A Night of Destiny as Late Heroics put Roma back in the Champions League Picture #545

Score: A.S Roma 2 Juventus 0FT


Following an incredibly disappointing 1-1 draw away at Genoa last weekend Roma return home to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to face scudetto winners Juventus for the second time as the season winds down to its final three games. It would be a must-win for Roma with their Champions League ambitions worsened a lost would completely derail any hopes of Champions League football. In the reverse fixture, it was a narrow 1-0 win for Juventus at the Allianz Stadium. Roma coming into the game was scoreless and their last three games against Juventus this was a match of Destiny. Roma certainly could not afford to let this one get away from them. Their Champions League dream hanging in the balance against the league champions. It was always going to be a tough battle even though they had nothing to play for Roma and Juventus have had some incredibly competitive games over the years and Juventus were certainly not going to lie down for the Romans. It was a match of necessity and desire for Roma and they certainly played like it. Even though Juventus did seem like a slightly better team in the first half they grew into the game really nicely and made the proper adjustments. Even a point against Juventus was not going to be enough and would effectively ruin any chance of Champions League football. It was intense but Roma knew that their season was hanging in the balance based on the result. Juventus made things very tough but late Dramatics from Roma delivered on their knight of destiny. Alexandro Florenzi scored very late on to give Roma a 1-0 lead before edin Dzeko doubled Roma’s lead at the very end in what was an eventual 2-0 victory for the Romans. A Champions League race that appeared all but done last weekend has found some life once again at the expense of the league champions.



Claudio Ranieri prior to the match announced that he would leave his post as Roma manager at the end of the season. Nonetheless, he was prepared and ready to make all the adjustments necessary to get his hometown Club to the Champions League. Roma, for the most part, has used the 4-2-3-1 formation but in a game of this magnitude, Claudio Ranieri opted for a change as he set up his team out of the 4-3-3 formation signaling his intent. In goal for Roma would be the experienced Antonio Mirante. Roma’s backline would remain unchanged from the weekend. At left-back would be Alex Kolarov, beside him would be the center-back partnership of Federico Fazio and Kostas manolas. Then filling out the defense at right-back would be Roma Captain Alexandro Florenzi. Roma would not come out with a defensive Midfield on this occasion as they go with a three-man Midfield. In the central position would be Steven nzonzi as Bryan cristante goes to the bench in Roma’s only change. To the left would be Lorenzo Pellegrini then on the opposite side on the right side would be Roma sensation Nicolo zaniolo. In Roma’s front three on the left wing would be Stephan El Shaarawy who has been Roma’s best player throughout this season. On the opposite side on the right wing would be Roma youngster Justin kluivert. Then in the middle, As Roma’s main Striker would be the Bosnian big man edin Dzeko. A very strong line up with the likes of Cengiz under and Bryan cristante as options Off the Bench.


Following preparations and predictions, we were just about to get ready to kick-off in Rome in what was Serie A game of the week. Between two Italian football heavyweights as Roma hosted Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico in a match that always proves to be competitive the match finally got underway on a Sunday night in the capital. Juventus came out firing to start the match have they tried to apply pressure early. Juventus had moderate control of possession early in the first half as it took a little while for Roma to create. Cristiano Ronaldo tries to strike early but saw his shot from the side of the box miss. Just a few minutes later Emre Can set up Juan Cuadrado beautifully as it looked sure to be the opening goal. The Colombian Winger misfired in what was an unbelievable chance as Antonio Mirante a got a finger to it. Despite that, it was too good of a chance to miss one that certainly could come back to haunt them. Juventus continued to have their way with Roma at least in the early goings as they controlled the pace of the game dominating possession allowing themselves to do what they want. However, with that being said Roma defensively made it difficult for Juventus at times. Juventus had another great opportunity a little later something that should have been a sure goal. As Cristiano Ronaldo dribbled past three Roma Defenders before setting up Pablo Dybala in perfect position. Dybala struck the ball trying to tuck it in the top corner however Antonio Mirante made an absolutely outrageous save that he had no business making. Denying Paulo Dybala in what would have been the opening goal. The majority of the goalkeepers in Serie A wouldn’t have saved it Pablo Dybala could not have hit it more perfectly as Roma are bailed out by their keeper. The Unbelievable save gave a Roma some momentum as they started to grow into the game. El Shaarawy ignited a breakaway as Justin kluivert and Lorenzo Pellegrini we’re trailing as el-shaarawy rolled the ball cutting through the Midfield into a dangerous position. El Shaarawy opted for Lorenzo Pellegrini on the outside. Lorenzo Pellegrini’s strike clipped the top of the post in what was an incredibly well-constructed run and well-hit ball from Pellegrini. We had a game now Roma got that momentum and started to run with it. Juventus still we’re in control of the game but Roma was slowly chipping away. A minute later Pablo Dybala tries to retaliate but once again Mirante made the save as he kept things close for Roma. nearing the end of the first half the match became more balanced as Roma started to pick up the momentum. Near the end of the half especially Roma came close. edin Dzeko set up a brilliant chance to El Shaarawy as the midfielder Struck from close range but unfortunately had his shot blocked from the Juventus defense. Then in the closing moments just a few minutes to the end of the first half. Lorenzo Pellegrini hit a near-perfect pass into edin Dzeko who in from very close range but was just out of reach for the Bosnian as the first half ended in a scoreless game that was highlighted by Mirante goalkeeping heroics keeping the game even as it was 0-0 after 45 minutes.


