s chance to leapfrog the three teams in front of them, as they play a couple of Serie A’s bottom feeders while the other top teams beat each other up. A positive result against Atleti will be crucial in order to keep the current momentum going. EDF’s rotations should serve Roma well in this stretch of games, regardless of the result in Madrid. Fingers crossed Roma are at the top of the table by mid-December. Forza Roma! [...]

Eusebio Di Francesco Has Created a More Resolute Roma


Eusebio Di Francesco seems to have instilled a new mentality in the capital. Rewind back to week two of the Serie A season. Judas (Spalletti) was in town with his new Inter side looking to exact revenge on his old employer. And he did just that. The type of result that we’d become all too accustomed to as Roma tifosi played out in front of our very own eyes yet again. Roma were the better side for the majority of the match at the Olimpico. However, it was Inter who escaped with all three points winning by a very misleading 3-1 scoreline. The Giallorossi went up within 15 minutes thanks to Edin Dzeko and continued to push for a second goal. However, they couldn’t find that second goal after hitting the post multiple times. Then when Mauro Icardi found an equalizer in the 67th minute Roma crumbled. They couldn’t recover mentally from the shock of being level after coming so close to potentially being up by multiple goals. The fragile Roma psyche which we’ve seen too many times in recent years reared it’s ugly head again. Fast forward just a few short months to today and it seems like so much has changed. Eusebio Di Francesco has seemingly been able to get this Roma side to shake that very undesirable trait which almost seemed to be ingrained in the Roma DNA. In recent weeks this Roma side has begun to do a complete 180 in pressure situations. No longer are they crumbling under the weight of the moment. Instead they have risen to every challenge since their 1-0 defeat to Napoli back in October. Of late Roma have showed a newfound mental toughness and grinta that has not only enabled them to hold on to narrow margins of victory but also comeback when it looked like all hope was lost. The two most glaring examples of this mental toughness that come to mind are at Chelsea in the Champions League and this past weekend in the Derby della Capitale vs Lazio. Roma went into Stamford Bridge coming off the aforementioned disappointing home defeat to Napoli just days earlier. To make matters worse Chelsea jumped out to a 2-0 cushion early on and the Giallorossi were in deep trouble. However, unlike in the past when Roma would’ve come completely unraveled and allowed the game get embarrassingly out of hand (see past Champions League games v Man United, Barca, and Bayern), the 2017/18 version of the squad saw Roma fight back impressively. Not only did Roma fight back to tie the game they eventually took the lead before conceding a goal that saw the match end 3-3. Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Roma fought back valiantly to earn a point v Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League. Even though Roma couldn’t pull out the full three points, it was the kind of character building performance that showed that EDF’s Roma could play with the big boys of Europe. Roma drew plaudits both at home and abroad for a performance that had many believing that Chelsea were fortunate not to lose. All this after being down 2-0. Meanwhile, this past weekend, in what was probably the most important derby in terms of league position in recent memory, the Giallorossi again showed their best. Roma were the better team for the majority of the match and were finally able to jump out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Diego Perotti and Radja Nainggolan early in the second half. However, the last 20 minutes became nervy after the VAR found Kostas Manolas guilty of handling the ball in the box and Ciro Immobile converted from the spot. Suddenly the momentum had swung in a game where Roma hadn’t had any difficulty. However, unlike in past years where Roma would have likely either sweated out or blown similar games that they’d had in hand, EDF’s side defended steadily and withstood the late Lazio push allowing only two shots on target to hold on to the deserved 2-1 result. Despite the pressure applied by Lazio, Roma never wavered and really never felt at risk of blowing the lead[...]

Highlights of Roma’s 2-1 Victory Over Lazio



Because once is never enough.

In case you missed yesterday’s 2-1 romp over Lazio, we’ve got you covered...

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