Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Matthew Coccoluto On September - 6 - 2012

AS Roma In Review: Francesco Totti Guides Club To First Win

It was all Roma at the San Siro, as Francesco Totti set up two goals for the visiting side in their 3-1 win over Inter. Zdenek Zeman’s men earned their first win of the season after walking away the victors on Sunday.

Both sides came into the match with new faces, including Mattia Destro’s first start for the Giallorossi. Early on Roma took control, dominating possession and this paid off within the 15 minute mark with Roma going up 1-0. The gladiator himself, Francesco Totti delivered a beautiful little cross into Alessandro Florenzi, who completely left open, headed it into the back of the net from seven yards out. This was the 21-year old’s first goal for Roma.

But goal number one may have given Roma a false sense of security as Inter almost equalized within seconds. Diego Milito got through the Roma defense but Stekelenburg stepped up at the right time to make sure his side stayed on top. The last 15 minutes of the first half did not go well for Zeman. First Daniele De Rossi was forced to come off after picking up a knock and then in stoppage time, Inter’s new signing Antonio Cassano scored after his shot deflected of Burdisso, leaving Stekelenburg watching as the ball hoped into the net.

Coming out of the locker rooms for the second half, it was the visitors that seemed the more determined side. First Osvaldo sent one effort over the bar while he dove infront of a cross meant for Totti, that also ended outside the frame. Zeman was forced to make another substitution as Balzaretti picked up an injury.

In the 67th minute Osvaldo finally found the back of the net. Totti sent in the through ball as Osvaldo ran through the offside trap to chip Castellazzi who had rushed off his line to put Roma up 2-1. This lit a spark in the game as the pace dramatically increased. Florenzi almost netted his second of the game but the youngster couldn’t get all of it. Substitute Marquinho, after just missing out on a wonderful cross, got his name on the score sheet after running onto an Osvaldo chip and hitting it home at the tightest of angles. The game would end 3-1 in favor of the visitors but not before Osvaldo would be sent off after receiving a second yellow for a handball.

Roma showed why some people are labeling them as a dark horse for the scudetto. Zeman’s attacking style showed up at the San Siro and it was certainly impressive. There were very few negatives to take from this game. The De Rossi and Balzaretti injuries are worrying but it appears De Rossi will be back for the next game. It is reported that Balzaretti will miss a month of action. This will be cause for concern as the other left back, Dodo, is still recovering from injury as well. Fortunate for Zeman, except for Juventus, the next month’s opponents should be fairly easy. Roma will be confident going forward as this team seems to have a slew of players capable of influencing a game, not just one or two.

For Stramaccioni and his men, it is not all bad. Inter are suffering from a number of injuries and the Thursday clash with Vaslui in Europa League qualifying which may have left some players exhausted. However on the reverse side, this match as well as the draw to Vaslui show that Inter may be lacking something. It is still too early to make any serious predictions and while the first week win was nice, smashing newly promoted sides is much different than teams like Roma. Strama will now be tested to see how well he can motivate his players following two less than great performances.

This was a match Roma fans can be excited about. There are still elements to this team that have yet to come together meaning there is room for improvement. Furthermore as important it is for Roma to have Totti playing well, there were a number of other players who stepped up and provided support, even after De Rossi came out.

For Inter and Stramaccioni, this game is not too much to be concerned about. Roma are an impressive side this year and sometimes a loss of this caliber is unavoidable. However it is up to the young manager to get his players motivated after the international break. Serie A has been going for only 2 weeks and both teams have a lot to show us before proper predictions can be made.

Roma welcome Bologna to the stadio Olympico in Week 3 action September 02 while Inter face Serie A returnees Torino.

Matthew Coccoluto

Originally from Boston now in LA. I work in production but football is my passion. I bleed black and white. Proud member of the Juventus Fan Club of Southern California. Forza Juve, Sempre Sara.

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