By Petar Todorovski
Roma lost the away game against Palermo, ending their unbeaten run of seven matches. They suffered 3-1 defeat from highly motivated Sicilian side in a game that could go either way. Now, they remained on the score of 22 points, still with no away victory. Sitting the seventh place at the moment, they lost one position from the last weekend, and it just from Palermo.
Claudio Ranieri asked for determination and character from his boys before the start, but they let him down. However, they dominated first minutes of the game. Jon Arne Riise (photo) fired one of his trade mark shots in 3rd minute, which keeper Salvatore Sirigu managed to block. Francesco Totti almost scored minutes later from great curling free kick which finished inches wide. Gialorossi had the greatest chance in 13th minute. Jeremy Ménez tried an angled shot, but Sirigu luckily stopped it.
When it seemed that it’s only a matter of time when Lupi are going to take the lead, Palermo made one of their delightful counter strikes to score for 1-0. Slovenian Joip Ilicic passed three players in an action that finished with Fabrizio Miccolli’s goal.
Lupi attempted to equalize with long distance free kick again, but it was unsuccessful again. This time Marco Borriello was the shooter.
The game continued in expected manner: Roma was putting pressure while Rosanero tried to attack through their fast players, like Javier Pastore and Josip Ilicic. However, Totti and Menez had the only chances to score before the half time whistle, but both failed.
In second half everything changed. If Roma dominated first half, the second one was all Palermo. Argentine superstar Pastore started to show his talents and nothing could happen but Rosanero to score two more goals and secure victory.
In 61st minute they extended the lead as Ilicic scored for 2-0 after Federico Balzaretti’s pass. Everything was clear four minutes later. Javier Pastore started delightful attack, passed an excellent ball to Cesare Bovo. He got the ball back to Nocerino who fired in the net, leaving Julio Sergio powerless to do anything.
Josip Ilicic had one more chance to destroy Romans, but instead of that Francesco Totti managed to make things less bad, scoring a goal in injury time, making Rosanero keeper Slavatore Sirigu furious due to conceded goal in the perfect night.
While Sicilian players and staff were thrilled by their display, Roma players were angered of themselves. Defender Philippe Mexes said that what happened wasn’t result of team effort. He claimed that the team has to start winning away and showed determination to overcome that situation. “The results suggest that away from home, we suffer a lot, but we will look to resolve this as soon as possible because it is not by choice. We will not give up, but do our best,” he stated.
Coach Ranieri was disappointed too. He admitted that Palermo was superior in the game. “We did not expect this defeat, as the players were convinced they could play well. Had we won, we would have sent a clear warning to the remainder of the league. It wasn’t to be, which means we are not quite at our full potential. We must continue to work hard,” he said, confirming that he is also worried about team’s away form.
However, this defeat doesn’t mean that Roma has no potential for the title. Despite Milan they play the best soccer in Calcio and if their motivation doesn’t fall down they could easily make another great run of unbeaten games, this time spiced with guest wins. They have the first shot the very next weekend against tricky Chievo in Verona.