By Petar Todorovski
Roma managed to lose a two goal lead against mediocre Chievo to extend their away games misery. Claudio Ranieri might be wondering what is needed for his team to start winning on away stadiums. Fabio Simplicio gave the Lupi 2-0 lead before the half time, but it was not enough.
There was possibility for delaying the game due to awful pitch conditions, but referee Nicola Rizzoli decided to blow the start whistle. However, everything went well at the start for Roma. Ranieri’s midweek team meeting seemed to show results.
The Tinkerman brought some changes in the first team, leaving Francesco Totti, Marco Borriello and Jeremy Menez on the bench. The Brazilian starlet started along with Mirko Vucinic in attack, with Fabio Simplicio as attacking midfielder. The Game didn’t abound with chances because of the pitch conditions, as the few scoring opportunities were created after free kicks and long balls.
After one of those long balls Roma took the lead. In 26th minute Fabio Simplicio reacted excellent, stealing the ball from Luca Rigoni’s head. Chievo tried to turn things around, but the surface was too difficult to play on. Nevetheless, that didn’t prevent Roma to extend their lead. Fabio Simplicio scored once again, using Marco Cassetti’s low pass. Gelson Fernandes had a chance to reduce the lead but his header finished wide, so the first half ended with 0-2 in Romans favor.
On the start of second half Chievo showed some determination to equalize, but they did absolutely nothing until 61st minute. Then, Daniele Moscardelli sent an undefined shot which had to be an easy pick up for keeper Julio Sergio. However he unbelievably fell on the ground and the ball just flew into the net.
Home side was obviously encouraged by the goal and kept searching for equalizer. Still long passes were the only option for goal, so we could see plenty of them in Roma’s penalty area, without result, however.
Substitute Pablo Granoche had the greatest opportunity, which ended with a fantastic save of Julio Sergio. Nevertheless, Flying Donkeys attacker scored minutes later, as he smashed the ball into the net after Mariano Bogliacino’s pass, equalizing seven minutes before the full time whistle.
Things got worse for Roma three minutes after. Daniele De Rossi obviously didn’t take the equalizer easy, so he did a careless tackle and fully deserved a red card. In the end Gialorossi can be happy with the result, as Philippe Mexes cleared the ball from the goal line in additional time, preventing a total disaster for his tema.
Coach Claudio Ranieri didn’t express disappointment in his players, bemoaning the pitch for the outcome. “Playing on the pitch was impossible and we could not play our game on that surface,” he said. “We played a grand game, despite not being able to play properly.”
Two games without victory mean that now Roma sit the eighth place with 23 points, ten less than leaders Milan. Things aren´t goimg well for Gialorossi after the good unbeaten run, but they will have an opportunity to change their luck next weekend, when they play at home with last placed Bari.