By Petar Todorovski
Instead of moving closer to Udinese on three points away from the fourth position, now Roma is six points late while the winner of the derby, Juventus, is only two points behind them. The game ended 0-2 for the Old Lady with Milos Krasic and Alessando MAtri on song.
Juventus started better, but Simone Pepe’s miss was the only good thing they did. Roma was the team that created more opportunities but the result on the break remained leveled. Mirko Vucinic was the best player on the pitch, both creating chances and firing, without any success however. Marco Storari was too good for host attackers.
On the start after the break it seemed that Roma had to face another team. Luigi Del Neri managed to motivate his men and they took over the initiative, started creating scoring opportunities and soon took the lead. In 59th minute Fabio Grosso sent amazing pass to on-rushing Milos Krasic, who blasted in Doni’s net.
Then Lupi woke up, but the effort of Jeremy Menez finished inches wide. Nevertheless, the Old Lady didn’t wait too long to punish them for the missed chance. Alessandro Matri reacted well after another magnificent assist by Fabio Grosso and doubled the lead. Now it seemed impossible for Roma to get back into the game and so it happened.
Roma coach Vincenzo Montella found the blame for the bad result in rivals’ goalie. “Storari is a great shot stopper and he made several excellent saves. He’s a Juventus player and we weren’t surprised by his good outing. He put in a similar superb performance when we met last year,” admired Montella, and continued stating various explanations for the loss and the slim chances for European qualification for next year. “It was an important game for us. We were possibly distracted by the results from the other games,” he said.
Unlike him, Luigi Del Neri was delighted. He said that his team can do anything, from beating anyone to losing from minor teams, while Champions League was not particular expectation. “We are still growing as a team. This Juve side is able to beat any big team, but we can also lose against the smaller sides. We can do anything with this team,” he stated. “I never said that a win against Roma would bring us back in the race for Champions League football. I spoke about reaching European football, not the Champions League specifically. I don’t want to create any misunderstandings. We’re still eight points behind the Champions League spots and I don’t know whether we can make that up,” Del Neri finished.
Roma travels north to meet Udinese in next round in attempt to close the gap. Should they loose, the CL spot probably will be lost.