Chievo 0-1 Roma: And Then Came the Day of Jérémy Menez… (Serie A Matchday 15)

They had tagged him as the next big hope of Les Bleus, the player destined to solve all of Roma’s offensive problems this season. But instead of becoming a master on the Stadio Olimpico grass, Jeremy Menez‘s expertise extended to far more humble topics, such as the type of wood on the Giallorossi bench or the colour of Francesco Totti’s favorite water bottle. So much so the player had lamentedIf I am not playing regularly, then I would rather leave the club” earlier this week, something which strongly suggested the possibility of a move during the Christmas break.

Until today.

After Chievo vs. Roma, there’s a good chance Menez revised his travel plans for January. The ex-Monaco player’s stroke of genius, which decided a contest dominated by Roma but for which the Giallorossi struggled more than they should have (due in particular, to a boatload of missed chances from close range and a Super-Sorrentino on the other end), promotes the French midfielder with full marks. Not only for his beautiful goal, but also because he was Roma’s constant source of danger and finally showcased the stuff for which the Sensi family paid good money for. Time to step into the spotlight…

Tactically, Roma took the field with a customary 4-3-2-1 formation, Brighi-De Rossi-Perrotta holding the midfield line and Menez, Julio Baptista and Totti providing the playmaking/goalscoring effort. On the other end Chievo manager Domenico Di Carlo, whose team scored 7 goals in 14 matches so far (and won their last game at Udine thanks only to a Felipe own goal), are a side that has to focus on one thing and one thing only: conceding as few goals as possible. Given the obvious difficulty they have at finding the back of their opponents’ net, the Flying Donkeys’ plan was clear: tight lines, 8 players behind the ball, and counterattacks relying on the speed of Sergio Pellissier and Mauro Esposito.

The first half of the match was enjoyable. Motivated by the starter spot granted to him by Spalletti, Menez was playing in daredevil mode on the left wing, creating the two best chances of his team in the first 45. First, he tested the hands of Sorrentino (in great form tonight) from mid-range after a nice dribble on two Chievo defenders, then he provided a perfect assist for Brighi that the Roma midfielder only had to tap in.

But incredibly, the one player who has been the symbol of Roma’s renewal so far (and the one player you would not expect to miss these chances), somehow managed to have his shot saved by Sorrentino. Chievo’s aggressive pressuring tactics further prevented Roma from finding any more space, and thereby from taking the lead in the first half. 0-0 HT.

The music didn’t chance in the second period. Chievo still held back in its shell, and displayed (if that’s possible) even less inclination to go forward. It was however a true miracle to see Di Carlo’s boys escape unscathed during the first 10 minutes, when Mantovani saved a Julio Baptista shot right on the goal line, and Sorrentino donned his red & blue costume (and cape) to parry two venomous shots by Totti.

But the Chievo surrender was only delayed, and how deserving was it to see Jeremy Menez, Roma’s man of the match thus far, to provide the winning and wall-shattering effort. Receiving a header lay-up by De Rossi, the French winger armed a spectacular right-footed volley from the edge of the box on which Sorrentino was really left helpless. 1-0 Roma.

Chievo now had to come forward, open up to find the equalizer. However, the hosts only managed to scare Doni once (Esposito header narrowly wide) while in turn Roma had more space available for counter-attacks. Even so, the Giallorossi managed to keep suspense alive till the end, because with 9 minutes to go Matteo Brighi managed to earn his second yellow of the night, forcing Roma to play short-handed until the final whistle.

With that said, Roma’s comeback continues. Chievo on the other hand, need some crucial tactical & roster re-adjustements in January, or they will be the prime candidates for relegation.


 A.C. ChievoVerona
[Match Highlights]
A.S. Roma
GOALSCORERS: 69’ Menez (R).
CHIEVO (4-4-2): Sorrentino – Moro, Mandelli, Yepes, Mantovani – Luciano, Pinzi (72’ Langella), Bentivoglio, Marcolini (86’ Italiano) – Esposito (80’ Iunco), Pellissier. (bench: Squizzi, N.Frey, Anastasi, Scardina). Coach: Di Carlo.
ROMA (4-3-2-1): Doni – Cicinho, Mexès, Juan, Riise – Perrotta, De Rossi, Brighi – J.Baptista (62’ Taddei), Menez (86’ Cassetti) – Totti. (bench: Artur, Panucci, Loria, Virga, Montella). Coach: Spalletti.


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Posted in Chievo, Roma, Serie A |

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  • One Response to “Chievo 0-1 Roma: And Then Came the Day of Jérémy Menez… (Serie A Matchday 15)”

    1. [...] ADP Offside from the wonderful and aptly named mCalcio sent over the lovely Menez graphic from his Chievo review. And in the same email he also confided that Totti > ADP…but you didn’t hear that [...]