It was a hard fought win for the Giallorossi at the Bentegodi on Sunday— one that didn’t look secure until stoppage time. However, in the end, Roma was able to peg the league’s top defensive side three times en route to a 3-1 victory. It was a much needed win for the Giallorossi as Fonseca’s men moved provisionally into fourth. Just because it was a win doesn’t mean that everything was peaches and cream on a rainy evening in Verona, so let’s take a look the sinners and saints from this one.
Mancini’s Yellow Card
Normally, a yellow card that doesn’t lead to an eventual red card or directly to an opponent’s goal is a non-factor once the match ends. However, that isn’t the case with the yellow Gianluca Mancini was shown at the hour-mark by Marco Guida. Unfortunately for Mancini and Roma, this yellow means a one-match suspension due to yellow card accumulation and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Mancini will miss out on Friday’s match against top of the table Inter.
It’s a big blow for Roma considering how well the Italian has partnered Chris Smalling. And it brings Fonseca’s decision to start and continue playing Mancini for the full 90 minutes knowing Inter was looming into question. The CT said in the pre-match presser that Mancini would play when many others debated whether he should be held out for this very reason. Fonseca gambled a bit and lost. Roma will now hope that Federico Fazio is up to snuff against Inter and this yellow doesn’t have more grave implications come Friday.
Roma’s Back Post Defending
Roma’s defense hasn't come under criticism of late, but the Giallorossi’s nonchalant defending at the back post nearly cost them in this match. Verona’s Davide Faraoni caught Roma’s back line (particularly Aleskandar Kolarov) ball watching when he leveled that match in the 21st minute. That wouldn’t be the last time that Verona caught the Giallorossi failing to defend the back past. Luckily for Roma, Verona wasn’t onside in the other instances.
What more can be said about Lorenzo Pellegrini? When he plays, Roma is more dangerous in attack. The young Roma delivered yet another remarkable assist today to set up Justin Kluivert’s opening goal. This time Pellegrini was falling down as he delivered a ball with his weaker left-foot to put Kluivert in on a goal. If this was hockey, Pellegrini also would’ve received the second assist on Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s game-sealing goal. Fonseca has found his trequartista.
The veteran Argentina has been mostly a non-factor this season for Roma, but not today. Perotti was thrust into action in the 34th minute when Kluivert went down injured. Perotti gave Roma the lead back right before halftime from the spot and later would assist Mkhitaryan’s stoppage time goal. Fonseca will hope that this version of Perotti is the one he gets when calls upon the Argentine the rest of the season.
The Assistant Referee’s Flag
As we mentioned earlier in our sinner’s section, Verona almost leveled the score with Roma a handful of times. The Mastiff’s were even awarded a penalty for a handball by Chris Smalling. Luckily for Roma, a Verona goal and the penalty were both negated thanks to the home side being offside. The assistant referee’s flag (and VAR) bailed Roma out on more than one occasion in this one. Thank goodness, otherwise we may not be celebrating a Roma victory.