As It Happened… Roma vs Milan 5 Talking Points #464

Roma and AC Milan battled at the Olimpico in what was a vital match in the Champions League race. Roma was coming off two of their worst performances of the season in a 3-3 draw in Bergamo and a 7-1 annihilation to Florentina in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals. Meanwhile, AC Milan was starting to heat up just securing a place and the Copa Italia Semis after beating Napoli. It would be their second meeting of the season as AC Milan beat Roma at the San Siro earlier in the season thanks to a Patrick Cutrone on a strike in stoppage-time. In addition to all that Eusebio Di Francesco was under immense pressure ahead of this much important match. Failing to get results could have been the end of his era in Rome. To the surprise of many Roma dominated the match from start to finish. Despite that AC Milan took the lead through Piatek strike but Roma remained in control. In the second half’s opening moments Nicolo Zaniolo Roma’s youngster found the back of the net even the scores. For much of that second half, Roma would be the better team and had a multitude of chances to secure the three points if it wasn’t for the brilliance up Milan goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma. A hard-fought but a tough point that Roma can take with some positivity after putting in an encouraging performance. With the draw, the Champions League race remains tight as ever Roma did their job in allowing themselves to keep fourth place at an arm’s distance as Roma pick up an important point with a performance of character being displayed at Stadio Olimpico.





Nicolo Zaniolo Rise Continues


The growth and Rise of Roma’s Sensational 19-year-old Nicolo Zaniolo only continued in a high-stakes game on Sunday night. Roma’s youngster made even more history and what has been a tremendous debut season. Nicolo Zaniolo became the youngest Roma player since the iconic Francesco Totti to score three goals in a campaign. He has developed himself into such a special talent. Roma won the lottery with this kid in the famous transfer swap deal this summer. Inter Milan gave him up and honestly, right now they could use a player like this. Nicolo Zaniolo was not expected to be this good the perception was that he was going to be an important player in the years to come but would likely have a limited role this season. Not only does have a major role this season but an extremely important one. He has fought his way into the Roma starting lineup this season and it is likely that he will start every game for the rest of the season as well as the years to come. Nicolo Zaniolo has developed into a superstar overnight. He is so much more than the best young player in Italian football he is one of the best players in the league. He is truly a super talent among all the young players in the world’s the only one that rates higher is Killian Mbappe. He is just that special he reminds me of Totti in the way he plays the game he’s physical is tough he has an unparalleled level of intelligence for such a young kid and comes through when his team and needs it the most. His goal may not have been of the world-class variety but he delivered for his team when Roma was losing the game. Provided a spark plug and an injection of energy throughout the match. Roma was unlucky not to get more from the game. He got himself in position to score the goal proving he’s not just a talent he is a superstar already. After his goal, he ran to the Roma supporters and celebrated showing his passion and excitement and how much the club means to him Roma gave him the opportunity The Inter Milan never did. He put in a man-of-the-match performance in every sense of the word. It wasn’t just because he scored the goal he got his teammates involved and he played extremely tough he is one of the most difficult players to defend because of his incredible level of intelligence. Roma is on the verge of renegotiating his contract to signify his stay at the Italian capital long-term. Everyone is hoping he will be Roma’s next Francesco Totti there may not be a next Francesco Totti but he can be Roma’s next big star in Italian football. A player that we’ll stay for long term Edin Dzeko is getting a little older Nicolo Zaniolo is Roma’s franchise player for the future over the next 10 years. To put a performance like that against a team like AC Milan it’s simply just breathtaking.





Piatek Is Perfect for AC Milan  


Piatek crazy hot start in Milan is simply thrilling. The Polish Striker seems to be the perfect player for this historic club. AC Milan has been looking for an answer at the striker position since Andriy Shevchenko. It has been over a decade since they had a proven striker at the San Siro. Milan has gone through a rough patch with so many different experiments that have ultimately failed it appears they have finally found their man. While I still do not consider him a complete Striker he is very Marco Icardi like he will score goals for this club and earn a reputation as a dangerous threat. I have considered him slightly overrated at times this season and I openly admit I was wrong. He does have spurts of hot and cold but that largely must have been the talent he has around him in general. Milan signed him in this January for thirty-five million preventing what would have been a bidding war this summer. He makes incredibly dangerous runs and his clinical finishing ability is second to none a truly dangerous striker to have. He makes Milan just got much better with a true number one striker they’re capable of Champions League football and Beyond. It has been so long since Milan have been competitive enough to challenge trophies with this signing they certainly have the potential to do that. In the game itself it was a one-shot and one goal performance again that this is kind of why I don’t consider him the complete Striker but when his team needed him he delivered. In all honesty, Roma was unlucky to concede at all in this game. He made the play to put Milan in front prior to that Roma had been a complete control and remains in at last space for the majority of the match. He proved to be a difference-maker in a match they easily could have lost in hostile territory. This is what makes him so valuable he can make the one play necessary that can be the difference between three points and no points. Since joining AC Milan he has three goals in his two starts two incredible goals-against second-place Napoli in the Coppa Italia and then again last night delivered for Milan. He is the reason Milan is going to trend up over the next two years this team has the potential to do something really special and finally after long years of soul searching they found it in the Polish Dynamo.


