I don’t know about you, but I’m already feeling quite the hangover developing from this disappointing draw against 19th-placed Genoa. Roma weren’t at their best throughout the match, but the referee’s decision to once again become a protagonist in a Giallorossi match essentially stripped I Lupi of a critical three points. Following the match, José Mourinho tried to avoid discussing the incredibly controversial refereeing decision but still fumed that “If it’s determined that the referee made the correct decision, then the game that people fell in love with years ago has changed. If that’s the foul then this isn’t football anymore, we’ll have to call it something else.”
I’d go further than Mourinho (largely because Serie A can’t suspend or fine me) and suggest that this is just one in a series of poor refereeing decisions that have gone against Roma, and we’re officially at the point where we can safely raise questions about just why these decisions are always negatively impacting the Giallorossi. The script of the past several instances like today’s indicates that Rosario Abisso will get some mild punishment for his performance today, but that punishment won’t magically give Roma two more points on the table.
The highlights of the match, such as they are, include the fact that Nicolò Zaniolo’s disallowed goal was the kind of strike that only superstars make. Although I’m beginning to doubt that Zaniolo will be able to become a global superstar in Rome with the way the referees seem intent on treating him in Serie A, Nicolò’s playmaking and striking today showed that he still has the intangibles necessary to thrive in top-flight football.
Watch the highlights if you dare, but even as you bang your head against a wall because Roma couldn’t get the three points, keep that shred of hope about Zaniolo’s future in your back pocket. He’s still quite the player, even if the referee wouldn’t let him be a game-changer today.
If you prefer a deep dive, check out the extended highlights.