On the heels of a frustrating loss to bottom-dwellers Cremonese, a match against Juventus was always either going to be the tonic that cured Roma’s woes or the haymaker that risked derailing Roma’s season. Fortunately for Roma, this clash turned out to be the former, as a Gianluca Mancini strike was the difference in this one, propelling Roma to a 1-0 win over their hated rival.
The Olimpico was deafening to start, and it made the match have an air of gravitas that is typical of top-of-the-table clashes. Roma finally made their presence in the game felt at the quarter of the hour mark, as Paulo Dybala weaved through defenders at the top of the box and nearly had an attempt on goal but for a Juventus boot blocking the attempt.
The moment seemed to kick the Giallorossi into gear as they began to seriously test the Juventus defense for the next 10 minutes, Leonardo Spinazzola, in particular, continuing to show flashes of his best, devastating form from the Euros.
Juve themselves slowly grew into the match and quickly become the more threatening of the two sides, culminating close to halftime as Danilo found Adrien Rabiot at the back post with a free chance at goal, the Frenchman unable to convert thanks to a quick save from Rui Patricio at a close angle, ensuring the sides would be level as they went into the break.
The second half began with Juve looking the stronger of the two sides, utilizing Filip Kostić to target Nicola Zalewski down Roma’s right flank, with the youngster certainly having a tough time handling the wing-back.
Sensing that the game was beginning to slip from them, Jose Mourinho was moments away from subbing on Tammy Abraham and Rick Karsdorp in the 53rd minute when Roma began to push forward, and Bryan Cristante found Mancini inching forward at the top of the box, the center-back quickly setting up his shot with a touch and firing a venomous shot across goal, leaving old-friend Wojciech Szczęsny helpless to save it.
Having scored that all-important first goal, Mourinho opted to keep his substitutes on the bench for a few more minutes, instead relying on his starting to eleven to continue to contain Juventus, although Juve nearly found an equalizer right away when a Juan Cuadrado free-kick rattled the post.
Ultimately, Roma weathered that initial flurry that always comes once a team concedes, and eventually, tempers started to flare with a quarter of an hour left in the match when Kostić kicked out at Roger Ibanez after being dispossessed. Allegri, not one to risk it, promptly subbed off the player before any further investigation by VAR could take place.
As full-time approached, it was now-or-never time for Juventus, and so Allegri threw on Moise Kean in Juve’s quest to find an equalizer. But in a nasty moment, Kean’s substitute appearance lasted all of 40 seconds, the youngster receiving a straight red card for kicking out at Mancini after a minor tussle with the defender.
The red card completely deflated the opposition, and after seeing out a relatively stress-free seven minutes of injury time, the final whistle blew, and the Giallorossi began to celebrate a job well done.
In case you missed any of the action, enjoy the highlights below. The official league highlights are available here.