A day after falling to Claudio Ranieri's Sampdoria side in a 2-0 defeat, Roma is left once again to pick up the pieces after a frustrating loss in which the Giallorossi's old familiar patterns were once again at play. Plagued by individual errors, missed opportunities, and defensive failings, Roma slipped to their third consecutive defeat. Yesterday's loss to Ranieri was Roma's fourth in their last five matches and marked the 10th time they've dropped points in their past 16 matches dating back to the end of February.
Yesterday's defeat wasn't the most egregious of those 10 disappointments, but it made apparent what we've long suspected: this current Roma team just doesn't have the proverbial “it", however one defines that. Roma remains mired in seventh place and has a mixed bag of fixtures remaining (Man U, Crotone, Inter, Lazio, and Spezia), so Roma may yet give a reason to smile but for all intents and purposes, Roma's season, and Fonseca's career with the club, is effectively over.
So, much like the fallout from their 6-2 defeat to United last week, we can't in good conscience pass out any halos after Roma was beaten so soundly by a seemingly inferior opponent.
I still have high hopes for the young Brazilian with the Alisson-like build and explosivity, but, while he did well to snatch the ball out of the air multiple times yesterday—showing a quick first step and a keen sense of timing—his error on Sampdoria's first goal was inexcusable. Granted, he had no way of knowing that Marash Kumbulla would slip before receiving the pass, but Fuzato could have avoided the entire situation had he put a little more oomph behind the pass.
As it was, Fuzato made five saves, one punch, and two high claims in his second-ever start for Roma.
In some ways, yesterday was a fitting encapsulation of Kumbulla's first season in Rome: he showed some promise but ultimately left the match bruised, battered, and sharing the guilt in yet another mistake from the Roma defense. Kumbulla is a young player and has a tremendous amount of potential resting in his 21-year-old legs, but this season has become a bit of a wash for him developmentally.
He should be a pillar of this club moving forward, so let's hope for a smoother road for Kumbulla next season and beyond.
Dzeko missed a brace by a matter of nanoseconds when he had two goals disallowed for being a hair's breadth offside but he had no such excuse when Emil Audero stonewalled him from the penalty spot.
Dzeko has done more than enough to earn his gold watch from Roma's front office, but this relationship has reached its end and it feels like, now more than ever, that they need to go their separate ways.
Stuck In Between
Despite all the preceding doom and gloom, there were a few semi-noteworthy performances from the men in maroon yesterday.
Bruno Peres: Three key passes, one dribble, two tackles, three interceptions, and 2-4 on long passes. Peres is definitely ending his Roma career on a high note.
Bryan Cristante: Back in his normal midfield spot, Cristante had one on-target shot, two dribbles, three tackles, three interceptions, three clearances, and hit on 3-4 long passes.
Chris Smalling: A much better run than against his former club last week, Smalling had one on-target shot, one dribble, and three clearances.
Ebrima Darboe: We'll end it with a shout-out to the 20-year-old Gambian midfielder who made his club debut today, coming on for Gonzalo Villar in the 82nd minute. He's definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.