Roma 3 - Bayern 2
There were a number of details which made this Ode to Awesomeness all sorts of swell and neat-o and jazzy.
However, they all centered around three main themes:
i. AS Roma is an excellent team.
ii. Claudio Ranieri is an excellent coach.
iii. Marco Borriello has taken this team to the next level.
So in short: everything we knew to be eventually true at the beginning of the year.
Game on across the board. Roma's back and better than ever*.
* - After halftime, anyway.
- Brilliantly, that was a Reverse Roma: blitz through on the scoreboard in the first half; collapse in uber-dramatic fashion in the second.
Maybe the key is shipping the easy goals early instead of late?
- Totti did it again. Well, two things again:
i. Even Thomas Kraft Macaroni & Cheese knows Totti's going low left. Every. Single. Time.
Switch it up - they were lucky to grab the third and three.
ii. I'm not sure if this is something which I'm just noticing or it's a product of his decreased mobility, but Francesco set up Borriello for the penalty with 'that move' again: running perpendicular on the pitch, either east-west or vice-versa, he turns the ball near 90 degrees and flies it through a gap, almost catching the defense unprepared.
Maybe he's done it his whole career with similar frequency, but it just seems like it's suddenly his go-to move - and most effective one at that, since rumbling forward like it's 1999 ain't quite as easy anymore.
- In some absurd fashion, Mirko showed up in the biggest of fashions during a big game simply because he hadn't really shown up for the seventy minutes previous.
Had he not tossed a doughnut for the rest of the game, the threaded pass to Riise on Daniele's goal was just that. But as it were, he waited...and waited...and waited...until his time was nearly up* to put in his decisive, scale-tipping moment.
Vintage Mirko, who really does time and time again prove to be the decisive difference maker (you know, save for that Totti fellow).
* - Yes, there were a couple of gems beforehand. We dismiss your facts and insert our own.
- My brain melted ever so slightly trying to figure out who was at fault or just what happened on either Gomez goal - mostly I blame Juan for his lower body muscles made of nothing more than brittle Christmas toffee and Care Bear love (no, it's not enough) - so...
There's that discussed. Next.
A week's worth of pondering that Jeremy Menez, bought to be the great diamond of Spalletti's attacking dictatorship, has blossomed under Mr. Blasé, Claudio Ranieri.
And I'd like to take this moment to tell Claudio that referring to Menez as "a diamond in the rough" is flippin' ridiculous; kid's been touted as the next Zizou - woefully inaccurate but the general idea stands - since the third trimester. If he's a diamond in the rough then Hernanes is a white cream immersed in a tub of fluffernutter.
That doesn't even make sense.
- I had a think on why Claudio opted for Greco over Simplicio, outside of Leandro being awesome, that is, and I'm sure there's a quote somewhere with the answer, but quite frankly I can't pull myself away from the awesomeness that is the Scottish International Badminton Championships to care...anyway, I think I've come up with the answer: stronger positional discipline.
And yes, that was a rather convoluted circumnavigation to get to the ultimate answer which was "stands in place".
"I don't know if [Totti] will play tomorrow or not. I don't care and it's not my problem."
- Louis van Pretty
Hmmm...probably should've cared.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, has been an important lesson in being a basic, average, run-of-the-mill football coach: care about the opposition.
As good as this was from a drama standpoint, and it was superb, even if there's still a slight pain in the chest cavity, I can't help but think one thing:
Remember when Mirko Vucinic was on form last year? Remember when he carried this team for months on end? Remember any time Mirko Vucinic has found consistent form?
The world ain't seen nothin' yet; this team is but a waking monster.