Mkhitaryan’s strike has Roma marching towards Champions League dream #1431

Following the Azzurri heartbreak during the International break League action returns with just eight games left this season with so much still to be decided. Prior to the break Roma decapitated Lazio in the derby and are unbeaten in their last nine games as we approached this stretch of the season in great confidence. They would head out on the road to the Luigi Ferraris to take on Sampdoria. The Genoa-based side is near the bottom of the table seven points clear of the Drop Zone but still have to be wary about what could be ahead. In an important class affecting both sides of the table. A victory for Roma will take them into the top five after Napoli’s Victory against Atalanta and any source of points for Sampdoria would push themselves even further from the bottom of the league. During the first meeting between the two teams it was a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico Roma managed to grab a late goal before it was erased immediately with a Sampdoria equalizer. It was a match that could have great importance riding on it a blooming atmosphere from the Sampdoria supporters with blue flags surrounding the stadium before kickoff as things got underway.

Things got underway after preparations and predictions as Roma sought to extend their unbeaten run to 10 games at the Luigi Ferraris. Sampdoria had an aggressive approach early. In just a second minute, Stefano Sensi sets up Morten Thorsby as the Norwegian fires from close but doesn’t threaten Rui Patricio as his shot fires wide. Roma replied to the early chance with one of their own as Rodger Ibanez followed through with a header getting his head on the end of a cross from Lorenzo Pellegrini. Roma looked comfortable on the ball and indeed had good ball movement, especially defensively, finding ways to spread the ball throughout the team while having control. However, the intense pressure of Sampdoria with wildly impressive as their mentality showed, especially in the early parts of the game. Sampdoria is desperately trying to climb themselves out of the bottom and create separation; they are seven points clear at the moment, but those points could have a parade very quickly, which is why they took such a direct approach at home against home Roma. In the 14th minute, Francesca Caputo put through Sabiri, but the attempted strike didn’t faze the Roma defense. Sampdoria certainly was applying pressure even though Roma was comfortable with it and often got themselves in dangerous positions. However, throughout this game, the defending from Roma is the thing that stuck out; even when Sampdoria was pressurized, the Roma team they were comfortable, disciplined, and precise with their movements making it very difficult to breakthrough. In the 21st minute, Stefano Sensi and Francesca Caputo combined Inside the Box, but rui Patricio collected the strike without too many problems. Sampdoria was continuing to gather its confidence of momentum as it was growing. However, just when things started to go their way, Roma struck first. In the 27th minute, while Roma was pressurizing the Box, henrikh Mkhitaryan fired an attempt on goal from very close range. The ball was struck underneath the legs of Emil Audero, bouncing underneath before crossing the line as Rama took a 1–0 lead .

Abarham, Pellagrini and Cristante embrace Mkhitaryan as he fires Roma in front

despite the lack of goals this season from The Armenian, he has been as vital to the success of this team as anyone. Roma was getting their deserving lead, but there was a sense this would be a tough battle; not to say Roma’s going to close things down and just defend, but this was going to be intense as pressure was only going to mount. In the 38th minute, Roma nearly got a second as Tammy Abraham picked off the ball from the keeper but could not direct it as he missed an opportunity. Sampdoria got forward with Sabiri in the 42nd minute, but rui Patricio once again handled his strike. Gianluca Mancini’s header coming off of a corner fired wide to end the first half with Roma in front thanks to a goal from henrikh Mkhitaryan. An opportunistic Roma sees themselves in front, but with 45 minutes to go, a lot could still happen. Despite being down, Sampdoria showed some real signs of growth in that first half, but they would need a lot more to break down that defense and goalkeeper.

Lorenzo Pellagrini battles with Antinio Candreva in a tightly contested first half at the Lugi Ferraris.

Before the start of the second half, Fabio Quagliarella was brought on, replacing Stefano Sensi. In the second half Sampdoria, we’re even more aggressive. They had the Romans pinned back with a very aggressive approach. Romo found ways to move the ball and get forward occasionally, but a lot of the second half was Sampdoria repeatedly going for the throat. Still, the Roma defense is not letting up or letting themselves be put into a vulnerable position. Around the 60th-minute mark, Sampdoria made a pair of changes. Ronaldo Vieira replacing Thomas Rincon and Tommaso Augello replacing Murru. Despite an incredibly positive performance from Sampdoria in the second half, no matter what they tried, they could not get through the Roma defense and really challenged them. In the 66th minute, Sabiri registered the first shot of the second half, but just like his previous chances, it was handled by rui Patricio. It was attack versus defense, but Roma did get forward when they needed to. The intention was not to park the bus or play super defensive, but as the game developed, they just counteracted everything that Sam Doria did in the attacking sense. In less than 10 minutes, Roma made two more changes, Shomurodov and Mattias Vina, replacing Tammy Abraham and Nicolas Zalewski. Roma held firm until the final whistle, but a few minutes before the end, Lorenzo Pellegrini was given a yellow card for taking his time to leave the patch after getting substituted. This wasn’t the most pretty game; it was rather ugly from start to finish, but henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first-half strike is enough to earn Rama maximum points as their unbeaten run now reaches 10 games with a critical stretch upcoming for the time being Roma have moved into fifth with eyes on the Europa League for next season.

Classic Mourinho Performance as tight victory takes Roma within 5 Points of 4th

Sampdoria is an Italian side that is always difficult to play against, especially at home when they have one of the most difficult atmospheres to deal with in all of Italy. This match was always going to cause Roma some anxiety of some sort. This would be a mentally tough and draining 90 minutes, and that’s exactly what it was. Roma did their part to get there in the end, and even though Roma played very well, Sampdoria, throughout the game, gave them trouble occasionally. For the entire second half, for the majority of it, they had Roma pin back in their own box; fortunately, Roma’s defending gave them a platform to show their qualities. Roma still has Napoli and Inter Milan on the schedule; those two games occur in back-to-back weeks, which is a challenging thing that’s on the horizon for them, which is why they must win every other game they can because you never know what can happen in big games like that. Run more tests throughout this match, especially the way Sampdoria aggressively pressed them so often haven’t had to create more chances and had better service from the cross; it could have gone differently. Tested but also showed mental strength with the first-half goal from henrikh Mkhitaryan with enough Roma to continue with the winning form. It was an ugly Victory but necessary as Roma showed some incredible qualities, even as difficult as it seemed at times. They are now unbeaten in their last 10 games and are alone in 5th place; it’s only going to get more complicated from here; they play the bottom of the league next weekend, and then back-to-back games against Inter Milan and Napoli Roma did their part to get the essential points. Still, ultimately the defending gives us all the plaudits following a tough performance in a difficult place to play against a Sampdoria side that needed points. Ultimately Roma gets the points which will only push them further as they are becoming a tough team to beat at the moment.

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