Score: A.S Roma 1 Cagliari 0FT
Following a disastrous start to 2022, Roma threw away a 3–1 lead against Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico. Roma would try to exorcise their demons and host Cagliari for the second time this season. It was a challenging 2–1 victory in the reverse fixture. Roma has lost three games in a row and needed to find a way to collect the points. Since the disaster we were subjected to last Sunday, Roma has worked in the transfer market. They secured a deal for Porto midfielder Sergio Oliveira as it was finalized before Sunday’s match at the Stadio Olimpico. Pellegrini picked up a knock before kickoff. It wasn’t a pretty performance, but Roma scored first; a handball from Joao Pedro gave Roma a penalty in the first half. New signing Sergio Oliveira stepped up and converted from the spot to provide Roma with a 1–0 lead. Roma had all the momentum and driving them in the first half. It was more of the same in the second half, but slowly but surely, Cagliari was growing into the game; they had a few chances occasionally attempting to put pressure on the backline never really amounted to anything. Roma set themselves short trying to capitalize on another goal on the other side of things. In the late stages of the second half, Joao Pedro hit the crossbar but never found the equalizer; it turned out to be a very aggressive and physical game, but only one goal separated them as Sergio Oliveira penalty was the difference as Roma ended their three-game skid with a vital three points in a 1–0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
The match got underway at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome following preparations and predictions. Unfortunately, Lorenzo Pellegrini picked up a knock in the warmup as Jordan Veretout replaced him in the starting lineup. Roma needs points to get their season back on track while Cagliari is trying to get themselves out of the drop zone. In the match’s opening stages, we saw precisely what we expected to see from a Mourinho Roma. Roma had significant advantages in possession and tried to dictate the Midfield game. Roma pushed the pace getting into dangerous positions quite often. There was a claim for a penalty; a video review was required, but eventually, the referee gave a goal kick. Absolutely the correct decision as Roma was not given the penalty. A few minutes into the game, Roma got themselves on the counterattack as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Sergio Oliveira built into the attack using their creativity from the Midfield. The Armenian eventually delivered the ball outside to Felix Afena. Their young star has the explosiveness but still needs to work on decision-making; instead of trying to reset the play and find a better option, the Ghana International instead hit a shot straight on, not challenging Cragno ultimately the wrong decision at that moment, but he’s a young kid, and although he’s not free of criticism he will improve in this aspect. Cagliari had very little of the ball during the early moments of the first half didn’t put themselves in position very often. Tammy Abraham tries to keep his goal-scoring streak alive as Maitland Niles delivers a great ball into the box. Tammy Abraham put his head through it, nearly finding the back of the net, but Cragno got his hands on it. Outside of a couple of early chances from Roma, there weren’t many scoring opportunities in the first half Cagliari occasionally would get into dangerous positions; Roma’s defense surprisingly handled it well and Rui Patricio. Roma did look like the better team; they had significantly more possession and were in attacking areas more often but really couldn’t find enough in their creativity even though they positioned themselves well when they got forward. However, fortunately, Roma would get the breakthrough a strike from Sergio Oliveira from outside the box deflected off of dalbert. The Roma players argued handball as it appeared to connect with the Defenders hand. After a video review, the penalty was given. It was unclear who was going to step up to take it. Sergio Oliveira is a penalty specialist, but this was his first game. Jordan has been the primary penalty-taker, having only missed one penalty in the Roma colors. Tammy Abraham has also been a good penalty-taker, but to my surprise, Roma made the right choice as Sergio Oliveira stepped up from 12 yards out on his debut. In the 33rd minute, the Portuguese midfielder made no mistake as cragno went the wrong direction; it was never any doubt a beautifully executed penalty has Sergio Oliveira scores on his debut to give Roma a 1–0 lead. He runs toward the run with supporters as he celebrates with his new teammates scoring his fifth goal of the season and his first goal in Italian football. Roma deserves the lead, and it was well warranted; however, Roma needed to do a lot more. 2 minutes later, Razvan Marin set up Gaston Pereiro, who has given Roma trouble every time he played against them. However, Gaston’s strike from Deep was dealt with by Rui Patricio. In the closing moments of the first half Cagliari came close Altare header missing the mark then the final chance of the first half we saw Joao Pedro header fire High and in the first half with Roma in front by the slimmest of margins following a penalty Sergio Oliveira on his debut as Roma hold a 1–0 lead after 45 minutes.
