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High-Flying Roma Dealt With A Minor Blow – Serie A Gameweek 11 Roundup

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Entering Sunday evening, Roma had won their first ten matches to start the 2013/14 Serie A season. They could’ve made it 11 in a row with a victory over Torino at the Stadio Olimpico.

Many picked Torino to end the winning run, considering they’re one of the more consistent goal scoring teams in the league. It was a great match-up on paper for neutrals, as both combined for 40 goals entering the match-up.

Without the likes of Francesco Totti and Leandro Castan starting, Il Toro had a very good chance to halt the terrific start that the Giallorossi put together.

The first half began slowly, however, like they’ve done throughout the campaign, Roma found a goal out of nothing. Miralem Pjanic made a run on the left side of the box, slotted it into the centre of the penalty area for Kevin Strootman, who buried it to give the visitors a 1-0 lead just before the half hour mark.

After that, it was the Alessio Cerci show. The tricky winger was causing all kinds of problems for Federico Balzaretti on the right flank, but his closest opportunity at that point was a free kick, which narrowly missed the top corner.

On 63 minutes, Torino had the goal that their pressure deserved as Riccardo Meggiorini outmuscled Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia to keep the ball in play. He then set up Cerci for the tap in.

That was when Rudi Garcia reacted, taking off Marco Borriello for Adem Ljajic. Within seconds of the young attacker coming on, he had won two free kicks in dangerous areas, sparking questions over social media as to whether or not he should have started.

There was some controversy with 15 minutes left when Maicon appeared to have been hauled down in the opposing box by Nicola Bellomo. While the Brazilian was tackled, it was just outside of the penalty area, but nonetheless, Roma should have had a free kick.

 None of the calls went La Maggica’s way. It was symbolic, as they didn’t get any luck, what with the saves from goalkeeper Daniele Padelli late in the second half, plus the officiating.

Torino ended up holding on for a 1-1 draw, meaning the near-historic winning streak by Roma came to an abrupt conclusion. Despite the brilliant beginning, both Napoli and Juventus are just three points behind the Romans.

If this club is truly a Scudetto contender, they’ll rebound from this minor blow and maintain consistency. It’s not as if they’ve fallen off from first to sixth, they’ve still only conceded a measly two goals, which is by far the best in Serie A. Plus they’re second in goal scoring with 25 goals, just two back of Inter. Everything is still upbeat, but it’s vital that Roma not let this affect them.


 Other Talking Points

  • Fiorentina defeated AC Milan 2-0 at the San Siro. That result sparked a lot of discussion about Milan’s future as a club. Fans weren’t pleased, even Barbara Berlusconi reportedly asked for major changes within the front office. As for the Viola, they’re sixth place, but just one point back of fourth, and six behind a top three spot.
  • Napoli kept pace with Juventus and Roma by winning 2-1 at home over Catania on Saturday. Marek Hamsik and Jose Callejon got on the score sheet, but despite recording the most shots out of anyone, Gonzalo Higuain failed to convert any of his chances.
  • Juventus also won, edging Parma 1-0 away. The Bianconeri have struggled at the Tardini recently, so a victory there should be applauded, no matter what the scoreline is.
  • Inter crushed Udinese 3-0, they’re still fourth, but are undoubtedly the dark horse as they continue to score at will, yet rarely concede.
  • Hellas Verona continue to rack up the points. They won their sixth straight game at home, this time they defeated Cagliari 2-1. Verona’s fifth place, just six back of a Champions League spot