The combined age of Roma’s two heroes on the day: Cristian Volpato and Edoardo Bove. On Saturday at the Olimpico, the Giallorossi were missing nine senior team players against Verona and those that were available put in one of their worst shifts of the season. So, with Roma down two goals and looking uninspired, Mourinho turned to youth in the second half with Volpato, Bove, and Nicola Zalewski all featuring prominently. The move paid off as the trio helped inspire a languid side to a come from behind point. Volpato and Bove both scored their first senior side goals and have made a case for more playing time as Roma tries to get out of a three-match funk.
As in the xG for both sides in the match. Both teams scored two goals apiece, yet both were only expected to score half of a goal each. Obviously, goals can only be scored in increments of one, but this speaks to the relatively few high-quality chances created by both sides: only three shots on goal each; two of each resulting in the goals.
The highest xG for any one player was Antonin Barak’s 0.3 when he scored the opener with a nice volley on a broken play. And when you consider the low number of shots and the manner in which the goals were scored (mostly poor defending), it’s no surprise the xG was low in this match. Many weeks we speak about Roma leaving chances begging. This one was all about a couple of kids bailing Roma out after it didn’t create nearly enough.
As in the goal-creating actions of Verona winger Gianluca Caprari. So often Romanisti are left to rue the day when some ex-Primavera hits the Giallorossi with a purghino—that very painful reminder of one that got away for one reason or another. On Saturday, Caprari didn’t score a goal himself but was involved in both Verona tallies; earning the assist on Tameze’s goal that put the Mastiffs up 2-0.
Caprari was influential throughout the match and Verona became a lot less dangerous once he came off the pitch in the 64th minute. The former Roma man continues to have his best professional season to date, upping his assist count to seven to go along with nine goals.
As in the dropped points for Roma in the last three league matches; all draws. The Giallorossi have now drawn three straight matches since thumping Empoli 4-2. They were shut out by relegation side Genoa and had to fight back for a point each against both Sassuolo and Verona. The results leave Roma eighth in the table and out of the European places altogether. When looking back, though, the most frustrating part for Romanisti has to be the fact that the four sides directly in front of Roma have all been in up and down form as well. The Giallorossi are just six back of a struggling Juve side for fourth place, which speaks to just how big these dropped points will likely be at season’s end.