Not a bad way to come out of an international break, right? Roma put three past 10-man Sampdoria, with Gini Wijnaldum, Paulo Dybala, and Stephan El Shaarawy all getting their names on the scoresheet. The result sees Roma provisionally climb back into the top-four pending Milan’s result against Napoli. I won’t jinx that one here, but Roma absolutely set the tone for their last 10 league fixtures with this result.
The first half saw Roma control possession but unable to get past a stubborn Sampdoria side, no surprise given their fight to overtake Spezia and climb out of the relegation spots. One of Roma’s earliest opportunities came in the form of a Diego Llorente header that forced a fine save from Ravaglia, Roma once again showcasing their ability to threaten with the header.
The best chance of the first half saw Gini Wijnaldum in-behind and one on one with the keeper, however his chip attempt hit the woodwork and Roma were forced to continue their push for the opener. A Zalewski shot from distance tested Ravaglia once again, but the half ended with the scores level and Roma with plenty of work to do.
If you were worried about a prolonged struggle to breakdown Sampdoria in the second half, the football gods favored you, as just seven minutes into the second half, Jeison Murillo lunged for the ball, instead clipping Tammy Abraham and earning himself a second yellow and a subsequent red card.
And just five minutes later the Giallorossi quickly capitalized on their man-advantage, pushing forward into Sapmdoria’s box, where Leonardo Spinazzola laid it off to Nemanja Matic, who crossed the ball right to Gini Wijnaldum, the midfielder making no mistake with his header, burying the ball in the back of the net for his second league goal with Roma and the all-important opener.
Roma continued to push for a second for the remainder of the second half, however 10-man Sampdoria were able to hold firm, and even began to push forward and began to threaten themselves on occasion as we approached full-time.
A couple minutes from full-time saw Roma once again at the top of Sampdoria’s box, having broken a spell of pressure from the opposition. A succession of passes culminated in Matic once again finding Wijnaldum in the box, however the Dutchman was clipped from behind by a Sampdoria defender and the referee automatically pointed to the spot.
Of course, as we’ve seen so often this season, Dybala stepped up to the spot and once again made no mistake, waiting till the last possible second and passing it into the back of the net once the keeper made his move.
With five minutes of extra-time awarded, Roma continued to push forward in possession, aiming to leave no doubt about the result. And with a minute to spare, Ola Solbakken found Stephan El Shaarawy in space, and as Il Faraone so often does, hit it first time and curled the ball beautifully into the back of the net to kill off the game.
In case you missed any of the action, enjoy the highlights below. The official league highlights are available here.