Roma 2 - Milan 3
It's fine to put a gloss on things and understand it's still only October, despite it already feeling like the longest season known to man, but it's also fine to assess the current situation: nothing really changed from pregame to postgame.
Milan's a better team than Roma.
Allegri's a better coach than Enrique.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is going to be the bane of Serie A's existence until some suspicious character with a pipe levels his knee and the playing field.
Simply put, Roma got outclassed.
That says nothing of the future, but here and now, no surprises. Milan played on nap mode for most of the game - that it was their fifth game in fourteen days with a trip to Belarus on the docket for tomorrow might've been a factor - scored their silver-platter chances, made exceedingly effective substitutions, and then turned on the gas at the end to bury the game, though it should've been 5-1 or so by the time Roma got its second. It's almost the performance of a champion, or something.
It was always going to be a long season, and Roma was never going to challenge for the scudetto. I think most behind the scenes accepted as much, and Transitional Year One is in full effect.
However, you still have to wonder about a few things:
Losing three of four while having the one win in that stretch held together by the twine of Maarten Stekelenburg's gloves isn't going to sit well in the locker room, you'd imagine. Whether the fans have patience or not is irrelevant; the players are another story. Human patience is finite.
Experiment in the threshold of athlete's mentality in full effect as well.
- The ability to assess Luis Enrique's substitutions would probably be aided by not being forced into using one up by the second half whistle every single game. Or having to hold one central defender sub in the chamber as well.
In fact, Enrique's been forced to use a sub on a CB in four of the last seven games. That's not typically ideal.
Osvaldo: Outside of about 20 seconds, his presence in the shirt has been more subtraction than addition. The confusion lies in that the production inside those 20 seconds counts for quite a bit.
Angels: Honeymoon's over, isn't it? Actually, it was over about six weeks ago. He's a talented attacker, but woefully incomplete as a defender. A job responsibility which, despite any delusions to the contrary, is still required of Roma.
- Remember back in the summer - the late summer - when everyone began worrying about the state of the defense as the entirety of the mercato had been focused upon the attacking midfield and forwards? That the defense had no chance to find some sort of cohesion?
Repercussions. Juan can't play ninety yet and is perpetually moments away from yet another month on the sideline (yes, he's injured again), Heinze is hit or miss, Kjaer's a red card liability and...then there's Nico. And whomever the medical staff signs off on at rightback. And Angels.
This is a problem. So is set piece defending. And just the defense in general.
- Silver lining: Roma scored twice, against arguably the best defense in Serie A.
Two easier foes before hitting another rather brutal run.
Every other year, every other club, it would be "Two chances to save his job."
This year, "Two possible chances for fan alcohol poisoning."
Never a dull day.