Roma hold champions Juventus to a 2-2 draw despite Cristiano Ronaldo double

Roma held the best side in Serie A to a draw at Stadio Olimpico as the two sides drew 2-2 in a very entertaining game of football.

The home side knew from the beginning how important it would be to claim something in the game after their chaotic start to the season saw them default their first match and lose 3-0 to Verona after a mix up in their team selection (the actual game had finished 0-0). So a point at least here was needed, and they got it in the end although because Juventus were playing with 10 men after Adrian Rabiot was sent off Roma may feel aggrieved that they couldn’t find the 3rd goal to finish off the current champions.

Rabiot had a bad game to say the least and it was his handball which handed Roma a penalty after half an hour which Jordan Veretout converted, though the ball just squeezed in. But Juventus hit back just before half time, with the same procedure- a handball and that man Cristiano Ronaldo took the penalty and scored with ease.

Roma’s 2nd goal was classic counter attacking, right from the back and finished off sweetly again by Veretout. It was a goal that had so much skill in the build up it told you there and then that Roma will be in with a shout of a Champions League finish this season, there was a lot of quality in the goal.

Soon after Edin Dzeko who looked on the verge of signing for Juventus a week ago missed a good chance to put the game to bed, but his shot hit the post for the home side. And he would regret it as moments after Ronaldo made it 2-2 after a brilliant header where Ronaldo seemed to defy gravity and just hang in the air Pele style and still steer the ball past the goal keeper.

Roma now have a point on the board and come into their 3rd game of the season this weekend against Udinese away from home in 15th place although a win could take the club into the top 10.

Jordan Veretout has the most fantasy points for the club with 10. 

Roma coach Paulo Fonseca had this to say about the game: “Tonight was a wasted chance, I think we had a good match but I am not satisfied with the result. We had a good match that should’ve been won. I have total confidence in the club, the new president has arrived and we are constantly talking. We are working to find the best solution for the team.”

How well do you know Italian football? Do you want to battle the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play www.fantasyseriea.com now! 

 

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Three – Top Matches

ATALANTA-CAGLIARI

Atalanta: the Bergamaschi took it to Lazio as well, making the second game in a row with four goals scored, as the machine is still working like a charm. Alejandro Gomez not only pulled the strings, but also scored twice and was joined in the stat-sheet by Hans Hateboer and Robin Gosens. Hateboer has already matched his entire production for the 2019/2020 campaign, while Gosens opened his tally. Ruslan Malinovskyi got the start this time and dished an assist, while Luis Muriel almost hit the net off the bench. The only negative aspect of the young season is that Duvan Zapata has not really looked dominant and might need some time to be in peak shape, but they surely have the manpower to work around that. The flank game has been particularly terrific so far. Mario Pasalic might feature in a less offensive position going forward since they are stacked with attackers but short on midfielders and his output could suffer.

Suggested picks: Gomez, Muriel, Gosens. Continue reading

Serie Best Fantasy XI – Round Two

Thomas Strakosha (7 points): among the four goalkeepers that managed to keep a clean sheet in this round, he was the one that was called into action the most and had a key save on a long-range effort by Marko Rog.

Adam Marusic (7 points): the Serbian fullback took over the left flank against Cagliari since Jony was recently sold and Mohamed Fares has yet to be announced. He was actually a force to be reckoned as he dished Manuel Lazzari a ball that just needed to be nudge in few minutes into the contest and linked up with Ciro Immobile to ice it in the second half. Continue reading

Juventus Top Performers – Round Two versus Roma

In a game of many faces, Juventus’ plans felt overambitious from the get-go and they were almost completely undone by the glaring lack of balance, but they showed great resilience after the red card in the second half and came away with a tie against Roma.

Danilo (1 points): if Cristiano Ronaldo had not scored a brace, he would have been the man of the match, not only for the precise lob that set up the second goal, but also for full ninety minutes of very energetic defending as for long stretches he looked the only really apt for such an aggressive style in the back.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round Two

Results: Roma and Juventus shared the spoils in an entertaining fixture to cap off the Sunday slateNapoli demolished Genoa, Milan easily got past Crotone, while Verona nipped Udinese to stay perfect in the season. Inter furiously rallied back late against Fiorentina, while Lazio breezed past Cagliari and Atalanta toyed with Torino, so the three ‘top four’ teams that had their opener delayed were all successful. Among the newly promoted teams, Benevento got off to a brilliant start as they mounted a glorious comeback against Sampdoria, tough sledding instead for Spezia, which run into an in-form Sassuolo. Bologna trounced Parma on Monday night.  Continue reading

Aaron Ramsey looks to continue resurgence against Roma

When Aaron Ramsey joined Juventus from Arsenal last summer, much was expected from the Welshman. The 29-year-old was brought in to address the Bianconeri’s continued midfield woes but failed to make an impact under Maurizio Sarri. This season, however, Ramsey looks rejuvenated and is ready to hit the ground running. 

Ramsey is your prototypical mezz’ala and thrives playing on the outside of a midfield three. The former Arsenal man is at his best roaming dangerously in the final third and making late, unmarked runs deep into the opposition’s territory. After arriving last summer, Ramsey struggled in Sarri’s rigid system and was largely tasked with relaying possession in predictable patterns.

