Has a draw ever felt so much like a defeat? Following their 1-1 draw over Udinese Sunday evening, the Giallorossi stand nine straight games unbeaten in the league, and yet, find themselves mired in sixth place, 8 points back of Juventus in fourth place. And that’s the thing as we approach the tail end of the season, right? What once would feel like a point earned earlier in the season now feels like two points dropped, as Roma’s resurgent Champion’s League hopes have now faded almost as quickly as they had resurfaced.
Whether it be fatigue from Thursday’s Conference League fixture or just a matter of not being up for it to start, the Giallorossi were on the back-foot right away in this one, as Udinese quickly took the game to them, pushing for an early goal. Some Tammy Abraham and Nicolo Zaniolo combination play aside, the opening 15 minutes or so of the match were all Udinese, a worrying sign given the difficulty Roma have had this season playing from behind.
Unfortunately, playing from behind is exactly what Roma were forced to do from the 15th minute on after Nahuel Molina picked up a cleared ball attempt by Lorenzo Pellegrini and rifled a shot past Rui Patricio into the back of the net to give Udinese a much-deserved lead. Given how poorly Roma had been playing up to this point, it was pretty clear that the likelihood of winning this match was going to dramatically decrease if Roma didn’t get it together and equalize quickly.
Udinese had other ideas, however, as they continued to look much the better side and began to push for a second goal, which should’ve come in the 38th minute but for Rui Patricio and the woodwork, both playing their role in preventing Jean-Victor Makengo from scoring a wonder-goal.
The second half didn’t produce much in the way of a better performance from the Giallorossi, as they traded blows with Udinese with nothing to show for it for either team. And as Mourinho began to throw on subs in the hopes of finding an equalizer and hopefully a winner, it really highlighted the aforementioned struggles that this team has when having to play from behind, leaving you with a sense that this match could go on for hours and Roma would still be unable to find the back of the net.
Luckily, the football gods had other ideas, as Roma were given six minutes of stoppage time to find an equalizer. And sure enough, they did, as the Giallorossi were awarded a penalty in the 94th minute, following an Udinese handball in the box, which Pellegrini empathically converted to earn Roma a point.
In case you missed any of the actions, enjoy the highlights below. If you want a deeper look, here is the extended highlight package.