AS Roma's forward Francesco Totti (R) ce

Roma 3-1 Udinese: Match Report and Video Highlights

What a game. What a glorious, glorious game.

Ladies and gentlemen, that was Roma. The initial lead, the following possession that led to nothing, the awful defense on the goal conceded, and dramatic finishes at the end. It was a stereotypical Roma win, and it was a stereotypical Roma win over Udinese thanks to Totti’s late strike that took Roma into the lead.

[dailymotion]http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xq2eoc_as-roma-3-1-udinese-lll-www-nike7-net_sport?start=7#from=embed[/dailymotion]

 

Osvaldo’s Opener

It all started early on. Pablo Osvaldo took advantage of slack defending to run through Udinese’s central defense and fire on goal. Samir Handanovic saved his initial effort but was powerless to stop the rebound, which Osvaldo lifted over the goalie: Roma were ahead 1-0 in the 8th minute. The goal underlined just how important the striker is to the side. Derided by many for his high price tag and previous “failure” in Serie A, Roma’s new number nine has been nothing if not a goal scorer since his arrival from Espanyol. In 21 matches he now has 11 goals for the season and is Roma’s leading top-scorer despite missing about two months through injury. Seven of those strikes have been the opening goals of the matches; he’s not simply scoring the final goal in a three or four goal routes; with him up top, Roma have a focal point for their attack.

In short, he may be the best poacher since the days of Vincenzo Montella (who, by the way, also lost to Lecce this week).

Possession and Heartbreak

As too often occurs with the capital side, following the opening goal, a second strike simply could not be found. Roma dominated possession without shooting much on target, and though Udinese definitely threatened on the counter, the first half was definitely there for the side to capitalize on. As too often occurs, what happened instead was the opposite. Toto Di Natale played a perfectly weighted through ball to find Gelson Fernandes alone in the box. The midfielder poked it on the fly over Maarten Stekelenburg, and just like that, the two sides went into the half level.

What happened? A mixture of two factors- Roma’s profligacy and woeful defending. Jose Angel was nowhere to be found marking the player, but Erik Lamela was to blame as well, not tracking the player as he had been until the moment he began the run.

 Eventually, A Winner (Or Two!)

The second half was absolutely nail biting. Both sides threw everything they had at the net, and it was looking like it would end as a draw, until Osvaldo once again proved to be the difference maker. Taking advantage of Fernando Gago’s through ball and the Udinese defense’s inability to properly clear it, Osvaldo left Handanovic for dead twice, before squaring it to Totti who slotted home the ball from close range in the 86th minute.

Sounds familiar? Totti did it last year too:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAnQOjoZikA[/youtube]

Bojan Krkic, once again excelling in a super-sub role, put the result beyond doubt in extra time. Streaking down the left, the young Barcelona striker crossed the ball perfectly to the onrushing Marquinho, who powered the ball past Handanovic and into the net. 3-1 to Roma and all three points taken from Udinese at home.

Roma are now in 5th place, four points off 3rd place Lazio and a mere point behind Udinese. The race for the Champions’ League is well and truly on.

 

  • AntoniusJody

    The interesting thing is the next two matches, Fiorentina and Juventus. From what we’ve seen this season, Roma has let us down when we expect the most from them, but turn things around when we almost gave up hope.

    I think it would be safe to say we better watch the next two matches expecting the worst, and hope the boys surprise us :)

    • http://RomaJournal.com/ Julian

      Both matches enormous for all teams involved- Fiorentina are dangerously close to relegation, Juventus need to keep the pace above Milan, and Roma need the points for third. That being said, Fiorentina may have beaten Milan but are certainly defeatable. A loss to Juventus would not be the end of the world and I fear people are going to over-react should Roma lose to them.

      • http://twitter.com/DamianBuckley1 Damian Buckley

        It would be sweet to inflict Juve’s first defeat of the season, although I have to say I think they deserve the scudetto ahead of Milan.

  • ayo

    Keep up the good work julian

  • http://twitter.com/DamianBuckley1 Damian Buckley

    Nice report, and great to have clips of the goals here too.

    Week by week I abandon hope of third place, then have it revived, then abandon hope, then have it revived…

    • http://RomaJournal.com/ Julian

      Hope, loss of hope, hope, loss of hope… it’s so quintessentially Roma, isn’t it?