It may not have been the best first half from Roma, but the important thing is that they had the lead and now needed to platform themselves so they could put the game away for good. The match itself was very physical; a lot of yellow cards were shown, which would not stop in the second half as the physicality of the game only increased further. Roma attempted to get things going just minutes into the second half. Matias Vina orchestrated an opportunity for Felix Afena, who struck from outside the box but didn’t manage to do much as Cragno dealt with the situation without much difficulty. Felix early had moments of brilliance in the game but all in all struggled in essential aspects of it. Roma tried to build on that early chance while Cagliari attempted to start putting up a fair fight as things weren’t flowing all that smoothly for either team; it was undoubtedly an opportunity for them to get something. However, the lack of possession throughout the game was challenging to deal with in the reverse fixture that was our game plan, and it worked, but it wasn’t working to the same extent in Rome on Sunday. Henrikh Mkhitaryan pulled up from outside the Box a good look put too much power on it as it sailed High. Not long after, a strike from Vina would have the same fate. Creating the chances wasn’t the issue; it was converting them when it mattered. However, although Roma is struggling in that aspect, we saw a very remarkable performance from Sergio Oliveira continuing to keep the Midfield in line and affecting both attacking and defensive play. Roma continues to try to chip away and find themselves another goal. After being set up nicely by Hendrik Mkhitaryan, Jordan Veretout found a look from the right side of the box; it was a well-hit strike that nearly crossed the line, but Cragno managed to get his hands on it at the last second. Momentum was building at the Stadio Olimpico; it still was not an overly excellent performance. Cagliari tried to hit back a few minutes later, but a strike from the side of the Box did not test Rui Patricio. Nicolo Zaniolo had a relatively quiet game that came close when Sergio Oliveira set him up very nicely Inside the Box, but the young Italians had a selfish nature; he wanted to go for a goal instead of looking for other people options. He was not in a good position to strike the ball. Had he made a quick judgment to make past Roma, perhaps he could have scored as Tammy Abraham was right there. Had he decided to pass Tammy, he would have been looking at an open goal. As much as he is a talent and the Roma fans appreciate him, his mental lapses and lack of decision-making will be a real problem if he doesn’t improve. Roma brought on Shomurodov for Felix Afena as Mourinho waited long to make his first sub. Hendrik Mkhitaryan set up Shomurodov, but the finish was there, but he did have a shot; the touch just wasn’t the best. Shortly after, Roma came really close on a couple of opportunities. Sergio Oliviera is striking from deep, coming close, then two minutes later Tammy Abraham nearly scores from close coming off a backheel; the English striker was very unlucky acid come close to scoring a few times throughout the 90 minutes. Sergio Oliviera went through it again a few minutes later once again is stinging a strike from outside the box, this one requiring a save as it very well could have been in second. All the momentum was driving Roma until very late on Caglalri had a very real chance. A cross coming from the wing found Joao Pedro he followed through on strike Rui Patricio makes a crucial save, getting a touch as the Brazilian a blasted at him from close range; however, because of the power that was instituted in the strike, Rui Patricio pushed up into the bar, but the Roma defense was able to clear it out before anything else could happen. In the closing moments of the game, Roma brought on Academy graduates Aguardo bove and making his professional debut would be Australian teenager Dimitrios Keramitsis for the final few seconds looking full-time whistle blows with Roma earning a 1–0 lead thanks to a debut goal from Sergio Oliviera from the spot it wasn’t pretty, but Roma collects at the Stadio Olimpico.
It has been a rough go of it for this Roma team; as of late, getting the points tonight was very important for team morale. Hopefully, it gives Roma a bit of momentum to start climbing the table more significantly. Sergio Oliveira scores on his debut, and in all the other aspects of the game, he was pretty fantastic; it is clear why Roma targeted the Portuguese midfielder. He seems to be exactly what Roma needed when he influenced the counterattack to push forward while also maintaining possession in the defensive areas, not to mention his passing was able to open things up and spread the ball out. He was something special tonight, and he’s only just arrived. Roma has other issues, but he is exactly what Roma was looking for and put together an awe-inspiring debut. The four at the back seemed to work for the most part all around as they didn’t make any erratic mistakes this time. Roma ended up getting important points that they needed however, ultimately, I was not overly impressed with the performance and felt great frustration from Mourinho. Roma did get into attacking spaces and had the opportunity to score goals. I’m not going to criticize the creativity in the attack; what this comes down to is decision-making. Felix and Nicolo zaniolo are both incredibly talented pretty exceptional as they are capable of an awful lot. However, the decision-making from both of them is causing Roma to miss opportunities in attacking areas and dangerous positions. This needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Tammy Abraham was brilliant again and was fighting for the shirt throughout the match; the problem was zaniolo, and Felix beside him kept trying to do things by themselves. Felix is incredibly quick, very Dynamic, and very explosive; however, he needs to learn to distribute the ball when he’s pushing forward if there is a better option, he cannot continue to try to do everything by himself and score sometimes he has to distribute, and this goes with Nicolo Zaniolo as well. This is actually a big reason Justin kluivert did not work out in the capital. Justin is more talented than both of them put together. I am not joking when I’m saying this his decision making was so horrendous, and that’s why he’s no longer on Roma both had a big future, but the decision-making needs to be better Roma could have scored at least one more goal if it wasn’t for their selfish play. One final thing on this Rick Karsdorp cannot be sitting on the bench for 80 minutes; it is utterly unacceptable from Mourinho; he is one of the most explosive and dynamic right-backs in World football and was undoubtedly one of the best in Italian football. He was completely healthy and fit to play the game. Maitland Niles is a Midfield by trade, even though he has occasionally played in defensive positions. Have to get him a chance to prove himself at the same time he cannot be starting over Rick karsdorp; this move under any other circumstances could have been perilous it is completely unacceptable, and against a better team, this would have been an enormous risk that could have come back and haunt Roma. That was a lot of negative things coming off of performance that we did get points for. I think the points are essential to give the team a sense of competence momentum, which are great things Tammy Abraham is still playing very well Sergio Oliveira scores on his debut the buildup of the attack was very impressive, so there are certain things that we can take from this game in the positive nature the frustration behind what I’m saying and what other Roma fans are saying is completely warranted Roma have to clean it up just a bit and take the confidence from this game and into Empoli next Sunday the points are essential. However, there is still much work to do.