The Roman rebirth continued Saturday under Claudio Ranieri as the Giallorossi put in perhaps their strongest performance of the season against Cagliari. Roma were dominant, winning by a 3-0 scoreline and conceding very little to a Cagliri side that had come back from a 2-0 deficit the first time these teams met. Roma will look to carry that momentum into Genoa on Sunday when they face off against the Grifoni at the Marassi.
Previous Meeting: Roma 3 - Genoa 2
The last time these two sides met was back in December at the Olimpico in what was a back and forth affair. Roma entered that match having dropped points in three straight Serie A matches and five straight in all competitions. Desperate times called for desperate measures, so EDF ran out a somewhat experimental line-up with a three man back line and Nicolò Zaniolo as a false nine. Let’s just say that had mixed results, as the Giallorossi had their scoring boots on, but as we saw throughout the season under EDF’s leadership, weren’t up to par on the defensive side.
The match started poorly for Roma, as now Milan man, Krzysztof Piątek got the Genoa off the mark in the seventeenth minute, much to the dismay of the home support. Roma were able to answer back just under fifteen minutes later, before conceding just two minutes after that. Genoa regained the lead through Oscar Hiljemark and it looked like Roma were going to drop more points to a bottom half side. Luckily, the Giallorossi had some fight in them on the day and were able to come back for a second time with a goal right before half from Justin Kluivert. Roma capped off the win with Bryan Cristante scoring just before the hour mark.
Genoa v. Roma: May 5th. 18:00 CET/12:00 EDT. Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa.
This time around, Roma enter the match in a much better run off form having picked up points in its previous five Serie A matches (3 wins, 2 draws) and hold a 4-2-2 record since Ranieri has taken over. The turnaround has allowed Roma to overtake struggling Milan in the Champions League race and i Lupi now trail Atalanta by just a point for a coveted top 4 finish.
To keep the pressure on La Dea, Roma will have to take care of business in Liguria on Sunday against a scuffling Genoa side. The bottom has dropped out on the Grifoni after they shockingly defeated Juventus on St. Patrick’s Day. Since that match Genoa has dropped points in six straight (4 losses, 2 draws) and scored just twice. That should play into the hands of a Roma side that has allowed just one goal (to Inter) in its last four matches. Despite that, Ranieri isn’t expecting an easy match saying,
“I’m expecting a tough game against Genoa – this is a team that have beaten Atalanta, Lazio and Juventus. We’ll need to be super focused”
On top of its stellar defensive performances of late, Roma also put in one of its best attacking performances of the season against Cagliari. Some of Roma’s most maligned players stepped up in the victory. Now, Roma will have to build on that if it wants to keep the heat on Atalanta in the Champions League race over the last four weeks of the Serie A season.
La Dea travels to Roma to play Roma’s bitter rivals, Lazio. The Giallorossi will be hoping for a win and some help from an unexpected source. Roma will hope for a better performance from the Biancocelesti than it did during Ranieri’s first tenure when the Curva Nord told its side to let Inter win to avoid a Roma Scudetto. Ranieri took the gentlemanly angle when speaking on that in his presser.
“I’m not interested in these things – it’s up to the league’s governing body to deal with issues like that. I need to coach my side – I’ve always been a fair person and that’s important to me.”
With that seed planted in the back of everyone’s mind the last few weeks of the season should be filled with plenty of intrigue so stay tuned.