Bologna 1-1 Roma: Totti and Cicinho, the Two Faces of Roma… (Serie A Matchday 11)

The good news? Francesco Totti is back. The Roma captain celebrated his 400th Serie A appearance by scoring a beauty on Saturday, and while he may still not be perfectly fit (his running efforts are limited, and he’s still not confident enough to take players on one one) his passing game and ball control can do without the stamina element. His goal was once again class & technique exemplified.

The bad news? Roma still isn’t “there”. And I’m not just talking about the mind-boggling own goal scored by Cicinho in stoppage time. If there’s anything that Saturday’s match showed, it’s that Roma’s midweek win over Chelsea (as good as it felt) did little to solve all the problems the Giallorossi have been struggling with since the season started. With the good news limited to the positive performances by Juan, De Rossi and Totti, this team seems to be cruelly lacking ideas: Spalletti’s game plan never really took off and the players’ contribution overall was average. Oh and also? Doni got injured.

As for Bologna, they played their hearts out. Despite some very evident problems in midfield, the Rossoblue created more scoring opportunities than the visitors, and in extra time of the second half managed to give their new manager, Sinisa Mihaijlovic (of Inter Milan and Roberto Mancini-assistantship fame) something to smile about in his Serie A coaching debut.

Note: Sorry for the late updates. Still struggling with some computer problems, despite I thought everything was fixed.

(From Gazzetta): The first half, dominated by the athleticism and rhythm of what was an intense match, left a little do be desired playmaking-wise: both teams showed that they were not in the pink of perfect physical or psychological health. With that said, Bologna played a better brand of football. They started the match strongly and tried to set up play through Davide Carrus and by exploiting the running power of Marco Di Vaio, their only striker on the pitch and in really fine form tonight. In fact, it was the centre-forward’s efforts which created a rare goalscoring chance for Bologna, with an instep shot just narrowly wide, immediately followed by a Davide Marchini blast saved by Doni.

Roma in all of this? The Giallorossi started the match at slow pace, ramped up the pressure as they played further forward but still couldn’t make a dent in the Bologna defence. Spalletti’s diamond 4-4-2 formation (a back-up system compared to his traditional 4-2-3-1) gave the Giallorossi solidity but took away their ability to exploit the wings effectively (especially with Taddei and Tonetto on the bench and Cicinho starting the game off-pace). In the central back position, Juan was forced to work extra hard especially after Mexès’s injury, forcing the French international off at half-time. At the break the score was 0-0.

The second half began with Panucci reverting to center-back (but playing further up the pitch, almost in a midfield position), and Tonetto taking over the left wing. Bologna immediately got a good chance to take the lead, Di Vaio moving close to goal and deflecting a cross from the left: as the ball flew to the right, Doni lunged forward to make a decisive low save, but injured himself in the process and was forced to leave the field. On came Artur.

A few minutes later, it was “Captain-time” and Roma finally opened the score. Taking advantage of a free kick set play, Totti put his technique and ball control skills to full use: his first touch receiving the cross enabled him to get rid of two Bologna defenders, which was immediately followed by a powerful drill-shot which left Antonioli no chance. 1-0 Roma.

However, Roma undid all their good work in stoppage time, when Cicinho tried to connect with a cross to clear the ball away… and ended up scoring a very beautiful diving header into his own net. 1-1. More bad news for Spalletti? He’ll have to do without David Pizarro next week-end, who earned a yellow card and will thus have to skip the derby match against Lazio.


Bologna F.C. 1909
[Match Highlights]
A.S. Roma
GOALSCORERS: 68’ Totti (R), 91’ o.g. Cicinho (R).
BOLOGNA (4-5-1): Antonioli – C.Zenoni, Moras, Terzi, Lanna – Adailton (60’ Marazzina), Marchini (77’ Coelho), Mudingayi, Carrus, Valiani (82’ Bernacci) – Di Vaio. (bench: Colombo, Britos, Confalone, Rodriguez). Coach: Mihajlovic.
ROMA (4-4-2): Doni (65’ Arthur) – Cicinho, Mexès (46’ Tonetto), Juan, Panucci – Perrotta, D.Pizarro, De Rossi, Brighi – D.Pizarro – Totti (86’ J.Baptista), Vucinic. (bench: Loria, Cassetti, Taddei, Menez). Coach: Spalletti.


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Posted in Bologna, Roma, Serie A |

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