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Roma's Goal Scoring in 2012-2013

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In the first of our post-season statistical analyses, we take a look at Roma's goal scoring record to see how they stack up with the rest of the league. Spoiler alert: they scored a lot.

Gabriele Maltinti

With the regular season in the books and the Coppa Italia final several days away, we'll take a glance at Roma's statistical performance in 2012-2013. For this first installment, we'll examine the goals Roma scored-how they scored, when they scored, etc.-and how they stack up to the rest of the league. As the days and weeks roll by, we'll take a look at other collective club statistics, as well as highlighting a few individual players.

Depending on your expectations, Roma's sixth place finish was either a huge disappointment or a vindication of your cynicism. The talent is there, though much of it is still being nurtured, and victories over league heavyweights like Juventus, Milan, Inter and Napoli may have advanced our collective hopes further than reality should have allowed. Whatever the case may be, the club had several chances down the stretch to qualify for Europe based on merit, but ultimately fell short, giving Sunday's cup final an added measure of intensity.

But, one thing was never in doubt, Roma's ability to score. With that in mind, let's examine the scoring binge that was the 2012-2013 season.

Goals Galore

Goals Scored

League wide, scoring was at its highest point in the past five years, with an average of 2.64 goals per match being scored. As we'll see, Roma factored heavily into those figures...

Whether it was under Zeman or Andreazzoli, Roma was no stranger to the back of the net, averaging 1.86 goals per game, compared to the league average of 1.32. In fact, when Roma was involved, goals were-a-plenty, as an average of 3.34 total goals was scored in Roma matches, tops in the league. Try this number on for size, in 34.2% of their matches, Roma and her opponents exceeded 4.5 goals, the highest percentage in the league by a wide margin and more than double the league average.

Curious about the placement of Roma's goals or what limbs they used to score them?

Looky here!

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Roma's 20 left-footed goals ranked third among the leagues ‘leftiest', with 11 of those coming from Erik Lamela. Not to be outdone, Roma's 17 headed goals were best in the league. Not many conclusions can be drawn from those numbers, but they are interesting nonetheless...sort of, right?

Goals Conceded

  • 56 goals allowed (3rd most in the league)
  • 24 goals allowed at home (5th most in the league)
  • 32 goals allowed on the road ( 4th most in the league)
  • 3 goals allowed on six occasions (3rd worst in the league)
  • 4+ goals allowed on three occasions (3rd worst in the league)
  • 9 cleansheets (3rd fewest)

With Zeman's commitment to attack (which is probably an understatement) and Andreazzoli's mishmash of formations, Roma scored and was scored upon with alarming frequency-but your sense of well-being and blood pressure probably already alerted you to that fact.

Home v Away

Within the raucous confines of the Stadio Olimpico, Roma scored 40 goals; good for third best in the league, their 2.11 goals per home match was tied for second in the league. Of course, they also allowed 24 goals at home, or 1.26 per match for those keeping score, which should, in part, explain why Roma, despite their glut of goals at the Olimpico, managed only 35 points at home-eighth in the league.

Away from the Eternal City, Roma was equally adept at beating the keeper, notching 31 goals, which was fourth best in Serie A. In fact, when the Wolves came to town, an average of 3.32 total goals per match were scored, which was tops in the league. Roma's 1.63 goals scored per away match was third most in the league, while their 1.68 goals conceded per away match was fourth worst in the league.

Bottom line, whether they were home or away, Roma matches produced a lot of goals. You didn't have to be clairvoyant to see this back in August-when you commit so much to attack, the goals flow in both directions at an alarming rate.

However, when all was said and done, the numbers show that Roma was among the league's best offensive sides, so let's take a quick look at the types and timing of those goals.

When & How Roma Scored

First the how:

  • 42 goals in open play (3rd in the league)
  • 5 goals on the counter attack (three-way tie for 5th in the league)
  • 16 goals from set pieces (three-way tie for 2nd in the league)
  • 5 goals from penalty kicks (four-way tie for 5th in the league)

When they scored:


Goals Scored

Goals Conceded



















Doing the math, Roma miraculously scored 50% of their goals before halftime and 50% after halftime-not sure how often that occurs, but it's gotta be pretty rare. Roma drew first blood in 22 of 38 matches, or 57.9% of the time, with the first goal coming, on average, in the 24th minute. Roma carried these leads into half time 28.9% of time, good for seventh best in the league.

The flipside to that, of course, is the timeliness of goals conceded and, by extension, the club's record in one goal matches. Another glance at that table shows that Roma were prone to conceding goals at the most inopportune moments, conceding 11 goals just before half time and an additional 11 before the final whistle.

In fact, Roma's 11 goals conceded in the 31-45 minutes was the third highest total in the league, while the 11 allowed in the 76-90th minutes was seventh most in the league. Closing out the first half and putting the nail in the coffin in the 90th minute was definitely an issue for this club this season and a trend to watch next season.

Roma's half-time record in bullet form:

When leading at half

  • 7W, 2D, 2L
  • 23 points earned

When trailing at half

  • 1W, 3D, 5L
  • 6 points earned

Conceding those goals in the 31-45 minutes certainly gave Roma something to rue, as they only managed to come from behind once when trailing at the half....yikes. Fortunately, Roma only trailed at the half in nine matches, but again, these are the moments that decide champions.

Goal Margins




1 goal



2 goals



3 goals



4 goals



Roma's six victories in one goal matches was tied for sixth most in the league, while their seven defeats in one goal matches was the fifth worst.

So if you're looking for a culprit to Roma's poor performance this season, look no further than their record in one goal matches. Udinese, who finished four points ahead of Roma, lost only four times in matches decided by one goal. The slimmest of margins often have the most profound of effects.

Wrapping it Up

If you'll allow me to draw a parallel with basketball, Roma lived by the three and died by the three this season. Just as many an NBA team pinned their hopes on shooting from distance, with their success largely dependent upon successful three point shooting, Roma's success this term was predicated largely on simply outscoring their opponents, total goals allowed be damned. So it comes as little surprise that Roma was among the league leaders in goals scored, while being among the worst in goals conceded.

While this approach was certainly exciting and for some stretches this season very successful, it was ultimately found lacking. Again, much like basketball, successful teams excel in closing out halves. This is where Roma faltered, conceding goals before the 45th and 90th minutes at a disturbing rate.

Looking ahead to next season, we can reasonably expect Roma to be in the upper echelons in goals scored, there is simply too much attacking talent on this club to expect otherwise. Meanwhile, the club's choice of manager will be the determining factor in how this team performs defensively. We can and should expect improvements from Marquinhos and Leandro Castan, both being a year older, wiser and having a better feel for the league and its occupants, but no factor will influence the clubs defensive performance more than its choice of manager.

As we saw this season, putting such an extreme emphasis on attack is a delicate balancing act, but there is little doubt that the bulk of the talent on this squad rests within its offense.

So what do they do? Continue to play to their strength and hope for a better record in close matches, or do they make a concerted effort to find a manager with a more measured approach?

Whatever the case may ultimately be, Roma's next manager has a stable of goalscorers at his disposal. The only question is how much will he let them run free.

*graphics courtesy of