Roma – Genoa. An important game in the hunt for Europa League qualification, maybe even Champions League (hell, why not Scudetto or even world domination with Totti painted as Braveheart and Andreazzoli as Dr Evil).
The importance of the game was augmented by the fact that Napoli-Juve, Milan-Lazio and Catania-Inter were being played last weekend. That’s six of Roma’s seven adversaries above the standings. AKA the perfect opportunity to benefit from some draws or losses whatever the outcome of each of those three games.
Traditionally, Roma squanders those games and squashes them as hard as a 16-year-old teenage drama queen squashes a cockroach in the bathroom with the hammer of Thor. But mind you, Andreazzoli’s Roma is different. Maybe this time, they could actually… *gasp*… close in on its opponents while playing a decent game? Surely under Andreazzoli they could?
Genoa Generation Gap
Welcome back Totti and De Rossi. Ow and hello there Marco whippin’ dippin’ Borriello… *flips hair in a totally hetero way*
The usual suspects as… ehrrrr.. usual. 3-4-2-1, a shitload of midfielders on the bench (because Roma actually plays with only two in this formation: DDR and Pjanic), Stek in goal while Goicoechea is writing love letters to Zeman begging him to come back and Willem Dafoe (Taddei), Andrew Garfield (Lucca) and that guy from One Direction (Dodò) were present as well. Baby Marquinho, the ‘Brazilian Fabio Cannavaro’ got injured and had to be replaced by an even younger specimen with even more pimples: Romagnoli (born in 1995). Whoopsy daisy, all ingredients for a party hardy at the Olimpico!
One has to point out though that Genoa under Ballardini are like Roma under Andreazzoli: a totally different animal compared to the one in January. Yes of course I know AS Roma ‘I Lupi’ are wolfs and Genoa FC ‘Grifoni’ are vultures but I’m talking figuratively here. Ballardini’s Genoa was still unbeaten while players like Frey and Kucka always impress against Roma (basterds) and Bertolacci, Bovo and Borriello all had a point to prove against their former team. This song describes their feeling perfectly. Warning, it might hurt your testosterone level and let’s you spontaneously grow boobs. For Roma, Sunday night was not going to be a walk in the park.
Two penalties (Roma’s one was debatable) colored the first half: Totti (“hello there Nordahl”) and Borriello, who didn’t celebrate his goal, scored. The Genoa penalty was caused surprisingly by Burdisso (180 games in Serie A) and not Romagnoli, who made his full Serie A debut, but it was also partly Bradley’s fault. His bad pass immediately set up a Genoa counter that resulted in the penalty. Very bad timing as well, just before HT but the 1-1 was justified, neither team deserved the three points up till then.
After the 2-1 (more on that in the award section btw), Roma refound their confidence and created some decent chances but so did Genoa. The game became quite enjoyable yet thrilling till the end just like Atalanta. Harsh red for Kucka, some small bar fights including Totti, penalty appeals yadda yadda yadda.
Suddenly, I had a huge frikkin flashback to 2006. A low Totti pass into the box for an infilitrating Perrotta, 3-1. Nostalgia with capital N. Totti (36),Romagnoli (18) and Perrotta (35). Two generations. Young and old combine to give Roma the win on Sunday, its third on the trot.
Again, it was not very sexy and stylish but Andreazzoli gets the job done. For now. Keep in mind Genoa wasted a lot of chances too. If Roma play like this in Udine next week, they’re gonna get burned. But first, let’s savor this win and Totti’s new record shall we?
Currently: -5 points of Champions League, -4 of Europa League, -16 of Scudetto (Oh sheeeet, did I just mention the S-word at our church? Blasphemy!). Inter and Lazio, my two most hated teams in Serie A, are both on 47 points. Our schedule kinda looks like heaven or hell from now on: either we face tough guys (Lazio, Milan, Napoli, Fiorentina) or we face breadcrumbs (Siena, Torino, Palermo, Pescara). I wanted to put Lazio as breadcrumbs in there but that would be such a huge insult… to breadcrumbs all over the world I mean.
The “where did you go to, my lovely?” award: Balzaretti. Below par game from the LB, again. Painfully subbed as well. Not his usual self. Actually, he’s not been into his Palermo-vibe ever since he signed that damn contract with us. Yes, there was some nice chemistry at the left side with Totti under Zeman but that looks ages away now. What’s Angel been up to these days? (just kiddin’… I think)
The Loria award: Burdisso. And not only because of the penalty. Looked frustrated out there, outclassed in defense by Romagnoli. Nico’ll better get used to the bench seats when Castan and ‘Hos return.
The not so Loria award: Romagnoli. Call me a romantic but that goal was written in the stars. Timing, beauty, his young age, at the Olimpico… pure fairytale and emotion. As a 18-year-old hometown boy (well, not exactly as he was born in Anzio by the sea but still in the province Rome), he received hugs from Daniele to Totti to Osvaldo to literally everyone dressed in Roma’s colors. Marquinhos-Romagnoli, the future is now. The kids are alright. We’ve had worse CBs in the past.
The Chinese Wall award: Stekelenburg. He couldn’t do anything about the penalty. Some great saves on display, looked confident and ironically, after each save the camera zoomed in on Goicoechea on the bench. Poor Mauro, happy fans. Fulham who?
The I’d turn gay for one day award: Borriello. Duh, just look at the man. He’s the personification of the word sex.
Fun fact of the week:
Romagnoli wasn’t even born when Totti scored his debut goal for Roma. (football-italia.net)
• Perrotta for president! He supports politician and comedian Grillo in the race for presidency. I always knew Italy and politics never were a good combination but really, a comedian at the helm of one of the most unstabile countries in Europe? This is taking irony to a whole new level. If that’s the way of business in Italy, then I vote for Chris Rock or Barney Stinson as Roma’s next president! That sh*t’s gonna be legend… wait for it… dary!
• Giggs renews his contract at Manchester United until June 2014, he’ll be 40 by then. Totti, at his current fitness level, can reach that age too. Which would be a contract until 2016 for his Tottiness. More than enough time to cement his second place on the all-time scorers list of Serie A. Piola is at number one with 274. Catching the latter would be nearly impossible for a human being in his late 30s. But we all know Totti’s not exactly human right?
• At 27, Torosidis’ getting bald and he’s only one month in Roma. Expect him to turn into Bradley 2.0 come April. Roma does that to you…
Next stop: north again. After snowy Atalanta comes Udine in the upper right corner of the Peninsula. Close to the border of Slovenia (a nice little geography lesson, you’re welcome). I don’t know what Udine stand for this season. They’re no Cl material, far from it, but they are no pushovers either. Di Natale, one year younger than Totti, is still an immense threat but that’s it really. Watch out for Muriel though. Last time I saw him, he teared LE’s Roma apart with Lecce. But like I said in the beginning, Andreazzoli’s Roma is different this time around. They need to address this game with the utmost caution and a plan (and preferably a back-up one too). Chance favors the prepared mind. Until next week chaps!
“I am struggling to believe it happened, to be honest. I dedicate the goal to my family. Am I destined for greatness? I just hope that I was able to convince the Coach to have faith in me. There’s plenty more time for me to prove myself.” – Yes there is, Alessio Romagnoli. There surely is.