The Day After… Roma vs Atalanta 5 Talking Points #456


Roma one of Italy’s most in-form teams over the last few weeks traveled to Atalanta having been won three consecutive matches. To face and incredibly strong Atalanta team who is the highest scoring team in the league as well as having the most in-form player in Europe at the moment. When these two teams faced off in the second match of the season at the Stadio Olimpico Atlanta took a 3-1 lead before Roma ultimately mounted a comeback in what was a wild and thrilling 3-3 draw in Rome. It would turn out to be a hugely thrilling match with so much on the line. A win for Roma would taken them into the top four while a result for Atalanta would strengthen their Champions League ambitions. It turned out to be a wild in a six-goal thriller we saw Roma take advantage of opportunities and collapse in the most disgraceful way possible. Roma took advantage of the opportunities in the first half as Edin Dzeko scored his first goal since October while adding another one as Roma opened up a 2-0 lead. Roma weren’t in control but they took advantage of their chances Roma opened it up even more when Stephan El Shaarawy made it 3-0 Roma. Unfortunately Timothy Castagne got a goal back for Atalanta right before halftime. In the second half we witnessed an epic collapse from Roma defensively as Atlanta dominated thoroughly throughout the last 45 minutes. Tioli scored a second for Atlanta early in the second-half to minimize the deficit to 3-2. Roma’s defensive deficiencies was certainly highlighted. Atalanta was given a penalty with the possibility of coming back from the dead. The hottest striker in Europe Duvan Zapata failed to convert however he was able to capitalize on a momentum just a minute later on a counter-attack the Colombian Strike found the back of the net to make it 3-3. Roma surrenders a three-goal lead in what was a truly embarrassing performance in this League a three-goal lead should be more than enough. Roma’s winning streak ends as the Romans now have to prepare for two huge matches as they faced Florentina in the Copa Italia quarterfinals on Wednesday followed by a hugely important match against AC Milan at the Stadio Olimpico.




Edin Dzeko Is Back


Although this game had a lot of negatives one of the positive was Edin Dzeko. Edin Dzeko had appeared to have regressed this season. After an incredibly hot start especially in the Champions League and his  five goals he has significantly slowed down. Prior to this game he had not scored a single goal since October. Only two League goals this season that’s not necessarily his fault he has dealt with some injuries over the last month and we just now are starting to see him return to action. However yesterday’s first half performance was a breakthrough for the Bosnian Striker. From a statistical Sandpoint Edin Dzeko is one of the greatest Strikers Roma have ever had. Last night in that first half he made some more history. After not scoring since October he scored twice in the opening half hour. He was incredibly efficient in front of goal his service was excellent but is clinical ability was superb. Edin Dzeko is such an important player for this team when he is on form and at his best there are very few players who can do what he does. He’s more than just a striker that scores goals he is a complete player in the number nine role. At player with great leadership passing ability and a high level of intelligence. He was one of the best performers this week’s. his ability to rebound after having not scored for quite some time shows that Roma have something. Their match itself may have been more about the collapse then anything else but throughout the match Edin Dzeko put in a captain’s performance especially in the first half. He captained Roma for only the second time and he displayed his quality with two excellent goals. With that he scored his 82nd goal in the Roma shirts as he currently moves him up to the 8th highest scorer in Club history. Roma performance last night was inexcusable but Edin Dzeko was as good as he’s been in months if he can maintain that and develop more consistency this will become a much stronger team. He is capable of a very strong second half of the season and after a two-goal performance it even more highlights his importance. The Bosnian certainly seems to be back.




Duvan Zapata’s Resilience 


Duvan Zapata has been the best player in the League this season. He was the one player Roma was afraid to deal with. With 14 goals in his last eight games he is currently the hottest player in Europe at the moment. The Colombia Striker went from zero to hero. He was very ineffective in the first half as the very few as his shots found the target. In the second half with his team only down by one goal he had an opportunity to get them back into the game after being down by so many goals. Duvan Zapata stepped up to take a penalty that would have drawn the game even. It was a shock but it was a horrible miss that went over the goal. However what is so great about him is he didn’t let that affect him. Just one minute later he ended a counter-attack by sticking the ball into the back of the net. In a performance that was required he thrived under the pressure. Showing his true a dominance in Italian football he’s not only scoring against the lower teams he’s scoring against the big ones and in that moment he got them back into the game. There is really nothing you can do to stop him at the moment that is just how well he is playing. Can he maintain it for the entire season that’s up for debate but at the moment there is no answer. To have the resilience of not being affected by missing a penalty and to come back a minute later and score the winning goal shows his incredible value. He was a big part of their ability to come back



