Thursday January 7 2021
Roma reinforced ahead of Derby

Owen Diana believes that scraping a share of the spoils against Inter will stand the Giallorossi in good stead ahead of a critical Derby della Capitale.

A point is progress. After being overrun in the opening stages of the second stanza by an irresistible Inter, Roma showed spirit to claim a 2-2 draw at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.

That qualifies as a step in the right direction given La Lupa’s struggles against the big boys under Paulo Fonseca, especially with the Derby della Capitale looming on the horizon.

That massive match means so much for both sides, and Lazio will be desperate to get the win that keeps them on the coattails of the top four contenders.

Roma are already well-placed in that race, and they can take heart from their furious fightback against the Nerazzurri.

Another setback against a member of the Serie A aristocracy would have been catastrophic, especially as it would have fit into a pattern of sketchy second half displays this campaign. La Lupa have a goal difference of -4 after halftime, which stands in stark contrast to their sparkling displays in first periods (+18 goal difference).

That tendency to take their foot off the gas led to heavy defeats in Naples and Bergamo, while 10-man Juventus salvaged a stalemate at the Olimpico in September.

Even relegation-threatened trio Torino, Cagliari and Crotone were allowed back into games that should have already been done and dusted. In that context, the comeback against Antonio Conte’s men represented a role reversal.

Gianluca Mancini’s late header could be a turning point, but Roma would already have been dead and buried were it not for an unlikely hero.

Pau Lopez has been lambasted for a series of shaky showings since moving to the Eternal City from Real Betis in the summer of 2019, but the Spanish shot-stopper stood on his head against Inter.

The 26-year old made spectacular stops on Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez, with his save on the Argentinean hitman particularly impressive.

He’s still a long way from justifying an eye-watering €23.5 million price tag, but those parries will do the Girona-born goalkeeper’s confidence a world of good in the lead up to a match that brings up bad memories on a personal level.

An egregious Lopez error allowed Francesco Acerbi to level for Lazio last January in an eventual 1-1 draw, and that mistake sent his team into a tailspin from which they never recovered.

Roma fell from 4th place after a 4-2 defeat to Sassuolo the following weekend and ended up finishing eight points behind the Biancocelesti in the fight for the final Champions League spot.

Avoiding a similar collapse will be at the forefront of Fonseca’s mind, and a first Derby success since September 2018 would go a long way to achieving that aim.

La Lupa’s next away day is not until February 6 against Juventus, and they have an opportunity to build momentum before that tricky trip to Turin.

After the Lazio showdown, winnable league duels with Spezia and Hellas Verona are on the docket. With the likes of Atalanta and The Old Lady beginning to find form behind them, there is little room for error in the Champions League chase.


Have your say...

Literally disgusted with this team!

Fonseca has to go. He can't win any games against top teams and that's with Lazio in 8th place (before the game).

Allegri or Spalletti (3.0 term) available?

Well done Lazio you deserved it.

- From a Roma fan.
on the 15th January, 2021 at 9:51pm
Can't wait for the derby.

A Roma win will certainly help in retaining a top-four place for CL football next season.

For this Mercato, I really hope we re-sign Stefan El Shaarawy and perhaps a decent RB to assist Karsdorp. I know we're looking into those avenues.

Regarding the attack, a replacement is eventually needed for Dzeko. Fonseca should of have started Mayoral and perhaps brought Dzeko in from 70mins. He just hasn't the legs anymore to start games, especially against top teams.
on the 14th January, 2021 at 5:29pm
Put your hands together for CapitanFuturo - Florenzi who yesterday won his first piece of silverware in his professional career! Like all Riommanisti he had to go elsewhere to experience that feeling!
on the 14th January, 2021 at 10:34am
@Owen Diana & FI, your articles are great. There are less comments below Roma blogs, but we do read and appreciate them. Keep writing!

You are wrong --Roma is not the only team in Capital.

Atletico Lodigiani plays there as well!
on the 14th January, 2021 at 3:06am
Im a Juve fan & am envious to some extent of Roma. Roma possess many exciting Italian players that could be key for Italy come the Euros. This Italian core is what I feel Juve are missing, we're famed for being the foundation of the national team, but Roma now lead the way.

I would bite your hand off for Juve to sign Zaniolo, Pellegrini & Spinazzola (why did we let him go!), & Mancini, Florenzi (albeit it on loan), Santon, Cristante and (potentially the return of) El Shaarawy are quality too.
on the 13th January, 2021 at 2:43pm
When will Raggi allow Roma to build the stadium?
on the 12th January, 2021 at 6:43pm
Winter Top 4 Champions, I hope they have a trophy to present, if not I've got a nice tree in my garden I could dig up to add to the collection.
on the 12th January, 2021 at 4:10pm
Not sure why people get so upset over Roma articles they are the only team from the capital, therefore get exposure. Especially as they are in the top 4.
on the 12th January, 2021 at 3:09pm
Only thing Roma will win this season is number of blog posts on FI.
on the 12th January, 2021 at 2:56pm
Oh nooo, another Roma blog. Keyboards will be smashed
on the 12th January, 2021 at 12:42pm

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