Archive for March 22nd, 2009

Roma 1-4 Juventus: Bianconeri Triumph in ‘Battle of the Hospital Wards’ (Serie A Matchday 29)

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Juventus Czech midfielder Pavel Nedved (C) celebrates with team mate forward Vincenzo Iaquinta (L) after scoring against AS Roma during their Italian Serie A football match on March 21, 2009 at Olympic stadium in Rome. (Getty Images)

In this long, tough battle for Serie A supremacy, few teams can make the claim to have been decimated by injuries, at least not like those entering the Stadio Olimpico of Rome Saturday. I won’t bother to go over Juventus for fear of redundancy; Roma, just for this match alone, stepped onto the grass with five bench Primaveras and a big book of prayers in Spalletti’s hands. It is a sad tale of missed potential and full of “what if” hypotheses: what if these teams could have counted on their full roster this season; what if Legrottaglie and Juan had been there to stop the Chelsea and Arsenal strikers; what if Inter was having the same injury troubles as these two… what if.

Thus, it is in this surreal “red cross” atmosphere that Giallorossi and Bianconeri set to face each other Saturday, with the home team, it must be said, in slightly more dire straits than their colleagues. A youth presence on a team is always refreshing, but for Roma that’s about just what it was: refreshing and cold, just like the goal shower Juventus onloaded on them. Iaquinta drew first blood, Loria (yes, you have read correctly) momentarily tied, before big Vincenzo, Mellberg, and Nedved wrapped things up for the visitors. It was a clear message to league leaders Inter, as this never-ending Saturday/Sunday “long distance” battle continues, one team losing ground one day only to see it restored the very next day. In the words of Gazzetta, “Those expecting an early wrap for the Serie A title will be disappointed”.

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