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Sinners & Saints: Roma 2, Fiorentina 2

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The scoreline soured what was otherwise a dominant effort from the Giallorosse.

AS Roma v ACF Fiorentina - Women Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

In what is quickly becoming the theme of the season, manager Betty Bavagnoli bemoaned Roma's finishing in her post-match comments. As we mentioned in our match review, these criticisms are somewhat context-dependent. Sure, Roma have now scored 10 goals over their past five matches, but that represents a mere fraction of the goals they could have had and those could haves have impacted Roma's bottom line. While we've seen more profligate performances from Roma in the past, they still left several chances begging to be finished in Saturday's disappointing 2-2 draw with Fiorentina.

When you consider how thoroughly dominant Roma were in most phases of the match, it wasn't really a fair result, especially when you consider that Fiorentina were woeful in the run of play, capitalizing on two set pieces but otherwise living life under Roma's heel at the Tre Fontane.

While the end result was incredibly frustrating, Roma were quick and vertical in the attacking phases and practically suffocated Fiorentina's forwards at the other end, so let's take a look at the highs and lows of the club's draw with Fiorentina.

The Saints

Manuela Giugliano

Now this is the Manuela Giugliano we all fell in love with during the 2019 World Cup. Giugliano was a one-woman wrecking crew against the Viola today. Sitting in her now customary deep-lying midfield role, Giugliano spent her afternoon dissecting and destroying Fiorentina counter attacks, spraying the ball left, right and center to her teammates from a variety of angles and positions and, when she venture further up the pitch, playing quick and decisive final balls.

While she didn't register a goal or a direct assist, she set up Roma's first goal with perhaps the smoothest tackle turned counter you'll ever see:

That play pretty much sums up everything that makes Roma's #10 so special. Giugliano was hampered by injuries during her first year with Roma, but she's back to her MVP self and Roma are better for it.

Annamaria Serturini

Roma's #15 was a blur today against Fiorentina, breezing past any and all comers in white kits and just generally terrorizing the Viola all afternoon with her speed, agility and aggression. Words are great and all, but all you really need to know about Serturini's afternoon is right here:

This would have been a match winner were it not for Tatiana Bonetti's late equalizer, but this was a stunning goal no matter the final result. It was just so unexpected, so powerful and so incredibly precise there was no way on earth the keeper was stopping this one.

As the Tweet says, Serturini has made a habit of scoring goals like these.

Paloma Lázaro scored Roma's first goal with a clear and easy header and the Giallorosse received solid runs from Angelica Soffia, Telca Pettenuzzo and Allyson Swaby, but they couldn't hold a candle to Giugliano or Serturini.

The Sinners

Elisa Bartoli

Even beloved captains can have an off day, and that was certainly the case for Bartoli today against her former team. While she did well enough to team up with Serturini to wreak havoc on the left flank, Bartoli was the man culprit in Sabatino's 11th minute strike, as she was a little late tracking the ball off the free-kick (which was actually a pretty slow, looping effort) and did very little to deny Sabatino the ball and/or make her shot more difficult.

Bartoli doesn't have much cover on the left-flank, so Roma really need her A+ material 100% of the time, which is both unrealistic and unfair, but they won't stand a chance against Milan next week if Bartoli isn't hitting on all cylinders.

Rachele Baldi

A surprise starter this season, Baldi has lived firmly in that ambiguous goalkeeping middle ground: avoiding howlers and match changing saves in equal measure. Baldi may have the size and strength advantage over last year's starter Camelia Ceasar, but she hasn't brought the same level of certainty or consistency to the position as the Romanian did last term.

While there wasn't much Baldi could have done on Sabatino's goal—she was left in the lurch by Baroli's inability to fully commit to the challenge—she completely misread the arch/trajectory on Bonetti's late equalizer, coming out a touch too far and helplessly watching as the ball dipped over her outstretched arms.

Couple that with some lazy distribution from the back and Baldi is starting to look like the weak link in Roma's rearguard.

This was another frustrating match from Roma, one that turned on two or three key moments, but there were enough positives to give you hope that they might pull off an upset against Milan next week.

Stay tuned!