Every cloud has a silver lining, and for Roma it just might be the primavera. De Rossi's boys have recently qualified for the UEFA Youth League playoff stage, and currently sit atop the standings in league play. Roma fell from first to third after losing back-to-back matches against Pescara and Crotone at the end of November, but since then they've gone undefeated, disposing of Lazio, Latina, and Frosinone in their march back to the summit.
Roma finally regained first place last Saturday with a resounding 2-0 victory over Frosinone in a top of the table clash. A solid first half was capped off by a goal from right back Eros De Santis, who chipped Frosinone goalkeeper Francesco Faiella after a sublime pass from winger Lorenzo Di Livio that unlocked the defense. Finding himself alone in the box, De Santis perfectly executed the chip shot to give Roma the lead going into halftime.
Midfielder Lorenzo Vasco doubled Roma's advantage early in the second half with a well placed direct free kick. Following some pre-free kick trickery, Vasco stepped up and fired a shot that bounced in off the left goal post, and past a helpless Faiella. The primavera ended 2015 on a high note, and will look to continue their winning ways when they return to action against Inter Milan in the quarterfinals of the Coppa Italia Primavera on January 9.
While the primavera will play a few league matches throughout January as well, the next big match will come at the beginning of February, when Roma plays Salzburg in the UEFA Youth League playoff. The winner of the match will move on to the Round of 16 and be drawn against one of the eight group winners from the group stage of the competition. Should Roma win, it would be the second year running that they've reached the knockout stages.
Last year marked Roma's first time in the UEFA Youth League, as the primavera reached the semi-final, toppling football academy giants such as Ajax and Manchester City before being hammered 4-0 by Chelsea, who went on to win in the final. Who knows what manager Alberto De Rossi has in store for an encore this time around, but it's sure to be entertaining.