De Rossi, Strootman still have “it”
Roma’s midfield has struggled at times this season. Kevin Strootman, Radja Nainggolan, and Daniele De Rossi, the preferred trio of manager Eusebio Di Francesco, have often found themselves overrun and overmatched in the center of the pitch, particularly against sides who press and play the ball quickly.
It was no surprise that Napoli were the heavy favorites before the clash against Roma, but what was a surprise as the match commenced were the performances of the Dutchman, Italian captain, and Belgian. Strootman and De Rossi almost entirely took Napoli’s Jorginho and Alan out of the match while Nainggolan, who was very poor last weekend against Milan, gave Napoli fits. De Rossi was calm in possession and strong in defence, Strootman was sensational in recovering the ball, while Nainggolan, as per his trademark, was all over the pitch.
Despite Napoli grabbing the majority of the possession at 66%, Roma kept their cool and ultimately won this match through their midfield — the trio deserve all the plaudits.
Super Alisson continues to shine
Alisson’s world class performances have no longer become an exception, but rather, the norm. The Brazilian was in top form against Napoli and put on a sensation display to the dismay of the thousands at the San Paolo.
Napoli were afforded plenty of possession and had several opportunities to draw even with Roma once the Giallorossi took a 2-1 lead in the first half. Due to errors from Alessandro Florenzi and Federico Fazio, Alisson was kept busy in the final 15 minutes of the first half.
Things weren’t any quieter in the opening minutes of the second half as Napoli entered the half determined to get their equaliser. Alisson, however, was up to the task when called upon and denied Lorenzo Insigne twice in a span of two minutes. The Brazilian remained strong and proved decisive as the two goals conceded were due to no fault of his own. Alisson continues to shine and play hero for Roma.
Dzeko gets his brace
Edin Dzeko bagged his first league brace since 20 September 2017, nearly six months ago. The Bosnian has been struggling over the last three months and has really been lacking in confidence, however, that wasn’t the case as he stung Napoli for two goals.
At the San Paolo, Dzeko showed signs of the player we saw from last season, the one who claimed the title as Serie A’s top scorer. The Bosnian’s full arsenal of ability was on display against Sarri’s men: his hold-up play was sublime, his headed goal in the first half was clinical, while his left footed curling finish in the second half was world class.
Many have been quick to write Dzeko off due to his struggles, but he proved against Napoli that he is still a very strong player with a nose for goal.
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