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Chiesa Di Totti - All Posts

Cautiously Optimistic Since 2007

Updated: 2017-09-23T17:09:56+02:00


El Shaarawy Powers Roma to 3-1 Victory Over Udinese



The Pharaoh reigned supreme today.

While Udinese aren’t exactly titans of the industry, the Zebras from the steps of the Alps presented a greater challenge than either of Roma’s recent domestic opponents, Verona and Benevento. As such, Eusebio Di Francesco opted for a slightly more experienced lineup, returning Radja Nainggolan, Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman to the starting lineup, while opting for the seldom, if ever, seen frontline of Stephan El Shaarawy, Diego Perotti and Edin Dzeko.

Roma and Udinese would trade minor barbs for ten minutes or so, with Udinese threatening in the match’s first minutes, but Dzeko would continue his scintillating form, scoring his 22nd goal in as many matches.

Edin Dzeko: 12th Minute

This may have been an own goal, but check out that sick move from Dzeko! With a quick jab step, Dzeko completely shook the Benevento defender out of his boots and slipped right behind him to force Benevento’s hand into committing this error. Dzeko appears like a lumbering beast at times, but he’s a surprisingly gifted athlete.


Even without seeing this match, you can tell simply from those clips what Roma’s modus operandi was; get the ball out wide, using their advantage in skill and athleticism to stretch the Wizards defense, and then pump it into Dzeko. And fortunately for EDF, it seems as though Dzeko has gotten over his week two blues and picked up right where he left off last season. He may not keep pace with Paulo Dybala this season, but Dzeko seems a lock for a 20-25 goal season.

However, if we had to issue a caveat against Verona, increase the font size and highlight that shit after this match. Benevento is barely a professional football club at this point. In four matches they’ve scored one goal while allowing 14, two of which they scored themselves tonight. But once again, the true value of a match like this is building momentum.

While they should be able to weather the rest of this month—home against Udinese and away to Qarabag—October is absolutely littered with landmines, so whatever esprit de corps they can develop now will go a long way towards helping them slog through that hellacious stretch of matches.

So that’s it for now, Roma welcomes the Zebras to the Olimpico on Saturday.

Roma v. Benevento: Lineups & Match Discussion



Serie A, Week 5

Roma: Alisson; Bruno Peres, Fazio, Juan Jesus, Kolarov; Strootman, Gonalons, Pellegrini; Under, Dzeko, Perotti

Roma bench: Antonucci, Castan, Defrel, De Rossi, El Shaarawy, Florenzi, Gerson, Lobont, Moreno, Skorupski

Benevento: Belec; Letizia, Venuti, Lucioni, Di Chiara; Chibsah, Cataldi, Memushaj; Puscas, Coda, Lazaar

Benevento bench: Armenteros, Brignoli, Chibsah, Del Pinto, Di Chiara, Gyamfi, Kanoute, Lombardi, Piscitelli, Puscas, Viola

Roma Take the Battle to Benevento


A new club on the road in an unfamiliar stadium...gulp. After a sputtering start to their 2017-2018 Serie A campaign, Roma clapped back in a big way over the weekend, dusting off Verona in a 3-0 romp at the Olimpico. While that resounding victory won’t silence all her critics, Roma seems newly resolved now that they’ve rallied around the flag. Fortunately for Eusebio Di Francesco, the fixture list has provided another seemingly soft serve opponent, Serie A debutants Benevento Calcio, holders of perhaps the best crest in all of football...the wizards! So, will Roma be able to hand this gaggle of Harry Potters or are they bound to be cursed the minute they enter the Stadio Ciro Vigorito. Through four matches, the Wizards have yet to score a goal or garner a single point. Life in the big time is tough, doubly so if it’s your first trip to the Serie A party. Benevento v. Roma: September 20, 18:00 CET/12:00 EDT.Stadio Ciro Vigorito, Benevento With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at this match, which is potentially full of pitfalls. Clever Hogwarts Reference I don’t know enough about fictional adolescent English wizards to make a clever subtitle, so we’ll be plain and obvious. Having said that, facing a club for the first time, and on the road no less, can and has spelled doom for Roma before, so we can’t simply assume this will be a walkover. Benevento may be new to Serie A, but they do have a few familiar faces to Roma fans. The Wizards feature former Atalanta midfielder Marco D’Alessandro as well as former Roma farmhand Luca Antei, but the real peacock of this club is Amato Ciciretti, Benevento’s number ten and himself a born and bred Roman. But that’s really about it, Benevento is largely a club built on loanees, taking in youngsters from everyone from Juventus to Newcastle to Pescara. Surviving in Serie A, and hell even cracking 20 points, will be a tremendous challenge for Benevento this season. But, new opponent, unfamiliar stadium, uncertain tactics...bad things could happen, folks. Bad things. Roma, Renergized As we mentioned in and around last weekend’s Verona match, Roma simply needed a decisive victory to even their keel. No PK fueled victories, no free kick bailouts, just a balls to the wall display of attacking football; that was the only way Roma could fend off the tide of negative press. And hey, look at that, that’s precisely what they did. Led by a fresh injection of young blood (Lorenzo Pellegrini, Stephan El Shaarawy and Cengiz Under), Roma looked like a completely different side from the one that was repeatedly frustrated by Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid. Pellegrini and Alessandro Florenzi dominated the right hand side of the pitch, while El Shaarawy and Under did just enough to create chances and space for Edin Dzeko. It was everything EDF could have possibly hoped for when he took the job, a seamless and succinct attack ebbing and flowing from the midfield outwards. So, the natural question as we head into this match is simply, who plays? Will EDF continue to ride the youth wave or will he harken back to Kevin Strootman, Diego Perotti and Bruno Peres, among others? Squad rotation is always a point of contention for Roma fans, a fact suddenly made worse given the depth and breadth of talent at EDF’s disposal; call it a Catch-22. Fortunately for Mr. Di Francesco, with such a timid opponent lining up against them, he has a convenient excuse to continue play kids in need of development, saving the heavy hitters for Udinese over the weekend and the crucial Champions League trip to Azerbaijan on the 27th. Tactics and 4-3-3 aside, the extent to which Di Francesco incorporates all this vibrant young talent should be the subplot of the season. Pellegrini, Under, Schick, Karsdorp and even El Shaarawy are at critical points in their development, so getting them consistent and meaningful minutes will be crucial for their progression and Roma’s fight for the top three. At this point, some 24 hours before kickof[...]

Patrik Schick Out with Hip Injury



For a guy who's only played 16 minutes with the club, Patrik Schick’s career couldn’t be any more Roma if he tried. Schick was the subject of nearly unprecedented hype prior to signing with Roma, provoking the usual highs and lows that come with following this club, with many wondering whether or not his heart would hold out, and I don’t mean that figuratively.

However, after passing his medical examinations, it seemed as though everything was hunky dory. After playing catch up with his new mates late in the summer, Schick made his club debut over the weekend against Verona, and once again in keeping with the chaos that is this club, gave people visions of grandeur after roughly 18 seconds.

With his first touch in a Roma shirt, Schick awkwardly cut in from the right before slipping past a defender with gazelle-like grace and nearly firing one past the keeper. It perfectly encapsulated the delirious highs and crushing lows that come with following this club. So in that sense, Schick is the perfect Roma player.

So, of course, it should come as no surprise that he is injured once more, having been felled by a pulled hip flexor. Now, I’m not medical expert, but this seems like the sort of injury that may have been caused in part by his lack of a pre-season, so let’s keep our fingers crossed he heals quickly.

With or without Schick, Roma should be able to weather the Benevento storm on Wednesday...we hope.