Nine months and 35 matches have passed since this season's opener, Roma vs Udinese, on the twentieth of August. And what a thrilling journey it has been, with ups and downs, injuries and suspensions, penalties and own goals, frutration and admiration for this once again hot 'n cold blowing Roma side. It seems only last week since Roma swept Udine away 4-0 or they missed qualification for the CL.
Current state of affairs: Only two games are left and then curtains will fall upon Serie A 2016-2017. Tension at the Peninsula? Not so much. Two of the three relegation places are already filled. Juve, Roma and Napoli will feature in the CL next season (group stage or qualifiers). Lazio and Atalanta will go to the EL, alongside one of Fiorentina or Milan.
The champions? Juve probably. Nothing has changed since September or even 2012. But thanks to Roma's unexpected yet beautiful win on Sunday, the Bianconeri had to cool down their celebrations and postpone the festivities. At one time, they had a 10 point advantage at the top, but due to two draws and one loss in their last three games, they are now at +4. Six points are still left to be earned.
The Coppa and CL final obviously affects their Serie A concentration, especially that European trophy, they almost seem desperate to win it. In fact, I think a lot of fans just want to win one thing this season: the CL. They don't give a damn about the Scudetto, which they won six consecutive times since 2012. Yaaaawn. Also the Coppa is a bore, winning it in 2015 and 2016 as well.
So yeah, Allegri has been resting some players and some guys might not go all-out in Italy because they want to avoid injuries and thus missing the CL final. This all plays in Roma's hand though. Juve last won a game on April 24. Almost a month ago. Roma on the other hand, are once again dominating in Serie A, winning at Pescara and Milan 1-4 and Juve at home 3-1. It seems the derby loss was just a fluke.
The Giallorossi now need to travel to Chievo. A side which has nothing left to play for, as they sit comfortably in mid-table, while Roma has won its last six away (!) games. That's something to be proud of. Certainly they will win easily at Donkeyville and build up the pressure on Juve even more.
Why? Because Roma already play on Saturday, Juve on Sunday. A win and the difference suddenly is narrowed to one point, with Roma having an advantage in the head-to-head results (3-1 vs 1-0 loss in Turin) should both teams end with the same point total. One point. After 37 games. FYA, that's the closest Roma has come to a Scudetto since 2010.
The best part? Juve host Crotone on Sunday, and while that side isn't exactly Lazio or Napoli, they do have one huge objective left: save their asses and stay in Serie A. In recent weeks they have been in stunning form, even better than Roma or Juve, and as good as Napoli. The Calabrians haven't lost a game since March 13, at home to Fiorentina. Wins include Inter and Sampdoria, while Torino and Milan were held to a draw. Not bad Crotone, not bad.
Next up is Juve, a team that plays two finals between now and June. First up is the Coppa tonight, next is the clash against Real Madrid on June 3. Arguably bigger and more important match-ups than little Crotone. What I meant to say is, if there's one team that can make Juve's life worse and cause an upset, it is Crotone.
Even if they won't make it and Empoli and Genoa do their job, they want to go out with a bang. A draw is enough to keep the dream alive. Our dream. Francesco's dream. It would be an even bigger miracle than 2009-2010 under Ranieri and the best possible swan song for Er Pupone (and Luciano?).
It ain't over until the fat old lady sings. And right now, this old lady is choking. It's time to make one final push.