Thursday August 24 2017
The beauty in an ugly Roma

Winning ugly is something the Giallorossi were rarely capable of, so Tom Scholes sees a more mature side.

When Roma defeated Atalanta at the weekend 1-0 thanks to a goal from new signing Alexander Kolarov, social media was ablaze with various hot takes about the game and how Eusebio Di Francesco’s side looked in their first outing. The vast majority of people were not impressed. They were happy that Roma picked up the win in what was a potentially tricky tie, but nevertheless a lot of people were underwhelmed.

Admittedly, it wasn’t the most exciting game to watch, whether as a fan or a neutral, but at such an early stage in the season, that’s almost to be expected. Even Di Francesco admitted that it was an “ugly victory” and that is what Roma needed, an ugly victory. Many times last season we were delighted by some of the attacking play that Roma had to offer and questioned if they had the toughness, both mentally and physically, to go that extra mile and capture a trophy.

EDF may have said that this was an ugly win and, whilst he’s correct in that analysis, it was also a hugely important style of victory for the club. Roma lost seven games and drew three last season, with one loss and one draw coming from the two games against Atalanta, so this is a bigger result than many give it credit for.

It’s easy to look back on last season and say that Roma shouldn’t have lost to Sampdoria and Fiorentina, and they certainly shouldn’t have drawn against Empoli and Cagliari, but ultimately those results cost them the Scudetto. If Roma can secure some of the tougher victories in games they should be picking up maximum points in, then they will reach the heights and targets they have set for themselves.

Atalanta may have pressed them towards the end and maybe with some better finishing they could have stolen a point or three, but throughout the game Roma looked rigid. They weren’t exactly exciting going forward, not like they used to be, but EDF will have a tough job in maintaining that incredible attacking level without the likes of Mohamed Salah.

It will be hard for Di Francesco to improve this Roma side, scoring 90 goals last season and conceding 38, but everyone will know that Di Francesco needs to make this new set of players not only try to keep that level of attacking prowess and defensive solidity, but also have the right mentality of not caving in at vital moments. It’s something they did various times in Serie A, in the Champions League play-offs against Porto and eventually in the Europa League quarter-finals against Lyon.

This Atalanta victory could be just a flash in the pan, but it’s not so easy to just throw this result away given the changes at the club. More business could be done to bolster the bench and maybe add another dimension to the starting XI, but the victory signals the start of something new at Roma. Ugly victories may not be nice to watch or pleasing on the eye, but it’s what they needed and it could be what gets them back in the Champions League next season. 

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
@roma fan hush yourself there are plenty of candidates to get the golden bin award in serie a personally there are couple of players at juve who i can see having a horrible season or milan bringing a new squad of players who the majority of have never played in serie a or inter who dominate this award.
on the 25th August, 2017 at 9:05pm
Its laughable to see how massively underrated AS Roma is this season, both in Serie A and Champions League. It will be so satisfying to see all of your faces in May, when Romas has won the Scudetto and reached the Champion League semi finals. All Roma haters have forgotten we still have the same world class midfield intact, only with a longer and full of quality bench. AS Roma still has the Capocannoniere of last season. And we stil have have both our last seasons best defender Fazio & Manolas.
on the 25th August, 2017 at 12:37pm
@Roma fan, EDF knew what he was buying having managed him last season. I am sure he will eventually also be able to get the best out of him, that is if he can surmount the challenge of being in a much higher pressure environment.
on the 25th August, 2017 at 12:26pm
I love how people can spin a result in different ways. You may call it "ugly win", I call it lucky win and that luck will run out soon, as it normally does.
on the 25th August, 2017 at 12:07pm
Correct me if i'm wrong but Defrel looks to be the flop of the season. Why on earth the spent over 20 mil for this average player.
on the 25th August, 2017 at 11:52am
I wouldn't get too excited abot Roma this season. They are no stronger than last, and probably weaker. Though Schick could be an interesting signing.

Top 4 and a proper go at winning the EL might be the height of their ambitions.

They should push Chelsea and AM in the CL, but will probably fall short and into the EL.
on the 25th August, 2017 at 10:01am
I appreciate that Roma needed this victory and they have made some changes as well as a new coach, so is therefore a very positive result. However, some perspective is needed here. This is not the Atalanta of last season. Also, the idea of winning ugly means you are a better team, more likely to win trophies... Yes Juve win ugly when they need to but they also risk very little at the back. This victory for Roma was more about luck than some new found character in my opinion.
on the 25th August, 2017 at 5:37am
Wow! Can't believe it. Football Italia allowed someone to post a semi flattering piece on Roma?!? Ironically when its least deserved too. Petagna couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. There was no ball movement from our midfield and Atalanta got to our attacking third effortlessly. EDF faces a big test vs the tactically superior Spalletti this weekend, so maybe Football Italia will go back to its original hate for Roma after the L and it's unfounded hype for everything Sarri and Napoli.
on the 25th August, 2017 at 4:49am

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