After upsetting first place Napoli 4-2 on the road last week, diehard Roma fans knew...well, we didn’t know much. Roma could have just as easily rolled Torino 5-0 as lost 2-1 at the last second. Nothing even remotely associated with this club is predictable. And for much of the first half tonight, it looked like Roma was in for a let down, as Eusebio Di Francesco’s attack just couldn’t get anything started against ninth place Torino.
Buy, hey, that’s why they play two halves, right?
While it took a handful of minutes to right the ship, Roma was a completely different animal in the second half, increasing their shot output four fold and generally having their way with the Torino defense, stretching them far and wide, and practically running them off the pitch.
Due to the stark half to half contrast, we’ll keep this recap brief.
Kostas Manolas: 56th Minute
Man oh man, this thing was a stunner. First off, good on Cengiz Ünder for not seizing on this ball as it was looping his way. By not interfering, and providing somewhat of a dummy I suppose, he allowed Alessandro Florenzi to settle the loose ball and play an ideal cross to Kostas Manolas. The service was so perfect, all Manolas had to do was rise and meet the ball, but he certainly took out some aggression on this one before giving a nod to the dearly departed Davide Astori after scoring.
Still, a one goal lead is seldom safe in these situations, and given that we talked about the value of Romans on AS Roma, it was quite fitting that Il Capitano himself, Daniele De Rossi, put this one beyond doubt.
Daniele De Rossi: 73rd Minute
Bit of a strange player here, as De Rossi’s goal resulted from a blocked cross from quite some distance—also full marks to Rajda Nainggolan for immediately finding DDR in the area—but De Rossi was cool as you like, wasting no time or effort in slotting this one home, putting the match to bed.
Roma were not done, however, nor were the Romans.
Lorenzo Pellegrini: 90th+ Minute
It’s almost too bad this goal came so late, and will thus be an afterthought, because this was some Showtime Lakers stuff from Nainggolan and Pellegrini here. Radja scoops the ball up just past Roma’s 18 and carries it coast to coast before waiting a beat and shuffling it off to Pellegrini on the left, where the youngest Roman was left with a veritable tap-in.
So while it wasn’t an end to end waxing of Torino, Roma showed enough resolve in the second half to push their domestic mark to five wins in six matches, which is precisely what they needed ahead of Tuesday’s critical Champions League fixture against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Man O’ The Match?
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Daniele De Rossi