By Petar Todorovski
Roma managed to move ahead to the third place of the Serie A table after the convincing 3-0 victory against Cagliari. They totally revenged for the loss of the first game between these two sides in this season, but also got back in the battle for Scudetto. However, they shouldn’t relax as they failed in several occasions to get really close to the top.
As usual, not much happened on a Roma match. Cagliari started the game better and had the first opportunity to open the result. Andrea Cossu made an excellent curling shot that was saved with fingertips by Julio Sergio.
Roma took the lead in 21st minute from penalty kick. Daniel De Rossi was tripped in the box by Michele Canini. Francesco Totti took the responsibility and brought an advantage for his team.
After the goal Cagliari was the team that tried more, but Roma defended very well. They even had a great chance to double the lead through Marco Borriello, but the striker usually struggles before he hit the net, and this time was not different.
The first half ended with no more chances in a boring fashion. The second began with Cagliari efforts to equalize, but Andrea Cossu, Robert Acquafresca and Radja Nainggolan were not able to beat Julio Sergio.
Roma didn’t look like a team that wants to win the match but, nevertheless, they scored two more goals in last twenty minutes. The Lupi had their first real chance in the second half in 69th minute. Daniele De Rossi shot great from long distance, but it was denied by keeper Agazzi, who also managed to save Juan’s header, but it was almost impossible to save Simone Perrotta’s attempt right after. The result was 2-0 and the victory was already on the rise. The job was done in 90th minute with the goal scored by Jeremy Menez. The Frenchman avoided the offside trap and rounded Agazzi to make it three.
Coach Claudio Ranieri was delighted by the win and stated that they are title challengers already. “We are competing for the scudetto. I am fortunate to have a number of choices at my disposal. I opted to start with Totti and Borriello but both Vucinic and Menez also had an impact on the game,” he said proudly. “If we can continue to grow as we did last season, there is no reason why we can’t sell out the Olimpico once again and give the fans something to shout about,” Ranieri finished.
Roberto Donadoni blamed the big amount of respect that his players showed to the rival. “The boys played quite well but unfortunately we weren’t brave enough to go for the result. I think we gave a little too much respect to the opposition and with a little more conviction we could have come home with a better result,” he claimed, forgetting that it was his job to make his team’s mind.
Roma is third now with 38 points, only six less than Milan. They travel to Bologna in the next round, having a good opportunity to get closer to the leaders.