Roma v. Empoli Player Ratings
Szczesny (7.5) - Our keeper wasn’t challenged very much, but managed some excellent saves when called upon. In the beginning, he was a bit slow off his mark; however, a little warming up took care of that. Right after the half, Szczesney made a miraculous stretching save with his fingertips to provide his team a clean sheet at home.
Rudiger (8) - Maintained an organized and aggressive backline providing more than adequate coverage of Thiam. The Rock, I mean Rudiger, had the assist in the first goal with a deflection coming from the corner flag that found Dzeko.
Fazio (7) - Fazio was a calm and stable unit that held the center of the defense well. At times, he was caught late, but made up for it by putting in the extra hustle and muscle Roma needed to hold down the fort.
Manolas (8) - After a fruitless and exhaustive search, I could not find any heretical connection with Kostas Manolas and the warriors of Sparta. This lack of historical documentation has not affected my hypothesis that he bears many attributes to the hard fighting, relentless soldiers of ancient times. With pace and intelligence, he rarely allowed any foolishness on his side.
Mario Rui (6.5) - Rui remained quiet for the majority of the match. His performance was flaky at times, by turning the ball over, and didn’t threaten offensively on the left. His vision was stuck looking back too much. Also, there appeared to be a general lack of connection and communication between Dzeko and himself.
Nainggolan (8) - Raj administered blanketing pressure on the opposing side with his pace, handling, defensive and offensive efforts. His role was less offensive than normal, but it did not hold him back from dictating play forward. It was evident that he is saving something for the coming Derby and be rest assured that Mr. Nainggolan will not disappoint.
Paredes (8) - Did you see the rocket Paredes released in the 28th minute? It is believed that Skorupski had his shorts changed at half. Paredes maintained possession throughout and enjoyed an excellent game. His corners provided lethal to Empoli’s poor defense. Also, his defensive efforts made up for our missing DDR.
Peres (8) - Contributed quite a lot to his side. At times he was running like a man on fire and giving his fellow sprinter, Salah, routes to get behind the Empoli defense. His effort for getting into the opposing box were not utilized, but had a marvelous game and created heaps of movement forward
Perotti (6.5) - Besides making a lovely run and providing Salah the cross for the second goa, Diego was not on his game today. His side did not perform as they should and will need to hit training hard if they desire to make more of an impact in coming fixtures.
Salah (8) - Salah was back to his usual antics or stretching defensive lines and tiring defenders out. He worked Empoli’s back line the entire match and it is a pity not to have seen him score. Salah provided the assist to Dzeko’s second goal of the night. If Roma’s front could move with his pace and/or fill the offensive zones, many more goals could be made.
Dzeko (8.5) - What’s to say? He scored two goals and brought his total to 33 goals in all competitions. His tally would be one goal higher if he hadn’t missed his header in the opening minutes. This aside, Dzeko’s presence is known. He is constantly playing with and troubling the other team. Excellent display, Edin!
Grenier (n/a) - A late substitution and had little impact on the game.
Totti (8) - Totti has become Salah and Nainggolan’s conditioning coach when on the pitch. He know how to make those kids run. The routes that he envisions and makes still leave the youngins breathless. Totti wasn’t on long enough to make a major contribution, but was an instant impact. started his night with a series of gorgeous splits and through balls. Totti played 21 minutes while producing 4 through balls and 1 scoring chance.
Disclaimer: Francesco Totti gets extra points for the following irrefutable reasons:
b) What he does at 40 years old is insane
c) His vision and placement are still incredible to watch.
Jesus (n/a) - A late substitution and had little impact on the game.
Vermaelen (10) - For not earning on spot in today’s starting lineup and not being called for duty. Thanks, Thomas.
Luciano Spalletti (7.5) - His hands were a bit tied without De Rossi in the midfield, but organized his troops for success. Spalletti needs to inspire more aggression in his attacking line if they really desire more success.
Massa (8) - Kept a composed pitch with very little drama. All calls were just and players who flopping around got little attention.