As in the Giallorossi’s shot on target percentage in what was a disappointing offensive display on Saturday. We’ve talked about Roma’s wastefulness in front of goal often this season, but the recent 4 goal output against Empoli seemed to indicate a turn in front of goal. This match was a regression to the norm that has plagued the Giallorossi for much of the season, as they put just 3 of 23 shots on target. Too often yesterday did we see the Giallorossi shoot waywardly and too little did we see them test Salvatore Sirigu’s goal.
As in the number of fouls committed by the Grifoni on Saturday. Genoa clearly came in with a strategy to take the Giallorossi out of their rhythm. It went something like this: press when Roma were in their own half, sit in a low block when Roma made strides toward goal, and break up Giallorossi attacks by any means necessary (see above for Leo Østigård’s chokehold tackle to deny Felix a look at goal). And it worked. Because for all of the possession that Roma held, it just never looked truly in rhythm in the attacking third of the pitch.
As in the number of balls recovered by Chris Smalling in the match. Despite Roma controlling the lion’s share of possession, one was always wary of Genoa springing a counter-attack to punish the Giallorossi and stealing all three points. However, thanks to the attentiveness of the backline and Smalling, in particular, the Grifoni were held at bay on the counter. Smalling’s 25 recoveries led the side and were 11 more than his previous high this season against Juve.
One is actually the most important number of all this match, as it is the number of VAR reviews, disallowed goals, and points that Roma ultimately took for the match. After Nico Zaniolo scored on a brilliant individual effort, VAR decided to intervene on what looked like minimal contact between Tammy Abraham and a defender in the buildup. The referee ultimately decided to take away a huge goal from Zaniolo, resulting in two lost points for Roma. It’s yet another infuriating decision from a referee in a Roma match that has cost the Giallorossi just a few more than one point.