I had almost forgotten what it was like for Roma to collapse late like they did against Fiorentina, throwing away a 1-0 lead with five minutes till full-time to lose 2-1 on the night, such is the level of comfort I had in Roma maintaining a one-goal lead in the Jose Mourinho era.
In the grand scheme of things, this result doesn't matter. Roma have long been resigned to their fate in the league, and while disappointing, nobody will remember this result should Roma go on to win the Europa League. Still, it’s not the result you want in your tune-up match, so let’s take a look at three things I noticed from Roma’s draw with Salernitana.
#1: Uhh, that Doesn’t Bode Well
Look, we all know this result doesn't really matter. Sure, you’d like to finish in the top six, but we all know the focus is on the Europa League final, and you could even argue that should they lose on Wednesday, the Giallorossi might be better off next season focusing solely on the league.
Regardless, throwing away a 1 -0 lead with five minutes to spare to ultimately lose the match entirely is not what you want to see going into the final. What would’ve been a confidence-boosting win quickly turned into a demoralizing defeat for Roma.
You know the result will be quickly forgotten with full-focus now on Sevilla, but it would’ve been nice to have just a bit more momentum going into the match. But hey, at least Sevilla lost by a 2-1 scoreline as well on Saturday.
#2: Roma’s Rotten League Form Continues
With their loss to Fiorentina, Roma have now gone seven straight matches in the league without a win, dating back to mid-April when they defeated Udinese 3-0.
That’s due in large part to Roma’s injury crisis and the decision to prioritize the Europa League over Serie A, but even despite those mitigating factors, Roma would be in pole position for top-four had they just been able to see out the result against Fiorentina and defeat Salernitana in the previous round following Juventus’ ten-point deduction.
Of course, Roma would likely have played things differently the last couple of months had they known what Juve’s punishment would be, but now Roma’s season comes down to one game in Budapest.
#3: Il Faraone Does it Again
Mama, there goes that man! One positive we can take away from the result is that once again, Stephan El Shaarawy finds himself on the scoresheet. Having scored the initial equalizer to make it 1-1 against Salernitana, this time SES would get the opener following a well-worked team goal that led to an easy finish for Il Faraone.
With Paulo Dybala’s status for Wednesday still very much in the air, Roma will need someone to put the ball in the back of the net if they want to take home the trophy, and with Andrea Belotti and Tammy Abraham both in a goal-scoring rut, SES is finding his shooting boots at the perfect time - a godsend for Roma given that El Shaarawy is just returning from an injury layoff himself.
Well, that’s all from me. All roads now lead to Budapest as the Giallorossi look to make it back-to-back European cup competition wins. More importantly, the final represents Roma’s last remaining lifeline to get back into the Champion’s League and the financial benefit that comes from qualifying. Make sure you don’t miss this one!