The Giallorossi are down to bare bones, they have nothing to play for in Serie A, and the squad even knows who their new manager will be once the summer rolls around. Why, a sane person might ask, should I care about their next match against F.C. Crotone, a side doomed to relegation and sitting in 20th place in the table?
In all honesty, the best reason I can give you for watching tomorrow is to see some prospects and hopefully see a Giallorossi win. Ebrima Darboe looks to be getting a start, and other exciting youngsters like Nicola Zalewski might get more time on the pitch at the Stadio Olimpico now that the Giallorossi’s season is practically over.
Roma vs. Crotone: May 9th. 18:00 CET/12:00 EDT. Stadio Olimpico, Roma.
Add in the fact that Crotone have been quite the miserable side in Serie A this season, and at the very least we can hope that you’ll finish watching tomorrow’s match in a better mood than you were in following Roma’s 6-2 first leg thrashing by Manchester United.
January 6th: Crotone 1, Roma 3
Back when the Giallorossi were expertly handling the minnows of Serie A on a weekly basis, their 3-1 win over Crotone was the blueprint for what Paulo Fonseca’s side was capable of. It was honestly a relief to walk into matches like this one and be sure that a win was probably the end result; of course, part of the reason Paulo Fonseca is not long for the Stadio Olimpico is that his trend of leaving the minnows in the dust ended, but that doesn’t make the match highlights of a game like this any less enjoyable to watch. In the first leg of this tie, Borja Mayoral provided a brace in the span of twenty minutes, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s converted penalty (drawn by Mayoral) ensuring a Giallorossi win. Here’s what Bren had to say post-match:
Despite the somewhat surprisingly even start, this match played out pretty much how we expected: Crotone were no match for Roma, who, thanks to their 3-0 first-half lead, had plenty of cushion to sit on in the second half, which likely explains how Crotone won the possession and shooting battles this afternoon.
But...it gets even better. Thanks to Claudio Ranieri and Sampdoria hanging on to defeat Inter Milan 2-1, Roma now has a chance to tie Conte’s crew for second place next week (on points at least).
Well, we all know how the rest of Roma’s season played out; second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place all turned into a fantasy due to injuries, the Džeko-Fonseca squabble, and more. Let’s forget about the disappointments of this season, though, and look forward to one of Paulo Fonseca’s final matches with Roma, one where the Giallorossi might actually secure a win.
What To Watch For
Darboe Gets The Start
Without a doubt, the most exciting element of Roma’s relatively meaningless match against Crotone will be the first Serie A start for Ebrima Darboe. The 19-year-old Gambian midfielder showed promise against Manchester United in the mid-week match, and with Roma’s fate in Serie A effectively sealed, at least the Giallorossi can give some play-time to exciting prospects like Darboe.
Who knows if Darboe will ever see the light of day again after José Mourinho starts his new gig, but for now, enjoy the promise of a teenage midfielder who has already put in a respectable shift against one of the biggest clubs in the world. It’s certainly more entertaining than just watching a Roma match for Bruno Peres.
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