Disclaimer: After a week long bender following the Lazio debacle, Dr. Remus found it very difficult to write anything about Roma. Emerging from the hazy darkness of lost hope, he managed to enter the lab this Sunday to conduct his normal research. As always, Remus’s formula is indisputable, and any disagreements will be in vain.
Roma (4-2-3-1) or (3-2-3-2)
Szczesny -8 - Did great to deny Sosa’s long range missile. Came off his line to punch balls like a boss. Made some crucial saves to insure an easy win.
Emerson - 7 -Starting on the right side, Emerson looked comfortable in his new attacking role, able to cut in onto his left foot. His style of play complemented Salah, causing a dual-threat to Milan’s defense. Perhaps was at fault for the goal, losing his mark.
Manolas - 8 - Always sacrificing his body with slide tackles and strength. Had a solid game, his play a complement to Fazio’s. It will be sad to see him go this summer when Roma cashes in on him.
Fazio - 8 - Clinical game from the big man. He read the game perfectly, always knowing when to intercept and when to use his muscle. I have a theory that Monchi had something to do with the signing... think about it... perhaps he simply whispered a name into Sabatini’s ears... theory...
Jesus - 8 - JJ is a left-footed CB in a three-man back line. Not a LB. In the system tonight is where he should always be. Had a solid game which might be alarming for Rudiger’s starting spot...
De Rossi -7- Atrocious misplaced pass that almost gave away a goal to Deulofeu in the early stages. Made up for the earlier mistakes with strong tackles in defense and creative passes to spark the attack. Earned himself a goal on a PK. His form this year has earned him a contract. Captain Futuro needs to become Captain Presente...if the Totti rumors are true.
Paredes - 7 - Consistent game from the young Argentine. He has seemed to speed up his play, an aspect of his style that is often criticized.
Salah -8.5 - Hard fought assist for the first goal, using his speed and strength to fight off Deulofeu. Was a constant source of trouble for Milan. Earned a PK out-muscling Old Man Winter (see below).
Nainggolan -7 -Always hungry in defense. Almost scored on several occasions. Had his typical misfired shots now and then. Seems to have lost form as of late. Kinda worrisome, as it seems his mind may be elsewhere... Subbed off for Grenier after a calf injury.
Perotti - 8.5 - Impressive curling effort denied by the woodwork. Looked sharp out there in both offense and defense. He showed why he is a better option than El Shaarway. Constantly pressured De Siglio. His bursts of acceleration, and his confidence to always run at defenders makes him a threat on the wings. Subbed off for El Shaarway after a possible ankle injury.
Dzeko -9 - What a one-time, curling finish from the leading Serie A goal-scorer. Missed a great opportunity after a weak clearance. The Bosnian Bomber made mince meat of De Siglio for the second goal, leaping easily above the Italian. Showed his playmaking ability with a nicely placed header to set up El Shaarway. May have picked up a knock late in the game. Subbed off for Peres.
El Shaarway -8 - Typical game for the Pharaoh, always cutting in on his preferred right foot. Had a well-placed shot denied by Donnarumma, but came back to haunt his former club with a side-footed finish.
Grenier - 6 - Was given a chance after Nainggolan’s injury. Had poor control trying to settle a ball for a goal-scoring chance.
Peres— N/A - Came on for Dzeko and botched some passes.
Spalletti - 8 - Had his boys pressing high from the start. The Tuscan seemed to exploit Milan’s defensive weaknesses in height and strength, having his players whip in balls to Dzeko and Salah. For those who think Spalletti should go, these types of games show why he could succeed next year. Yes, Milan are in poor form, but look at Roma’s mentality. Spalletti has made sure to instill the fight in his players when everyone thought they would crumble after the Lazio game. It is true that he floundered in every big game this year, but his staying is paramount if Roma want consistency.
Donnarumma - 7- Despite the goals conceded, the young Italian spared Milan this evening. Nothing he could do on the first goal. Amazing save on Perotti to deny a second goal. Lunged to push a Nainggolan left-footed shot off the post. The first half could have easily ended 4-0 if it were not for Donnarumma’s efforts. Almost saved DDR’s PK at the end of the game. This match could have seriously ended with seven or eight goals conceded for Milan.
De Sciglio- 4 - Suffered dealing with Perotti all night. Was at fault for the second goal, mismatched against Dzeko.
Zapata - 5 - Too slow in the back at times, allowing the pressure to get to him. Flat-footed by Salah on the build up to the first goal. Did better in the second half dealing with the Egyptian.
Paletta - 4 - How old is this guy? Looked like the South American version of Old Man Winter. Shaky-legged, hesitant, and slow. Was baited into a silly foul by Salah, earning himself a red card to take home to his reclusive lair.
Vangioni -5 - At fault for giving away the ball that lead to the first goal with a weak chest pass to Deulofeu. Subbed off for Ocampos.
Pasalic -6.5 - Offered glimpses of creative play, but never consistently. Did well to pounce on the flick for the goal.
Sosa - 6 - Had a strong, long-range effort parried away by Szczesny in the first half. Struggled with Salah’s strength and pace.
Mati - 5 - Quite game from the Chilean loanee. Not much to note. Was subbed off at the half.
Suso -6 - Like Deulofeu, Suso was a defensive liability. However, his movement off the ball in the offense was at times dangerous.
Lapadula -5- Played a game as ugly as his mustache. Too short to deal with all the crosses that came his way. He basically was the bologna in a Fazio and Manolas sandwich.
Deulofeu -5- Dispossessed too easily by Salah on the first goal. Dangerous on the attack early on, only to fizzle out in the second half.
Betrolacci - 6 - A cameo that consisted of nothing else but a skirmish with Manalos... I know who I’d put my money on...
Ocampos - 7 - Came on with pace and size, causing more problems for Roma than his predecessor. Flicked the ball on for the only goal. Probably should have been given the start.
Montella - 5 - I respect this man as both a player and a coach, but it must be said that he tactically flubbed this one. He should have looked back at the Lazio-Roma game and took notes. The counter-attack is Roma’s kryptonite, the obvious choice in dealing with Roma’s possession game. And who better to lead that attack than old Monchi-favorite, Carlos Bacca? The deadly Colombian striker should have been employed as the offensive spearhead. For whatever reason, Montella made the choices he did, choices he will undoubtedly rue.
NICOLA RIZZOLi - 8 - Did well to officiate this one. Some may say Paletta’s red was wrong, but the contact was there in such a precarious position, and the Argentine definitely bodied Salah from behind. Other than that, no other controversies.