Whew, the tone of this piece was almost going to be a lot different, but thanks to two late goals by Carles Pérez and Chris Smalling, Roma continue their unbeaten run in the league with a 2-1 comeback win over lowly Salernitana, and on the four year anniversary of that unforgettable Champions League comeback over Barcelona no less!
While the drama and intrigue surrounding the occasion weren’t nearly as high as that magical evening, this match was no less important for the Giallorossi, as a victory was absolutely crucial for Roma to keep pressure on Juventus in advance of upcoming back-to-back matches against Napoli and Inter. And lest we forget about Roma losing once again to Bodø in their midweek Conference League fixture, meaning dropping points against bottom-of-the-table Salernitana was simply a non-starter for a team looking to finish their season on a high note.
To Roma’s credit, they came out of the gate with the intention of putting the game to bed early, dominating the opening 15 minutes or so of the match. And although the visitors began to grow into the game from that point on, the Giallorossi maintained their control of the match and looked the likelier of the two sides to score. That was until a 22nd-minute free-kick, where Salernitana’s Ivan Radovanovic fired an absolute rocket right past Rui Patricio to give the visitors the lead on the evening, silencing a packed Olimpico. The rest of the first half saw Roma have two legitimate penalty shouts ignored, with VAR twice deeming the offensive actions unworthy of a penalty opportunity for Roma.
The second half saw the Giallorossi earnestly press for an equalizer, but with not much to show for their efforts, their inability to take advantage of their opportunities in front of goal —one of the themes of Roma’s season so far—once again rearing its ugly head. And as Mourinho sent on the calvary with twenty minutes or so to go, it began to seem like the Giallorossi would be forced to endure their second embarrassing defeat of the week. That was until forgotten man Carles Pérez came through to save the day, firing a perfect shot in the 81st minute to equalize for the hosts.
And with nine minutes plus extra time to go, Roma began to push more and more for the winning goal, winning a free-kick in a dangerous area just four minutes later. From there, a pinpoint Jordan Veretout cross found Chris Smalling at the back post, who was able to slot the ball home and complete a dramatic comeback for the Giallorossi.
In case you missed any of the action, enjoy the highlights below. If you want a deeper look, here is the extended highlight package.