Mancini drew first blood Udinesse bring it back before Dybala finished it lifting Roma into the top 5 #1929

A.S Roma 3 Udinesse 1FT

Eliot Ben-Ner
10 min readNov 27, 2023

Prior to international break Roma took a goalless draw in the derby against Lazio. Outside of the loss to Inter Milan Roma are slowly climbing the table. With other results having gone their way a victory on Sunday evening could push them into the top five. Quite a big leap considering they started the season in 18th and have spent a good portion outside of the top 10. They would be at home at the stadio olimpico against Udinesse. Last season, Roma suffered their most humiliating match of the campaign against them before returning fire in the reverse fixture. Historically speaking, Roma has quite a record against them but as it has been proven Udinesse can beat them. After finding themselves in an unlikely European race at the start of last season, this campaign they have dwindled and find themselves not too far from the bottom. As the points seem necessary for both sides for completely different reasons. Roma expected to get the job done, but it’s never as simple as that as the season has proven. After Dybala return to the team from injury against Lazio. Lorenzo Pellegrini did the same as Roma get their captain back as the right time as Roma are ready to engage and clash horns with Udinesse in Roma on a Sunday night.

Lorenzo Pellegrini immediately back into the Roma lineup. Meanwhile surprisingly, Eduardo Bove dropped to the bench. Somewhat strange considering how well the Roma have played in matches he’s has started. Nevertheless, a strong enough side to give the job done. Roma has a close to perfect record at home as they were going to try to create as difficult of a problem for Udinesse. However, in the opening minute Udinesse won themselves a corner. It was delivered in by Festy Ebosele as Jaka Bijol gets his head on the end of it but it hooks wide. Roma after the opening chance established a possession advantage as they tried to use it to their disposal. It was a rather slow start with not a lot of things happening. However, Roma move the ball well and was very calculated in the way they approached. In the 14th minute Roma aimed to take advantage off a set piece. Roma had won themselves a corner Lorenzo Pellegrini with the delivery as Mancini rises over the white shirts getting his head on the end of it directing it towards the left but it glides wide. 5 minutes later Roma get themselves in another set piece situation. Dybala is brought down outside the area. This eventually invokes a scuffle between Mancini and Ivan Success as the Nigerian gets booked prior to the free kick. Dybala and Paredes both step over the ball. It is a little further out. Probably going to be difficult to score directly from it. Dybala sends a deep cross into the box. Mancini finds managing to get on the end of it as he pierces his head through the ball as it rolls into the bottom corner beating the goalkeeper. Roma take a 1-0 lead with Mancini’s second goal of the season. As Roma found themselves with the lead and with control in the opening 20 minutes. Roma always seem to find a way on set pieces. The numbers Back it up over the last three seasons No team in Italy has scored more frequently from set pieces then Roma. 2 minutes later in the 21st minute Roma got them into a dangerous position again. Lorenzo Pellegrini collects across coming from Leo Spinazolla before the captain blasts it from close range, but the goalkeeper manages to get his paws on it. A few chances in a span of a couple minutes for aroma. However, while Roma remained in control. This wasn’t a octane attack despite having playmakers possession this Football is more or less the way Roma play a fair amount of the time. Roma was responsible with the lead and didn’t rush too much. They wanted to maintain their overall dictation but there weren’t a ton of chances coming from both sides. It wasn’t until late in the first half we saw a genuine chance on goal for either side. In the 44th minute Lazar Samardzic picks out a pass for Ivan Success as he then follows through from distance hitting a strike from outside the box, it did not test Rui Patricio as the first half comes to a close with Roma holding a 1–0 lead thanks to Mancini.

