ROME, ITALY - APRIL 11: Marco Antonio Marquinho (R) with his teammate Francesco Totti of AS Roma celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Olimpico on April 11, 2012 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Roma 3 - Udinese 1
Roundabout the eightieth minute, I sat in my seat, as I'm apt to do, and thought, "After squeaking so many wins this year, they clearly deserve to win this one, yet it's going to end at 1-1, damnit." Happy to eat my thoughts, I am. More often than not because they'd get me banned from the internets.
See, something happened: Roma played well, Udinese played less well, and Roma won. Funny how that happens, ain't it?
This is how it's supposed to be, week-in, week-out. Not that they're supposed to win every weekend, but the games are supposed to be relatively analytically clear-cut - whenever someone from one of calcio's lesser-knowns isn't punting thematch because they're late on the mortgage, at least'. Early in the season it was more clear-cut, but in the wrong direction. This time, all was right.
They were better. They won. Isn't football just the simplest game in the world?
- This team is still Totti-dependent. (At least while Good Mirko isn't floating around.) Largely the reason for the improved performance, once YouTube removes the adult filters, assuming they have some, we'll see a highlight reel of his passing from the game, particularly the first half. His performance actually reminds a bit of the quality from Sampdoria, 07.
2002. 2012. Doesn't matter. Still all about Totti.
- Pablo Osvaldo is in one helluva run of form, mostly for his Pippo-esque right-place-right-time prescience. Borini was also in a helluva run of form pre-injury too. Pattern emerging. Finally.
Many were dropping these hints pre-Lurique appointment, and it stands true: movement is key. It's all in the movement. Like elegant, efficient, precise movement, not the Hollywood-flick-about-street-dancing-which-only-has-a-market-demographic-because-teenagers-can-leave-their-cages movement. Which is curious, since most of those making those runs earlier in the year were seeing the very same movies.
- Speaking of, Marquinho does absolutely nothing particularly well aside from make spectacular runs into the box from midfield - and doing so with consistency. That'll do.
- This is one of those games after which Wolfsburg should be fielding a call to see if they've dropped the price yet. You know, excellent performances allowing the suits to live with themselves and all.
- Either Daniele De Rossi or Simon Kjaer 2011-12 is AS Roma's #1 CB right now.
I simply cannot describe how little I want to see those words strung into a readable sentence again, no matter if it works.
- At some point, Fernando Gago sitting deep is going to be costly. We know this because it has been costly many, many times this season. He looks like a lost child in Narnia. Who should sub in for DDR instead? No comment.
(Get someone else to provide workable solutions.)