Eusebio Di Francesco’s men needed just 45 minutes to beat Udinese. But how did they do in Football Italia’s ratings?
Words: Greg Murray
Alisson - 7
Roma’s Number 1 had very little to deal with in the first half, but was comfortable and assured when called upon. The Brazilian made two classy reaction saves after the break, and could have done little to prevent Udinese’s goal. He looks far more confident than last season, and appears to be growing into the ‘keeper that the Giallorossi paid €8m for.
Alessandro Florenzi - 5
The versatile fan-favourite made only his second start of the season, and it showed. Florenzi provided little more than an outlet going forward, and, more worryingly, struggled at times to prevent crosses from the right wing. If he is to make the right-back position his own, he will have to work hard with his Coach on defensive positioning.
Kostas Manolas – 5.5
Udinese offered very little going forward for much of them game, leaving the centre-backs with little to do. Manolas efficiently kept the Zebrette at bay, although a slip in the first half could have cost Roma a goal, were it not for a poor finish. All in all, a comfortable match for the Greek defender.
Federico Fazio - 5
Like his centre-back partner, Fazio had a quiet afternoon, but calmly rose to the occasion when needed.
Aleksandar Kolarov - 5
The Serbian veteran has had better games. Although useful at carrying the ball out of defence, he was inaccurate with his crossing, and was beaten worryingly easily by Maxi Lopez. In Kolarov’s defence, his team kept a clean sheet whilst he was on the pitch.
Radja Nainggolan - 6
An uncharacteristically quiet afternoon for Roma’s star midfielder. Despite running Udinese ragged, the Belgian gave possession away a number of times with misplaced or ill-advised passes. That said, Roma look far more dangerous when he is on the pitch. Even on an off day like today, Nainggolan’s tenacity earned him the assist for Dzeko’s goal.
Daniele De Rossi – 6
When the majority of the match is spent in the opposition’s half, the job of a defensive midfielder is a strange one, and Maxime Gonalons may have found today’s fixture more enjoyable. As predicted, De Rossi bossed the midfield for 90 minutes, although failed to pick up his man in the box a couple of times in the second half. He wasn’t punished for them today, but De Rossi’s mistakes may well have been costly against better opposition.
Kevin Strootman- 7
“Er Lavatrice” earned his nickname today, with a performance that kept his team ticking over throughout. Operating on the left side of midfield, it is no surprise that this is where most of Roma’s attacks came from. The Dutchman’s link up play was outstanding, as was his pass to Dzeko before Roma’s second goal.
Diego Perotti - 6
The Argentinian may feel hard done by to have been switched to the right flank for the first half, having started every game this season on his preferred left side. On numerous occasions he looked confused when unable to cut on to his right foot and wasted promising attacking positions. A rabona cross to set up El Shaarawy’s goal and a solid second half performance on the left wing suggested Perotti was growing into the game. However, an 89th minute penalty miss summed up a performance in which nothing quite came off for the winger.
Edin Dzeko - 8
Last season’s Capocannoniere continued his early-season form with a very well taken goal and remained a threat throughout. Dzeko’s assist for El Shaarawy’s first goal took quick feet and a pinpoint pass that the on-looking Francesco Totti would have been proud of. The score may well have been higher had the Bosnian stayed on the pitch for the full 90 minutes.
Stephan El Shaarawy - 8
The Italian international came into this game with a point to prove and it showed. El Shaarawy exhibited great technique and ingenuity for his first goal, and Pippo Inzaghi-like predatory instincts for his second. In addition to his brace, the manager will be delighted with the winger’s willingness to track back and help out with defence. With the acceleratory-challenged Kolarov behind him, the Little Pharaoh’s pace is a valuable tool. Although he stuck to his task throughout the match, El Shaarawy was far less effective after his switch to the right flank. It appears Di Francesco has a hard task ahead of him integrating both the Italian and Perotti.
Gregoire Defrel - 4
Replaced Dzeko with 20 minutes left to play and looked a shadow of his predecessor. He worked hard, but without the Bosnian’s physical attributes, struggled to fit into the Giallorossi’s system.
Hector Moreno - 3
Came on in the 73rd minute to give Kolarov a rest with the game already won. Despite, in theory, being the more defensive option, Moreno was at fault for Udinese’s goal, playing Jens Stryger Larsen onside and failing to track his run.
Bruno Peres – 4
Came on with 10 minutes remaining, and contributed one nice cross. Other than that, had little impact.