Antonio Mirante was on display
Former Parma and Bologna first choice stopper Antonio Mirante was called into action for the third time this season after Robin Olsen suffered a calf injury. The 35 year old, despite a rocky Serie A debut against Udinese two months ago, was sensational for the Giallorossi and pulled off two miracle-saves in Veneto. Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco will likely opt for the Italian in Tuesday’s pivotal Champions League showdown in Rome against Porto as Olsen is unlikely to be fit in time.
Given that the Swedish international, who arrived last summer to be the heir to Alisson, has struggled mightily over the past month — you have to wonder if Di Francesco will give Mirante more opportunities. With the race for the fourth and final Champions League position being so close — coupled with Roma’s defensive woes this season — the Giallorossi can no longer afford the shaky performances that they’ve been receiving from Olsen as of late.
Roma are still an “ill” team
Eusebio Di Francesco has been left without an explanation when asked about Roma’s “yo-yo’ing” form this summer. Within the last two weeks, Roma were up 3-0 in Bergamo before eventually drawing 3-3 against Atalanta, got embarrassed 7-1 in the Coppa Italia by Fiorentina, dominated Milan in a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico and then this evening won 3-0 against Chievo Verona.
The only response Di Francesco has when asked about his side’s inability to maintain consistency, he’s simply replied that Roma have an “illness” that they simply cannot recover from. Roma’s form this season is inexplicable —- even the most intelligent football minds would be left stumped when trying to find the common denominator between their highs and lows.
Dzeko is slowly returning to form
While the defence has been undoutedbly Roma’s most troubling area of the pitch this season, it’s difficult to not help but notice Edin Dzeko’s astounding drop-off in goals this season.
After having scored only twice in Serie A through December, the big Bosnian has bagged three goals and an assist in the Giallorossi’s last three matches —- which is certainly a welcome sight for Eusebio Di Francesco. As Roma continue to be shaky at the back, they’ll need every goal that they can get, which means they’ll need the former Manchester City man to return to his level of the previous two seasons.
Chievo are destined for the drop
After having been a staple in Serie A for the past decade, it now seems inevitable that Chievo Verona will be sent down to Serie B for the first time since the 2007/2008 season.
The Flying Donkeys were dealt a blow at the beginning of the season with a points penalty for falsifying transfer profits and never seemed to be able to dig themselves out of the hole that club president Luca Campedelli dug.
Chievo are notorious for their boring football and their lack of investment in the transfer market —- perhaps a drop down to Serie B with a chance at promotion will do the Venetian side some good and give them the opportunity to reinvent themselves. With Hellas Verona currently sitting in 6th in Serie B, Cittadella 8th, Venezia 13th, and Padova 19th —- it looks like the region of Veneto will be without any top flight clubs next season.
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