Following their calamity against Austria Wien on Thursday, wherein they blew a two-goal lead in only two minutes, Roma needed to come out and make a statement today. And while they were aided by shoddy keeping from Palermo, their 4-1 victory was just what the doctor ordered. By pouncing on their southern neighbors, Roma cut the Scudetto gap with Juventus to a mere two points, putting them level on 19 with a surprising Milan side.
While Palermo managed to pull one back in the late stages, this was a thoroughly dominating affair from Roma, as they held sway in nearly every statistical category, trumping Palermo 18 shots to 7. In fact, Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko equaled Palermo’s output on their own. As one would expect, it takes a lot of possession to pull off 18 shots, and that’s just what Roma did, managing nearly 60% possession. They also managed four block shots and 13 blocked crosses; Roma was swarming all over the park tonight.
Considering the one sided nature of this match, let’s jump right into the goals.
Mohamed Salah: 31st Minute
GOAL Salah!! Roma 1-0 Palermo pic.twitter.com/XIsOuNyOuS— Serie A News (@TransfersCalcio) October 23, 2016
Nothing too magical about this one, just Salah being Salah. After a nice touch by Dzeko, Salah outraced El Shaarawy to the loose ball and slotted it home. It was a nice bit of athleticism, however, as Salah’s momentum was carrying him away from the goal, but he still managed to poke it to the far side of the goal.
Leandro Paredes: 51st Minute
This is, of course, the aforementioned goalkeeper assist, as Palermo netminder Josip Posavec misplayed or simply mistimed the bounce from Paredes free kick, gifting Roma a second, and ultimate match winning, goal. Howlers aside, credit Paredes for even threatening the goal from that distance and angle. He’s coming along slowly, but it's moments like this that buoy your spirits.
Edin Dzeko: 68th Minute
Horrible quality video there, but Roma’s sublime passing wasn’t obscured by the lack of pixels. Salah, Florenzi and Dzeko teamed up to score a textbook goal. The passing was tight and controlled, and Dzeko’s turn and shot was picture perfect. You simply can’t say enough about Dzeko’s transformation this season, where would Roma be without him?
Stephan El Shaarawy: 82nd Minute
El Shaarawy added one for good measure, as he teamed up with Mohamed Salah in the 82nd minute. Excellent composure and hustle from SES as he stayed on the ball, pulled off the shot and slotted it home as he was being dragged down by the defender.
An easy and clean 4-1 victory, two points behind Juventus. That’s all she wrote.
Speaking of writing, if you’ll permit me to indulge myself for a moment...this was the 1,000th post of my tenure here at the Chiesa di Totti. I never in a million years imagined I’d be writing about Roma so extensively. All I did was enter a simple contest, and here I am four years and 1,000 posts later, still chugging along, desperately hoping I can one day write about a Roman scudetto.
So while I wait for that day, I just wanted to offer my sincere thanks to Chris, Jonas, Dhaw, Sam, Kevin, Jimmy, Masonio and everyone who has helped me along the way, and of course, I want to thank all of you for reading, sharing, commenting and criticizing; I wouldn’t it any other way. I love this place and I hope you do to.