It may only be one game under rookie manager Andrea Pirlo, but the former Juventus legend appears to have completely shaken things up in Turin. The Italian champions defend in a compact 4-4-2, and commit many men forward, ultimately transforming their setup into a hybrid 3-2-5 of sorts. Ramsey has been among the biggest benefactors in this setup, and looked extremely dangerous in Juventus’s season opener against Sampdoria.

Operating from the left-hand side of the midfield three, the former Arsenal man was a constant threat and wandered dangerously in support of Cristiano Ronaldo and Dejan Kulusevski. Ramsey arguably played his best football since joining the club, creating four clear-cut chances throughout. Ronaldo was not his typical lethal self in front of goal, otherwise, the former Arsenal man would have finished the game with three assists.

Beyond contributing in the final third, Ramsey’s newfound freedom ensures he’s present in Juve’s pressing schemes high up the pitch. The Welshman regularly led the Bianconeri’s press, forcing the Blucerchiati into many unnecessary turnovers. Last season, Ramsey was constrained to sitting deep on the right-hand side of the midfield three, and largely let games pass him by.

Pirlo’s footballing philosophy remains mostly unknown until this point, but one thing’s for certain: The Juventus tactician relies heavily on the mobility of his midfielders and asks them to be constantly on the move. Ramsey thrives in similar setups and played his best football at Arsenal when given the license to get forward in support of their front-line.

Ramsey was interviewed by Sky Italia this week and touched upon the recent changes under Pirlo.

“We have a new coach, a new staff, new ideas, and the players are very involved in this,” Ramsey said. “I think we have more fun than last year. The training sessions are hard but there is also a little bit of joy. We started well but we still need to improve.”

While he may be deployed in the midfield on paper, Ramsey acts as a defacto trequartista for most of the game in Pirlo’s setup. Ronaldo lingers dangerously around the 18-yard box occupying the opposition’s defense, while Kulusevski and Ramsey are largely tasked with linking it all together. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see where exactly the Welshman fits in Pirlo’s plans when the whole roster is fully fit.

“In this team, there are many great players, we call all play and help the team reach their goals. I’m happy to be able to play together with these top-quality attackers,” added the Welshman.

It may have taken him a full season to acclimate himself to his new surroundings, but Ramsey appears reborn under Pirlo. The 29-year-old is slowly carving an important role for himself in the middle of the park and will only improve as the season wears on. Pirlo’s fluid system offers his midfielders the ability to get forward, all-while contributing to the press.  The biggest question mark, however, remains Ramsey’s fitness issues. If the Welsh international manages to stay fit, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a crucial piece to Pirlo’s formation.

Sign up to eurofantasyleague.com the game where football fans meet to compete.

 

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Two – Top Matches

TORINO-ATALANTA

Torino: the Granata did really not show anything new in the Fiorentina game even though Marco Giampaolo is supposedly going to bring a ton of changes, but that will take time and likely a couple of new players to come to fruition. They created just a pair of changes, with Andrea Belotti fully in the thick of it as per usual, while Simone Zaza rubbished a tasty one. They might be better off signing a new striker. The coach went with Alex Berenguer in the hole and then voiced doubts about Simone Verdi’s playing in that position, however there is not really any other place for him in the formation, so he will have to adapt. Soualiho Meite and Karol Linetty were not very involved offensively, mostly because the match-up was not easy, but this upcoming one is worse.  Continue reading

Serie A Best Fantasy XI – Round One

Antonio Mirante (7 points): the Roma coach picked him over Pau Lopez, who was really uneven in the resumption, and the veteran had a pair of big-time saves that preserved the result in the challenging game against Verona, keeping his first clean sheet of the season. Unless Paulo Fonseca did it just to send a message to the Spaniard, it will be tough to take the starting job away from him on a performance basis alone.

Leonardo Bonucci (9 points): he looked re-energized and uber confident featuring in something similar to a three-man defence and with his buddy Giorgio Chiellini next to him. He stymied multiple attempts with great timing, launched a pair of interesting long balls and scored the pivotal second goal for his side with a tap-in on a corner kick. Continue reading

Juventus Top Performers – Round One versus Sampdoria

Juventus came out of the gate with a sharp performance and did not spoil Andrea Pirlo’s debut, easily taking home three points in the season opener versus Sampdoria.

Leonardo Bonucci (9 points): the defence held up while spending sixty plus minutes in the same position where they often caved too easily last season and, even though the Blucerchiati picked it up in the second half, never looked overwhelmed. Bonucci was in his element as linchpin of a sort of three-man line, as he could patrol the middle of the field and had the liberty of uncorking long passes. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round One

The schedule was missing three games because of postponements and that was a factor, but overall the quality and the intensity of the play was down compared to what happened in the restart as several teams looked sluggish after the break and in general the defences had their ways over the attacks.

Results: among the supposed title contenders, Napoli and Juventus got off to a good start as the Partenopei pulled away late in Parma, while the Bianconeri manhandled Sampdoria. Milan breezed past Bologna on Monday night. Fiorentina eked out one at home versus Torino. Roma shared the spoils with Verona in a snooze-fest, while Sassuolo-Cagliari had the same result, but more action. Genoa looked good while humbling Crotone.  Continue reading