Roma’s Tactical issues and Collapse 


I have always given Eusebio di Francesco my full support and I will continue to do so. I think he is the best manager for this club and has done a tremendous job however on this occasion I must give him some criticism. While he is not the main reason for Roma’s collapse on Sunday he certainly played a factor with some of mistakes he made in his lineup selection. DiFrancesco opted for Rick Karsdorp and Ivan Marcano. The reasoning makes complete sense they are quick and fast Defenders and to take out this high-powered attack it seemed that was the best idea. They’re prototypes folded into their weaknesses. It worked for about 45 minutes but in the second half there was collapse. I felt DiFrancesco did not make the adjustments that was necessary in those moments. Atalanta’s aerial attack was tremendous because of that it is abundantly clear that Federico Fazio should have been given the start giving his 6’5 frame. He should made better adjustments for the second half. Like I said he cannot be fully held accountable for it but he played a factor. The collapse I believe was a mental thing it was just a breakdown in mentality. I have to keep reminding everyone this is a new team that practically had never played together before this season. Roma have the players but mentally because the lack of experience with each other it has not gone the way Roma would have liked. This breaking down in the second half is something Roma is far too familiar with. This team needs to work on a mental strength there are leaders in this team but some of the injuries has kept out players who been in these moments before which gives a Roma a huge disadvantages when it counts. I’m not making excuses for anyone it was an absolute embarrassing performance. If you get a three-goal lead you can’t blow it. They had a three-goal Advantage all they needed to do is set themselves up to hold off the inevitable attack. Roma we’re just playing their best football of the season and inconsistency has crept up again unfortunately. I still believe this team has all the abilities to make it back into the champions league but stuff like this cannot occur something needs to change. Players getting healthy and coming off their injuries could be really important but one way or another there needs to be some change within the mental part of the game. The performance was embarrassing they folded when it mattered.



Historic Comeback 


Despite the fact that Roma does have a very leaky defense in this match showed more about Roma’s collapse then anything else. We have to give credit to Atalanta what they did was absolutely unbelievable to come back from three goals down is a historic come back. They get some revenge from the last time these teams played. Having to watch Roma do almost the same thing to them there were extra inspired to pull off the impossible. In the first meeting Atalanta had a 3-1 lead going into the second half before having to watch Roma claw back and earn a 3-3 draw. Going into the second half they were absolutely determined to steal points from Roma. They completely dominated the second half of play as Roma could barely get the ball past the halfway line. They controlled possession and made them pay whenever they had the opportunity. A historic comeback by a club without much history this is a moment this club will remember for quite some time. It is a results they earned it was unfair for them to be so far behind at any point in this game. In the end it was about the collapse but they deserve a lot of credit for coming back in a game we’re at times it looks like there was no chance. Even though they played well throughout the match being down by so many goals and finding a way back is absolutely remarkable and Gasparini deserves a lot of credit for inspiring his team to a much important come-from-behind point. Atalanta are very much in the race for Champions League football and the man guiding them is the reason they have had so much success this season. A historic performance on Sunday only justifies his managerial status Gasparini truly one of the most underrated managers in football.


Roma close to €25m Mancini deal MUCH NEEDED


Roma’s leaky defense was highlighted and their collapse on Sunday afternoon. The majority of Roma team is actually very strong but their defense is just not at the standard. Roma have a brilliant goalkeeper in Robin Olsen and it’s unfortunate because a lot of the time the defense is creating errors and problems forcing Robin Olsen to make almost impossible saves. He has saved this team from points many times this season but the defenses poor run of play has made it incredibly difficult for him to clean sheets not because he’s not an excellent goalkeeper but because they are leaving themselves exposed. If there’s one thing may need right now or in the future it is a Defender a quality Defender with ability. The Coincidence of this deal could not be any more strange. Roma are very close to completing a 25 million deal for Atalanta Center back Mancini. Roma has a good relationship with the club and have used it to their advantage having recently acquired Bryan Cristante this summer. Inter Milan and Everton are also interested but it seems that Roma have won the race for his signature. He is expected to join the club at the beginning of next season which is something they need desperately. A solid defense is the only thing standing in the way of them competing for the scudetto. Roma have agreed in principle to sign the defender this will see Roma pay 25 million euros on a five-year deal. The player is likely to earn 1.5 million next season the deal is expected to conclude in the next few days which will see him remain at Atalanta for the remainder of the season before joining Roma in the summer. This is something Roma need so bad he is one of the most promising young defenders in Europe and securing his services will greatly improve this defense. Kostas Manolas can’t do everything by himself he needs help. This is not to say that Roma Defenders individually don’t have quality but they’re just not good enough they are conceding far too many goals and if this deal goes through it will significantly help Roma’s defenses issues next season. For the time being Roma must try to improve this defense as much as possible because this is the only thing standing in the way of them competing. This could not have happened at a better time pulling off this deal is something Roma really needed. In what is an incredibly leaky defense this will only strengthen them because they need so much improvement in that area. Mancini will be a superb signing it could completely change the outline of what they’re able to achieve next season.

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