For two clubs desperately trying to recapture their form and style, today’s tilt between Fiorentina and Roma could not have gone worse. While there weren’t many glaring errors, by Roma standards at least, both sides were lacking that final oomph, as the final pass seemed to go astray for both brightly colored clubs.
Oddly enough, the first half started off rather promising, as both clubs looked to get out and run, pushing the pace rather frantically through the first quarter of an hour. The problem, as we just alluded to, was that it was simply fast moving men and some crisp passing, but very little else; both clubs faltered the closer they got to the endline.
Each side managed four shots in the first half, with a grand total of one going on target. Accuracy was not the order of the day:
First half highlights pic.twitter.com/FZYLeaMDZx— Chiesa Di Totti (@chiesaditotti) September 18, 2016
Led by Edin Dzeko’s three attempts on goal, Roma was once again found wanting when and where it mattered most, an all too common theme that once again bit them in the ass.
Spalletti opted for no changes coming into the second half, instead waiting until the 67th minute before mercifully pulling Mohamed Salah off, who did not put in his best performance in a Roma shirt.
Roma’s inaccuracy and bad luck on goal reared its ugly head once more as Radja Nainggolan’s 81st minute attempt hit the woodwork only to carom harmlessly away from the goal.
But the woodwork wasn’t done influencing this match just yet.
GOAL Badelj!! Fiorentina 1-0 Roma pic.twitter.com/nSzdRsLovo— Serie A News (@TransfersCalcio) September 18, 2016
I mean, what can you say about this one? There was the acres of space afforded to Badelj to begin with, the fact that Kalinic was offside (the ball may have even gone through his legs), and then there was Wojciech Szczesny’s delayed reaction, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was screened.
This match was just an absolute perfect storm of Roma occurrences, but did you really expect anything less?
While this isn’t quite as bleak as the dark days of Rudi Garcia, Roma is currently not only plagued by their inability to make the big play, but to simply build up and sustain a normal attack. Suddenly we’re begging for penalties again and investing way too heavily in set pieces, except, you know, no Miralem Pjanic anymore, so the chances of success are even less now.
At this point, I’m not quite sure what the solution is, but there is a glaring lack of play making through the middle. While we touted Diego Perotti as the de facto solution to this—in so far as Roma would create through him at the forward spot in Pjanic’s absence—the fact remains, they need a source of inspiration and creativity behind Perotti, because as it stands right now, he’s too easily picked out by the defense.
So here we are once again, a tide of malaise is sweeping through the Eternal City, how will the club react this time?
We have three days to figure it out...