Roma falls flat on face as Servette outduel Roma in Snowy Draw #1932

Eliot Ben-Ner
9 min readDec 2, 2023

Roma travel to Switzerland following their finest performance of the season against Udinesse Sunday. Roma would take on Servette for the second time in this group. In their previous Europa League fixture. They were beaten by Slavic Prague taking destiny out of Roma’s hands. However, Roma still with a great opportunity to take advantage if sheriff can beat Prague in Moldova. A point is all that is needed to qualify for at least the playoff round of the Europa League. Given Roma’s current form they should find a way, however that is easier said than done. In the reverse fixture aroma beat cervette 4-0 in Italy but is expected to undergo a different type of experience in Switzerland. It is a cold and rainy Thursday evening in Geneva. As we approach a very vital part of this group. Roma will try to make up ground while Servette want to ensure a conference league position . The Italians and the Swiss battle it out as it’s Roma and cervette in Geneva.

It was a bitterly cold night in Geneva. Perhaps it’s slightly favors the swiss side. It has been cold for a number of days leading up to it. The weather did not phase them on the weekend in their dominant victory over grasshopper. Roma have the better side and find themselves in a very important part of this group stage. However, The Swiss side had a more comfortable start. It didn’t take very long for the hosts to take advantage of the miscomfort. In the 6th minute left back Keigo Tsunemoto took a strike from distance a well taken effort by the Japanese international but Mile Svillar makes the save. 3 minutes later in the 9th minute Servette Once again work it from the outside Timothé Cognat follows through coming close with his strike drifting slightly to the left. The Italians have to sit back as they were being attacked pretty much from the beginning from the Swiss. Diego Llorente and Evan Ndicka looked sharp once again. However, the long range tactic from the hosts more or less allowed them to avoid the Roman disrupters. Servette continued to pile on the pressure. In the 11th minute Bendegúz Bolla made a run into the box he awaited a delivery from the wing as Captain Miroslav Stevanović find the space as Bendegúz Bolla follows through from very close range Mile Svillar with very quick reflexes pushing out the effort. However, through the opening stages of this Europa League group stage fixture, the Italians have yet to make any sort of dent. Being completely outplayed by the Swiss. The Swiss side continued to try to keep the Roma stars quiet. They had done a good job in the early sequence but eventually, However, Roma found their breakthrough. In the 20th minute. Diego Llorente goes coast to coast in the box dribbling through multiple defenders before finding Lukaku the inform Belgium picks out the top corner as Roma take a 1-0 lead. It would be the 9th goal of the season for Lukaku. A beautiful display, particularly from Diego Llorente as he looked like Dybala in the dribble sequence that set up the first goal. 4 minutes later, Roma found themselves with a penalty claim. Lukaku misses the mark from inside the box, but on the replay it looked like he was tugged back by the defender. In addition to that bove was slide tackled. After an extensive look, no penalty was awarded. It’s questionable whether that was the right decision. Outside of that goal, Roma wasn’t really making much happen. It was Servette That looked like the better side. It was difficult to find very many opportunities considering the weather conditions. However, late in the first half the Swiss side kept getting after it. In the 42nd minute Bendegúz Bolla collected the ball inside the box after being set up through a pass from Timothé Cognat The Hungarian ultimately controlled it before sending it towards the bottom corner. However, Roma’s Portuguese shot stopper comes to the rescue again with another critical save from Svillar. In the 44th minute Servette put forth the final chance of the first half Bendegúz Bolla found Dereck Kutesa as he supplied a well taken strike from inside the box but Svillar denies him as the first half comes to a close with Roma holding a 1-0 lead.