A fairly strong first half from Roma. They get the early goal and had somewhat control of the match afterwards, even going into the second half. Udinesse is capable of drawing level. However, this far they haven’t really managed to get much going. Outside of the goal, The observation can be it’s become a very physical game with a lot of tension between the teams for whatever reason. Whether it’s complaining about certain referring decisions or nasty tackles, flying left and right. Based on how all that was evolving, you’d think this was a rivalry which it is not. Roma got right back to it immediately. In the 46th minute, Lorenzo Pellegrini delivers a cross into the box off a corner this connecting with Mancini the center back does a great job trying to direct it into the bottom corner but unfortunately hits it a bit wide off the target. Roma came back a minute later with another opportunity to capitalize. Lukaku supplies a headed pass to Lorenzo Pellegrini El Capitano follows through from distance but the goalkeeper makes the save once again. Udinesse wasn’t really getting a sniff as it was all Roma. The attack started to open up as Roma are a much more attacking team in the second half. In the 48th minute Lukaku who had done almost nothing, the vast majority of the game gets his head on the end of the header sent in by Pellegrini off another corner He comes close but it drifts. Everything was going Roma’s way. It looks like they were going to glide to maximum points only for Udinesse to ruffle some feathers in Rome. In the 56th Martin Payero sends in a beautiful cross to Florian Thauvin as the former Marseille star catches it out of the air so well at the near post as he pokes his head through the ball into the back of the net as all of sudden Roma are pinned back in a singular moment. That levels the game with a little more than a half hour to go. A few minutes later in the 63rd minute Roma started making some changes. Stephen El Shaarawy comes in for Leo Spinazolla and Sardar Azmoun comes in for Lorenzo Pellegrini. It became quite a battle during the back of the second half. However, slowly Roma tried to chip away Still with the hope of winning the match. In the 76 minute Leo Paredes delivers a cross off a free kick into Bryan Cristante the midfielder got his head on it but can’t quite find the moment. A minute later in these 77th minute Bove came on for Paredes and Zalewski replaced Karsdorp. With time winding down, there was still enough for Roma to still go and win it. In the 81st minute, Roma Superstar had a wonderful opportunity to capitalize. As Roma take the ball forward Cristante sends a through ball to Bove than fires a quick pass to Sardar Azmoun to than Lukaku supplies a touch for Dybala leaving the Argentine alone by himself in the box facing the goalkeeper head on as he slides it into the bottom corner to give Roma the 2–1 lead showing absolutely fantastic display of a short passing sequence that ends up with Roma scoring a second. It would be his third goal of the season as the Argentine has looked sharp since returning from injury. 2 minutes later Dybala would be replaced by Ramus Kristensen. Less than 10 minutes later, Roma would score again with a guy who seems to only score at the end of matches. In the 90th minute Diego Llorente since a deep ball from his own box all the way up to Lukaku the Belgium international loses possession, but is manages to recollect it quickly using his physicality he then finds bove who dumps it off to an open El Shaarawy who follows through on a curler sending it into the top corner has Roma take a 3-1 lead and victory!

An absolutely terrific performance. Even though Roma retook the lead with less than 10 minutes to go It never truly felt in doubt. Roma put forth an incredibly strong performance That was needed. Roma has dealt with some injury concerns this season. Now that everyone has become healthy this Roma side could really be something this season. Roma launched themselves up the table very quickly after the Rocky start. As I have mentioned previously, only one point from the first three games. Roma was in 18th as the season felt over before it began. Although it took several months for Roma to find themselves in this position. They are now in the top five. Napoli are only three points in front of them. Right now Roma are within distance of a Champions League position. Although there are certainly aspects that need improving and adjustments, perhaps being made the there certainly heading in the right direction. Although there have been some truly horrific performances from Roma since they’re difficult start for the most part, we are seeing the best version of this team as it currently stands. Dybala returned to the team from injury in the previous meeting. This evening he was absolutely spectacular. Dybala is a superstar and the relationship he is developed with Lukaku as well as the other attackers has been very important. The way Roma, we’re able to move the ball throughout the majority of the game, but particularly on two of their goals was quite impressive. Short passing sequences that have glimpses of peps Barcelona. The ticki taka style we saw on occasion this evening. Involving the defensive area, the midfield and the attack altogether. Udinesse never truly got a look throughout the 90 minutes. They scored a stunning goal that got them back into a match they didn’t deserve but Roma took care of the business late scoring twice and the last 10 minutes at really put together a really compound effort. Lukaku didn’t provide much value for large stretches of the match. However, as I said before he is a difficult individual to take out. Due to his ability to find a moment. He had something to do with both of the goals scored in the second half. Even though his performance was not very good when he needed to step up, he does. We just need to see that against the bigger sides before I start to have a love affair with Lukaku like everyone else is. While it wasn’t attacking chaos, this was one of Roma’s best performances of the season. They scored in the first 20 minutes. They found themselves in total control then they were hit with adversity with a great hit from the opposition. Only for Roma to retake the lead battling through that scoring twice in the last 10 minutes to secure the points. If anything, this match proves that Roma completely healthy can be a force to be reckoned with. Napoli and AC Milan in particular have not looked very good this season. Now they’ve gotten the points to keep them in that sort of space in the Champions League. But neither team has really shown an awful lot of devastating quality because of the circumstances of those two teams, Roma does have a decent shot at making the champions league. Now Roma needs to do this against the big teams. They also need to take care of business in europe, but overall there’s very little that we can complain about. If the rumors of josé are true, this could be a masterpiece at the end of the season, especially if Roma are able to catapult to the Champions League at the end of the season. Bove is another that contributed to both goals. It is nonsensical to have him on the bench. He is a substantially better asset to the team than Paredes. While he didn’t play poorly, Bove needs to be starting every match for the most part. We also saw great contributions from El Shaarawy and Sardar Azmoun off the bench but particularly the Iranian has after not being involved. His first couple of games with the club has become a rather luxury to have off the bench. Overall, it was a fantastic performance and need to keep this momentum going into the next couple of games. Roma travel to Switzerland on Thursday night to take on Servette winning the group is out of their hands but they’re still a chance to win the group. If Slavic Prague drops points. Then next weekend we will see them take on Sassuolo away from home with a huge opportunity for three more points. A great performance as Roma jump into the top five which seems crazy considering how the season began, but it seems Roma are on the up.