In the buildup to the match, I shed a bit of light on my typical match preview routine, and the same method applies for post match coverage. I try to provide a bit of context in the preamble—what Roma were facing, how they lined up, what a victory would have meant, etc.—before diving into the particulars of the match: the tactics, the goals, second half changes and so on and so forth. However, thanks to their complete no-show today, and a gutless one at that, Roma have spared me (and you) a bit of time.
Once Arkadiusz Milik BLASTED the ball past a hapless Robin Olsen in only the second minute, this thing was done and dusted. Roma tucked their tails between their legs and looked completely absent out there, in mind, body and spirit.
This was about as low as we've seen a Roma side since the darkest days of Rudi Garcia; they didn't know where to turn or how to break down Napoli, and what's worse, they didn't even seem to care.
Good god, what a first touch. Amazing goal by Milik for Napoli. pic.twitter.com/z8GwvgvqbD— Josh Howe (@JoshO567) March 31, 2019
The ESPN announcers were perhaps a bit harsh on Olsen here, questioning his positioning and reflexes, and perhaps they had a point, but using that line of reasoning sort of cheapens Milik's individual effort here. From the touch and awareness to the laser like finish from that tight angle, this was a world class effort in every shape and form. Don't get me wrong, Olsen was terrible today and has been poor pretty much this entire calendar year, but there isn't much he could have done there.
The next 43 minutes were all about Napoli. Milik, Callejon and Mertens had their way with the Roma back line, while Koulibaly absorbed whatever “attack” Roma could muster with relative ease. And in grand Roma fashion, their only shred of hope came thanks to the referee, who called a last gasp penalty on Napoli in the 45th + minute.
DIEGOOOOOGOOOOOOOL pic.twitter.com/yWBzyIDzEM— RomaPress (@ASRomaPress) March 31, 2019
Diego Perotti from the penalty spot is pretty much the only sure thing Roma has at this stage in the game, and Roma's number eight didn't disappoint there, beating Meret with his patented nonchalant walk up.
At this point in the match, Roma had only mustered three total shots, with Perotti's penalty marking their only attempt on target through the first 45 minutes. Perotti's precision from the spot put Roma on level pegging with Napoli; completely and utterly undeserved level pegging.
Roma's attack relying on penalties to score goals. pic.twitter.com/XjmOGOmyeE— Chiesa di Totti (@chiesaditotti) March 31, 2019
Napoli would quickly undo that gaff with two goals in the first ten minutes of the second half, and from there the only question was the manner in which they'd finish Roma off: would they let them slowly bleed out or show Roma some mercy and just end their miserable existence?
For a second it looked like the former, as the Giallorossi received a small boost once Nicolo Zaniolo came on, who nearly created a goal in the 72nd minute or so when he set up Bryan Cristante at the edge of the 18, but thanks to the woodwork and an errant rebound attempt from Nzonzi, Zaniolo's creativity went for naught.
Napoli would add another goal for good measure in the 81st minute, putting a stamp on their complete and total domination today.
I don't normally embed this many of our own Tweets, but...
This is a complete tear down job. Roma shouldn't mention or even worry about Europe until they undo the damage Monchi wrought.— Chiesa di Totti (@chiesaditotti) March 31, 2019
In truth, the culpability probably falls a bit higher than Monchi, but if this managerial switch has proven anything it's that Roma are in dire need of a rebuild.