Antonio Mirante makes an outrageous save on Pablo Dybala as he bails out Roma in first half 



It was a relatively balanced first half as it remains goalless after 45 minutes. Juventus had control but Roma were starting to come into the game they just need to ride that momentum through. Roma demonstrated much more Poise El Shaarawy got things going as he struck from the middle of the box after receiving a ball from Justin kluivert. He misfired but none the less superiority was starting to sway in Roma’s direction. Just minutes later El Shaarawy was in again but his strike from the side of the box went wide. Two early chances for the Romans. A few minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo and Alessandro florenzi got into a little bit of a scuffle after a disagreement. Cristiano Ronaldo allegedly said “you’re too little to talk” in a joking Manor but nonetheless florenzi wasn’t having it. Eventually, Ronaldo smiled patted him on the head as both players moved on. Roma continues to aggressively attack forward as Nicolo zaniolo try to send a cross into the box a well-hit ball but unfortunately he was unable to reach Dzeko as the ball fell to 5’8 Justin kluivert in what was an inaccurate connection. Juventus tried it to reply immediately after some skeptical defensive shape Cristiano Ronaldo went on a run and put the ball into the back of the net to give that Juventus a lead but VAR took it away as a late flag came up Ronaldo was just a hair offsides as it remained level. After frustration seeing their goal wiped off Emre Can tried to strike from the side but Antonio Mirante made another save. Just a minute later Stephan El Shaarawy made his run but had a bad first touch before the ball came back to him he struck a second time slipping in the process seeing the ball fly just over the bar. Roma would make their first change of that evening as Bryan cristante came in for Lorenzo Pellegrini. Roma only continued and continued to search for that winning goal. Roma went to the bench for the second time bringing on and Cengiz Under for Justin kluivert. It was a move that paid off almost immediately. There was no question that Roma was the better team in the second half. in the 79th minute, the moment happened as a Stadio Olimpico was about to explode. Cengiz Under g backheeled to Florenzi down the wing that was intercepted but the Turki retained possession with a brilliant pass to Alessandro Florenzi who was just outside the box. As the Roma captain hit a quick pass to Edin Dzeko who’s hovering just outside the box as he made his run. Edin Dzeko delivered the pass back to florenzi who had a one-on-one with the keeper after creating separation. Szczesny came out as florenzi chipped the keeper as the ball landed in the back of the net to give it Roma the 1-0 lead. The Roma boy ran towards the Curva as he jumped into the crowd. A Simply Amazing an emotional moment incredible team Chemistry Between Cengiz Under edin Dzeko & Alexandro Florenzi. With about 10 minutes to go Roma was on the verge of getting back into the Champions League race in a huge moment for Alessandro florenzi. unbelievable work from edin Dzeko as well playing the role of a number nine perfectly getting the ball exactly where it needed to be. Juventus tried to fight back but it was an evening of destiny that belonged to Roma. In the 92nd minute after a mistake from Juventus in Roma’s half, a breakaway occurred in what was a three-on-one with Genghis under dribbling through the middle of the pitch with edin Dzeko and Stephan El Shaarawy beside him. The Turkish winger drove the ball all the way into the box before passing it outside to edin Dzeko who stuck it in the back of the net in the closing moments of the game. giving Roma the 2-0 lead as edin Dzeko moves into the top seven highest goal scorers in Roma history. Beautiful execution from Cengiz Under who played so unselfishly feeding edin Dzeko rather than taking it himself. That was signal the end of the match as Roma beat the league champions putting themselves in position for Champions League football.


Florenzi and Dzeko supply Late Drama as Roma shutout Juve at the Olimpico  

Everything seemed all but lost last week after dropping points against Genoa. I honestly thought the Champions League race was dead in the water after not getting help from anywhere else after Roma’s poor performance. A large part of my argument was because Juventus was Roma’s next game what we saw today was not what I was expecting. Even though Juventus had really nothing to play for I just thought that given the situation they were going to make things really tough. I can make the argument that Roma we’re going to win but nonetheless, I didn’t have conviction behind my statement. This was a game of strength and character. In a Champions League race that is so tight, every match has importance. Roma had not scored against Juventus in their last three meetings and their form against Juventus hasn’t been the best. In the first half, we saw what we expected. Juventus control the game dominated the possession and had the fair share of opportunities. However, Antonio Mirante kept things in balance. Making some really crucial saves in that first half especially against Pablo Dybala in what looked like an absolute goal he made the most outrageous save. He bailed out Roma on several occasions which allow the Roma to pick up some momentum late in the first-half Roma grew into the game and started taking advantage. At the Stadio Olimpico they had the fans and support on their side and all they needed to do was Supply the convictions to pull off a very difficult victory. The second-half adjustments change the entire complexion of the game they were the better team they just continued to push and fight for that late goal. Losing this match was not is not an option Roma’s Champions League ambitions go up in flames if they do not win the game. It was a battle to even if there was nothing to play for Juventus still play tough but eventually Roma captures their moment Alexandro Florenzi and edin Dzeko score late goals in what will be a big an important victory in this story. If Roma is able to win their final two games against Sassuolo and Parma they have a terrific chance at getting Champions League or at the least getting automatic entrance to the Europa League. Incredible ball movements and the team is chemistry on both goals. I thought Cengiz Under supplied a spark coming off the bench largely influencing both goals. A lot of credit deserves to go around after a spirited performance that shows character with everything on the line Roma delivered against them with everything on the line Roma delivered against the champions. The man of the match tonight was very difficult because this could have gone to several different players on this occasion it goes to Alessandro Florenzi not only did he score a very important goal with less than 10 minutes to go but he was a tireless worker and gave so much effort throughout the 90 minutes. Roma came together against the league champions and got the result that may have just saved their European season.


Man of the Match: Alexandro Florenzi 



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