Back-to-back wins coming out of the international break? Earning maximum points before a massive midweek fixture in a potential trap game? Is this really Roma?
Jokes aside, a Paulo Dybala penalty was enough for Roma to take all three points, winning 1-0 on the road against Torino in a match that was lacking in action but one that sees the Giallorossi continue their winning ways as they look to have a strong finish to the campaign.
Having said that, let’s take a look at three things I noticed from Roma’s win over Torino.
#1: Roma Move Up to Third Place
Don’t look now, but Roma are up to third place! The Giallorossi were fortunate enough to see their rivals drop points yet again this weekend, allowing Roma to leapfrog both Milan sides in the table with their win over Torino.
Roma haven't qualified for the top four since the 2017/2018 season, and with 9 games left in the Serie A season, the finish line is in sight and the Giallorossi are in a great position to finish in a much-coveted UCL spot.
It remains to be seen whether Juventus will be successful in the appeal of their 15-point deduction. A successful appeal will see Juventus once again ahead of Roma in the table, so there’s no time for Roma to rest on their laurels, with matches against Atalanta, Milan, and Inter all rapidly approaching.
#2: An Eye to Midweek?
José Mourinho opted to leave Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nemanja Matic, Tammy Abraham, Andrea Belotti, and Roger Ibañez all on the bench to start the Torino match, with the frontline being led by Stephan El Shaarawy, Ola Solbakken, and Paulo Dybala.
In his post-match presser, Mourinho discussed how he thought the match needed players who were good 1v1, with SES and Ola being Roma’s two fastest players.
The move paid off as Roma came away with the three points, but I suspect The Special One also had an eye towards midweek with his selections against Torino. It shows the faith he now has in his main role players, a far cry from when the Portuguese tactician first joined the club.
#3: Solbakken May Be Out For Awhile...
Ola Solbakken has slowly but surely been getting more and more minutes since joining in January, with a substitute appearance against Sampdoria and a surprise start in the match against Torino. A wonderful assist to Stephan El Shaarawy to seal the three points against Sampdoria was just a glimpse of what the Norwegian can bring to Roma once he gets fully up to speed.
Unfortunately, a second-half shoulder injury saw Ola forced to cut his night short, and all indications point to a lengthy spell out. Mourinho revealed in his post-match presser that Solbakken could be ruled out for the remainder of the season, in what would be a blow to a team still learning how to navigate playing every three days.
Well, that’s all from me. A Conference League final rematch awaits in midweek as Roma travels to Feyenoord for the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final matchup. The Dutch side no doubt have revenge on their minds following Roma’s triumph in Albania, so this one is sure to produce fireworks.