It was far from over. Servette certainly appeared to have been the better team as Roma more or less get a bit fortunate with the goal. Nevertheless, as things stand, Roma would jump to the top of the group. In Moldova sheriff equalizes against Slavic Prague. As the second half kicks off Servette take advantage immediately. In the 49th minute Miroslav Stevanović takes the ball down the right wing sending a beautiful cross through the air Chris Bedia collects it in the box. A slight deflection with the defender and then pokes a hole as the ball slides past Svillar to equalize as the Swiss side deservingly gets them themselves back into it. In the 55th minute Lorenzo Pellegrini comes off the bench replacing Houssem Auor. Roma certainly have not played well. However, sheriff scores another in Moldova. As it stands, Roma are top of the group. However, Roma can’t simply leave it in someone else’s hands except it felt like they were. Servette had the control and the momentum of the game. Even though Roma was attacking them through multiple sources throughout the second half, they were unfazed by it. The conditions were in their favor and the momentum was in their direction. In the 62nd minute Dybala look to make something happen. He managed to make a run into the box finding himself in a very dangerous position. However, his touch on the end of it was a poor one as it flies over. Less than 10 minutes later Servette was searching for a winner Miroslav Stevanović follows through from inside the box but couldn’t get it past Svillar as He makes yet another critical save. 2 minutes later in the 71st minute Dybala would give it another go. Lukaku supplies the Argentine he makes a run into the box again as he looks to squeeze it past the goalkeeper on the right side but he was denied once again. A much better effort than the previous but still seems like a goal isn’t going to occur soon for these Romans. In Moldova Slavic Prague finds an equalizer. Roma now slide down two second in the group Once again. This is what happens to you when you leave it in others control. Andrea Belotti enters play in the 80th minute. Perhaps hoping to supply some late drama here in Geneva. In the 86 minute Lukaku finds Pellegrini at the left side of the box. The Roma captain lifts it over the corner as time was running out. In the dying members of the game in the 94th minute coming from a corner, Diego Llorente from point blank range the Spaniard can’t find the winner for Roma. The full time whistle goes as it is a point exchanged. Roma punching their ticket through the group stage, but unfortunately in Moldova in the 96th minute Slavic Prague find themselves a winner. Slavic Prague now are two points ahead of Roma. Magic would have to occur for Roma to win the group now as they’ve surrendered it to Slavic Prague this evening.

Roma’s performance in Switzerland on Thursday night with counterproductive. With respect to the other teams in their group, Roma should have wrapped this up already. Now they’re heading to possibly another season in which they will have to go through the playoff round to qualify for the Europa League round of 16. The champions league teams will be there available. Opponents. What Slavic Prague did last night in Moldova was out of Roma’s control. However, with a victory Thursday they would have at least put themselves in a much better position to win the group and not have to deal with the champions league sides dropping down. Last Sunday, Roma put forth their finest performance of their season. It was a beautiful display as Roma came within three points of a Champions League spot. That’s where they sit in the leak. The thought was that Roma would be extra motivated to keep it going and keep their season in high spirits. While the priority remains the league, Roma still should have taken care of business in switzerland. I understand the circumstances surrounding the weather and how cold it was. However, Roma didn’t do themselves any favors. It was a spineless performance that lacked energy It turned into a complete disaster. Last time in the Europa League they lost to Slavic Prague that took the momentum and the control out of their hands. Roma put themselves in a position to ask sheriff to do them a favor instead of putting together a performance that they could be proud of. The pitch wasn’t in the best condition. The weather was also not in the best place but no excuses can be made. While Lukaku found the back of the net again in the Europa League to give Roma the lead, it disappeared in the second half as cervette manages and equalizer to put pressure under room. Slavic Prague did end up winning at the very end but on two occasions sheriff found themselves in front. Even if that ultimately changed, Roma would have sabotaged it regardless. Milan Svillar was terrific in goal. Bove showed his quality in the midfield once again and we saw an encouraging performance from Diego Llorente. However, there weren’t many positives to take from it. While Roma will at worst finish second in the group it was with a whimper. Roma has the depth and Jose failed to use it. Sardar Azmoun wasn’t used at all & Andrea Belotti only came on for the last 10 minutes. Even with all the problems Roma we’re having, they’re inability to adapt. Drag them down. Jose has certainly turned Roma’s season around very quickly. However, the reason I’m not clamoring for him to get an extension is because his adaptability has lacked this season across all competitions. He might be putting Roma in the best situations to win, but when things go south he’s not making the right adjustments Paredes For example has started almost every game. He is very rarely came off the bench. He has offered next to nothing the entire season. What has he done to deserve a starting position permanently does he really deserve it over Bove who has been won aromas shining stars this season. He doesn’t even deserve it over Renato Sanches. He has been a liability and has not registered shots on target almost ever. Certain things need to change. I’m not going to lose sleep over it and obviously overall Roma have been playing well over the last couple months. Another disappointing performance in Europe doesn’t erase that, but they didn’t do themselves justice with a way they performed and the last two Europa League matches. Last season Roma finished second in the group. However, that group featured Real betis a team that finished in the top five in La Liga. Again, I am not doubting the quality of Slavic Prague however, respectfully considering the players that Roma have. They should have probably taken maximum points. To win the group Slavic Prague need to lose or draw to cervette. Meanwhile, Roma would have to win by 5+ goals to have any chance of winning the group. If Roma finished second, they’re going to end up with one of the Champions League sides. Last season they got lucky with RB Salzburg this season. They may not get so lucky Sevilla, Benfica, Newcastle United Porto and others as Possible opponents. Roma can be excused from finishing seconds to real bettis, but in this group for them to have put themselves in this spot. They have only themselves to blame a truly uninspiring performance in back to back European games caused all of this Roma can bounce back at the weekend but at the moment wrapped up in bitter disappointments.

--

--