This was the real match to test this Roma side. Napoli, top of the league, 7 win out of 7, crushing teams all along, playing great football so far. A test to determine whether this Roma team is ready to battle alongside the top sides in Serie A and in Europe. Of course, Roma lost one nil, thanks to Lorenzo Insigne’s first-half strike, with Roma failing short in pursuit of an equaliser.
But the defeat goes beyond the result. Napoli showed a lot of confidence, just superior in the first half by controlling the ball and pressing Roma, who struggled to keep the opposition at bay. Di Francesco’s men were just unable to keep the same pace. Too clumsy at the back, too predictable in midfield, too weak on the wings. The worst seen so far this season. Daniele De Rossi unfortunately was the main culprit, responsible for a silly mistake that created a golden opportunity for Napoli to score. Insigne did not waste it.
During second half EDF made some changes at the back and in midfield, and Roma did improve but it was not enough. Of course, Pepe Reina and the crossbar denied a possible equalizer but that was it. Napoli seemed always on top and squandered some clear chances to double the advantage. Roma were able to put some pressure in the last 20 mins but never gave the impression to play well as a team, just relied on whateveter scramble, or, on any random crosses from the wing, if could bring something.
Disappointment in the end. The only thing we can say is that we were missing several key players, that this team is still in the process of becoming a team. One note: Di Francesco game plan might not suit certain players, like De Rossi for instance, his way of playing in front of the defence. Daniele is a defender essentially, not a metronome able to push an attacking play. The same can be said about his natural replacement, Maxime Gonalons, who hardly features in this team. Roma might need a different player there if EDF insists on 4-3-3 formation, maybe Strootman can do that?
On another note, Chelsea awaits us on Wednesday, fresh of defeat against bottom team Crystal Palace, quite opposite as Napoli, 7 matches lost out of 7, zero points. Yet, yesterday they beat Chelsea 2-1. But rest assured, the game at Stamford Bridge will be quite different, if Roma wants to pull a positive result must be performing close to perfection, especially in defense and in midfield. We must pick ourselves up, get out there and play! Daje. Forza Roma.