Last night we saw Torino upset Roma at the stadio olimpico to kick off 2020 in what was a very frustrating yet somewhat controversial match in the Eternal City. Going into this match coming off a two-week winter break Roma had momentum and confidence in the previous weeks leading up to the break. Heading into the game Roma were unbeaten in their last eight games since their loss to Parma Roma had been playing some of their best football. Despite injury concerns that Roma were forced to deal with they were finding their way. Meanwhile despite a relatively strong start to end the campaign for Torino they have not been themselves this season and they used this match to try to change their fortunes in the league. Torino had beat Roma at the stadio olimpico a couple years ago in the Copa Italia but in terms of league matches that had not won in Rome since 2007. Roma throughout the opening half did show their superiority. Torino had a couple of chances occasionally in which Pau Lopez was able to deal with. Outside of that Roma with pressuring Torino almost constantly. Torino’s goalkeeper Siriu was having one of his best games as he stood in the way of Roma taking the lead during the first half on a multitude of occasions. However controversy struck late in the first half. The match was given one minute of stoppage time. Despite that they let the game continue for an extra 2 minutes into in which Andrea Belotti scored a sensational goal that put Torino up 1-0 after 45 minutes. It was very poorly handled by the referee he just left the match continue until Torino scored. He favored Torino the majority of the match. There was no reason to justify extra minutes being added on. It was a very childish thing to do from the referee. In the second half Roma continued to try to chip away and get back into the game. It just seemed like it wasn’t going to happen for roma. Roma continue to attack and got chance after chance after chance and just could not finish anyting. They came close a lot of the time and the goalkeeping performance by Sirigu certainly played a massive role in the final results. Roma did not do well enough but they were still in the game with the possibility of earning a point. Then Roma’s moment nearly arrived they were coming forward on the counter-attack in what was their best Scoring chance of the game. The referee stopped A counter-attack by Roma and gave Torino a penalty from a previous play. Andrea belotti stepped up converted the penalty and Torino took a 2-0 lead. It was utterly embarrassing and inappropriate for the referee to conduct the game in that manner he did. If you want to go back and look at the penalty by video review that’s your right as the referee however you cannot do it in the middle of a counter attack you wait until the ball is dead before you can do it the way this was handled with extremely inappropriate and unprofessional. Equally Roma created more than enough chances to get the job done and given the amount they created they certainly should have however that doesn’t exclude the fact that both of Torino’s goals came from those type of circumstances speaks volumes about this game has been called fairly it is possible that they would not have been given either goal. Roma should have won this and they had more than enough opportunities but we can’t ignore these facts.
Too Many Wasted Chances
There were other factors in the final result of this game then it just Roma’s own doing. Roma has no excuse to have not have won that game yesterday. There are other circumstances that contributed to the results but that doesn’t illuminate Roma’s problems in this match. Torino is not a bad team they have quality within their side but Roma are significantly better from top to bottom. Last night they just couldn’t finish off their chances. This is something that this Roma team has occasionally had to deal with. Since Paulo Fonseca has taken over as manager this isn’t a weekly occurrence as it has been the previous seasons. However this is still something that needs to be addressed. Roma had 37 shots in the loss last night 19 of them were on goal and only 9 we’re on target. Their efficiency was just simply not good enough. Roma dominated possession and for a large portion of the game they were in the Torino’s danger area almost constantly. A large part of this is the performance of the goalkeeper but even so they surely had so many different opportunities to put this away. They had 15 corners and absolutely staggering amount. They came close on a lot of opportunities they just could not finish the job. This is exactly what they did not need ahead of a big match against Juventus who are coming off a huge Victory this afternoon. Being without Justin kluivert who is especially effective because of his athleticism and pace was tough. Had Justin played would the score have looked different maybe not but he sure it would have made an impact on the match. This just was a very poor display from Roma. It now actually seems that the winter break came at a bad time as Roma were just mounting momentum. They were unbeaten in their last eight matches and we’re on the verge of putting more pressure on a Lazio. With Atalanta’s win they are only one point behind Roma which will continue to pressurized them. Roma may not be totally responsible for the result but when you create as many chances as they did you can’t let the match slip. That was the biggest issue with a performance they had opportunities from every angle of the game and still came up short.
Sylvester Sirigu Goalkeeping masterpiece
Sirigu was at his very best last night if another goalkeeper was in the net the result could have been very different. He continues to be one of the most underrated goalkeepers in all of Italy. He was making save after save after save. Roma came forward so many times and the Torino goalkeeper just continued and continue to perform. It was like there was nothing that could it be done. Torino defensively has been shocking this season but Sirigu has been anything but one of the most consistent players this season. His numbers may not look the same as they did last year and he is conceded more goals than ever before but none of this is his fault. He is done his job every night the entire season the problem is his defense has been letting him down. In this match they played well enough for him to finish the job. Easily one of the better performances we saw this they were two or three chances that Roma had that they would have most certainly scored had another goalkeeper played in the match. He was breathtaking the storylines may have highlighted other things that contributed to the result but his performance was anything but regular he was absolutely Sensational truly a special performance as he starts the new year almost perfect he could not have imagined A better start to 2020 then the performance he showed against a very tough attacking minded Roma team that had more than enough opportunities. They were simply denied by an fantastic keeper who was on his game.
The way the referee officiated the game could have it dictated the results. On one hand if Roma take advantage of their chances this isn’t a talking point I’m not blaming the results on the referee but unfortunately this did it contribute into the match. This isn’t Just Happening and this game there are certain teams and games that are being officiated differently it is something that I don’t like but it just seems to be part of this season with the potential of Juventus not winning the league. In this match this certainly played a role in it. The referee played favorites in this match he was the opposite of what a referee is expected to be which is unbiased and decisive. Torino got two big breaks. In the closing moments the first half Andrea belotti scored. The problem with this is time had run out. They scheduled one minute of stoppage time and they gave Torino three of them. There was nothing that happened previously that would have Justified an extra 2 minutes being added on. There was a yellow card situation but that was only about 10 seconds to 25 seconds long. They gave Torino an extra 2 minutes. Even if you add on to Yellow Card it still doesn’t add up to the amount of time that they gave. That was a completely ridiculous decision and borderline unprofessional. However the biggest officiating error in the game was what happened during the second goal. Chris Smalling was called for a penalty in the box which probably is a penalty as it hit him in the back before touching his arm. This was not initially called. Moments after that happened Roma were on perhaps there most dangerous counter attacked of the afternoon with Nicolo zaniolo taking the ball forward with several Roma players around him. Roma finally had the chance that could break the game open except the referee stopped the play in the middle of a counter attack. They then went back to give Torino a penalty in which they scored. As the referee he is allowed to call video review and look at a play however what he is not allowed to do is do it in the middle of a counter attack. This completely justifies the fact that this referee wanted Roma to lose this game. You let them finish the play and then you go back and look. It was unprofessional and inappropriate to handle this game in the matter he did. Mostly because of his decision to stop the counter attack in the middle of it to go back and give Torino the penalty. While I’m not arguing the penalty call the way he handled it is punishable. He favored to Torino the entire match and his actions Justified it. Both goals is very well could have not happened if the game was called fairly.