I'll spare you the obvious, maudlin narrative here about the heavens crying for Daniele De Rossi during this match, but the relentless rain clouds hovering over Roma this evening were somewhat appropriate given the sad circumstances in which Roma entered this match, desperately needing a victory and losses by each of Inter Milan, AC Milan and Atalanta to keep their Champions League qualification hopes alive. Oh, and the club was also busy betraying their captain. Can't forget about that.
For De Rossi's forced swansong, Claudio Ranieri ran out a pretty attacking lineup, featuring a front line of Edin Dzeko, Stephan El Shaarawy, Diego Perotti and Javier Pastore, three-fourths of whom may, like De Rossi, never wear a Roma shirt again. The remainder of Ranieri's 4-2-3-1 was pretty standard, though he did opt for Lorenzo Pellegrini alongside Daniele De Rossi, a pairing we haven't seen too often in this discombobulated season.
It would be easy to suggest that the rain slowed Roma down in the early stages of this match, but, as has been the problem nearly all season long, there was just no synchronicity in their attack, just one guy running and the rest watching and waiting. Alessandro Florenzi made a couple probing runs from deep on the right flank and Federico Fazio had a clear header off a corner, but for the most part, the first half hour of this match was a dull, sodden affair on both ends.
However, with the rain letting up the shackles came of the match on both ends, with each side attempting more orchestrated movements, but the matches first goal would still come from a bit of jumbled play.
Lorenzo Pellegrini: 35th Minute (Roma 1, Parma 0)
Unfortunately that clip only shows Pellegrini's effort, which was very impressive, but this was your typical loose ball bouncing around the area moment, one which Roma were fortunate enough to corral, finding Pellegrini waiting at the edge of the area. I suppose it's somewhat fitting that the kid deemed the next capitano futuro scored on De Rossi's final match.
Roma would threaten once more about seven minutes later, but thanks to Edin Dzeko's inability to see or complete ignorance of Diego Perotti wide open in the area, his back to the goal left footed attempt was easily thwarted by Parma. Give him his Inter now, please.
While the Giallorossi would win a late corner and Florenzi had a clear attempt from 25-yards-out, the match heading into half time 1-0.
I'd also be remiss if we didn't point this out:
Just before half time, the camera caught glimpse of Claudio Ranieri, who was also facing his final match with Roma, shedding a few tears in response to the fans touching tribute.
Roma opted for no changes to start the second half, and while the rain had pretty much disappeared by that point, there was no more cohesion in Roma's attack through the hour mark. Florenzi and Pellegrini had a few nice efforts driving into the box, but didn't produce anything one would consider a clear cut chance.
Ranieri made two changes by the hour mark, swapping off Javier Pastore for Bryan Cristante and yanking Dzeko for Patrik Schick. The reaction from the crowd and players certainly seemed to indicate this was Dzeko's last time in a Roma shirt, but that's a matter for another day.
By this point in the match, the table watching really became irrelevant as Atalanta and Inter were each leading their respective matches, while Milan was level with Sassuolo, But with Roma needing all three to lose, the story was pretty well written at this point.
The moment everyone was waiting for, De Rossi's curtain call, came in the 81st minute when DDR was subbed off for Cengiz Ünder, and as he promised he would in his farewell letter, De Rossi passed the armband to a teary-eyed Alessandro Florenzi while the packed Olimpico screamed his name one final time.
2 INTS, 2 Clearances, 3 Key passes and 97% completion on 61 passes. He can still play, which is the sickening part.— Chiesa di Totti (@chiesaditotti) May 26, 2019
De Rossi's final minutes in a Roma shirt were nearly as brilliant as ever, which is really the saddest part of this entire shit show; the man could easily play another year, if not two.
Gervino would level the match five minutes later, and much to his credit he didn't celebrate and in fact barely acknowledged the goal, presumably in deference to his former teammate.
Diego Perotti: 89th Minute (Roma 2, Parma 1)
Roma would snatch back the lead in the 89th minute when Ünder found Perotti with a lovely cross, one that Perotti bounced into the pitch and past a hapless Luigi Seppe.
The two minutes of stoppage time played out to a whimper, but once again Perotti scored the match winner in a club legends final match.
I'm not sure I can say anything that hasn't already been said; this is a betrayal in the highest order. As he proved this evening, De Rossi is more than capable of being a contributor to this Roma side, so all I can really say, all I really need to say is...
Thank you. Thank you for the screams. Thank you for the last man tackles. Thank you for the wins, but most of all for making me love this club and this sport.
I'll leave you with this image, the Romans embracing. A touching moment that says everything you need to know about AS Roma.