Gattuso Admits Roma was Better Team 


After the match on Sunday night in his post-match interview, AC Milan manager Gennardo Gattuso acknowledged that Roma was the better team and perhaps deserve more than what they got. That is a very tough pill to swallow and I think Gattuso deserves a lot of credit for his comments. The AC Milan manager is absolutely positively right. Roma was in control for much of the game not only on the pitch but on the stat sheet as well. Milan scores one goal in the game it was their only shot on target. Gigio Donnarumma was a busy man with a lot of Roma attacks coming to his Direction. Roma, You could argue dominated the game they created a lot of opportunities and quite honestly could have scored a few more goals. Even late in the game Milan essentially got bailed out by the crossbar. The later it got in the game the more comfortable and in control Roma looked in the game. Milan is very fortunate to have earned the point in Rome on Sunday. It also somewhat highlighted the impact Piatek has on their team had he not scored we could have been looking at a different game. Milan came forward pretty frequently but was unable to do anything about it. Roma dictated the pace of the game they complete control in the Roma Midfield. Essentially unable to deal with the pace Roma had. Rick Karsdorp Nicolo Zaniolo and Stephan El Shaarawy all created massive headaches due to their speed and on the ball intelligence. Roma even could feel disappointed in not being able to secure all three points they were quite easily the better team and even Gattuso can admit that his team fortunate to collect the point at the Stadio Olimpico there’s no reason for Milan to be concerned going forward but on Sunday they certainly were outplayed by a desperate Roma team in search of momentum.


Kolarov Penalty 


After the game, there has been a huge controversy surrounding a no call penalty against Kolarov. AC Milan manager Granada Gattuso was not outraged like everyone else was. He spoke about it after the match and stated that if it was a foul the referee would have called it. Despite all of that the question that remains was it a penalty. There are arguments for both sides but even if the penalty was called it would not have been something that AC Milan deserved. This is why I don’t have a huge problem with it had Milan won they would not have deserved it because the way they played did not overshadow Roma. Roma was clearly the better team throughout the game and if anyone deserves to win it was the Romans. It probably was a penalty but even so, it was a little unclear. Kolarov brought his man down In the box. Which regularly would be a penalty but some circumstances are unclear it was not obvious s Kolarov was going for the ball or just ran his defensive assignment over. The AC Milan supporters are completely and utterly outrageous by it and I don’t think that’s fair. Like I said AC Milan would not have deserved to win this game if the penalty was called. I didn’t believe it was conclusive if you’re going to call a penalty it has to be clear if it’s not a clear penalty then you cannot make that call. I found it a little bit odd that VAR was not used but nonetheless a penalty has to be clear or you cannot make that decision if it was not clear there for there was not enough evidence to suggest a penalty should have been given.




De Rossi Returns 


Last night Roma Captain Daniele De Rossi returned from his injury since being injured at the vs Napoli in November. Roma has lacked somewhat about identity and a leader through a tough stretch over the last few months. Daniele De Rossi is someone Roma needed back and displayed a man-of-the-match like performance showing Roma what they have been missing. He was superb not only as his impact on the pitch but as a leader for this Roma team in a very tough match against AC Milan. Roma’s captain leads by example returning to the starting lineups and displays leadership qualities that inspired his team to come from behind to earn a point. He was absolutely sensational completing 81% of his passes winning 100% of his duels in 90 minutes played. He is the leader of this team and he orchestrated a lot of the strings through the Midfield. Daniele de Rossi will not play for that many more years he’s already 34 years old and it’s not impossible this will be his last season. He is a Roma born boy who has been at the club for 15 years he is someone that Romans associate themselves with and relate to. He is the leader of this pack in tough times and great times he has been the local voice to inspire his teammates to continue to fight no matter the situation. Roma are delighted to have their Captain back he provided something that Roma was missing the leadership in this team has been restored

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