Roma 1-0 Siena: Taddei Stronger Than Bad Karma (Serie A Matchday 25)

AS Roma Brazilian midfielder Rodrigo Taddei (middle) celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between As Roma and Siena, in Rome's Olympic stadium, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009.

“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night…” as they say for the Postal Service, a creed which can be applied to soccer as well. Meaning that no matter how many hardships you face the show must go on. Heart & soul in the face of adversity: those are the distinguishing factors of a great team.

Roma understood that Saturday, battling against the odds (injuries, suspensions, and other perversions of karma) to steal the three points away from Siena. Delivery came from a great goal by Taddei (ex-Siena player in his own right), and it is a goal which gives the team its much needed morale lifter after the 0-3 debacle vs. Atalanta. Looks like a big weight has just been lifted from Tuesday’s flight to the Emirates.

Serie A 2008-09 - Roma vs. Siena

Serie A 2008-09 - Day 25 - Roma 1-0 Siena

Tactically, with Vucinic, Aquilani, Cassetti, Menez, and Tonetto injured, De Rossi & Perrotta suspended, and Panucci out of managerial good graces (and boy could he be useful right now), Luciano Spalletti sure had a big head scratcher at picking his starters Saturday. And just to prove that “when it rains, it pours” isn’t cliché, Roma’s injury list increased further when Juan had to leave the field midway through the first half, complaining about a muscular problem to his right thigh. Super. In came Souleymane Diamoutene, at his first appearance with the Roman club.

So tactically, we were saying, Roma reverted back to their usual 4-2-3-1 formation, Brighi and Pizarro occupying the DM roles while Taddei, Julio Baptista, and Motta (yes, Motta instead of Cicinho) supported Totti as the lone striker. Despite their best intentions however, the Giallorossi really struggled to create anything of note in the first half: Siena were applying the pressuring tactic really effectively, with Kharja and the two strikers often dropping back to support the midfield, and only Julio Baptista (long-range effort & header) managed to call Curci into action.

AS Roma's forward Francesco Totti (C) looks after heads the ball over Siena's Portuguese defender Jardim Goncalo Brandao (L) and Siena's defender Daniele Portanova during their Serie A football match at Olympic stadium in Rome on February 21, 2009. (AFP/Getty Images)

The second half would leave a lot more to smile about for the Olimpico faithful, albeit after a brief moment of terror (Mexès seemed to pick up a shoulder injury while gazes of desperation covered the faces of Giallorossi supporters, the prospect of facing Arsenal with Diamoutene-Loria the most likely culprit). Providing the smiles for Roma (and sad faces for Siena) was Rodrigo Taddei, with the most classic of football clichés: the “ex-player’s goal”. Controlling the ball after a short Bianconeri clearance, the Brazilian midfielder completely made up for his 63 minutes of nothingness and calibrated a perfect inswinging shot straight into the top-right corner. Great stuff, but more importantly 1-0 Roma.

After obtaining their lead the Giallorossi retreated into their trenches, holding tight until the final whistle and breaking down all of Siena’s offensive endeavors (Mexès was miraculous on a few key tackles). On the few shots that did get through, Doni kept close guard. Obviously however, the game could not end before yet another “fu** you” message from karma, as Cicinho’s knee problems forced him off the field for Filipe (Primavera). As a Juventus supporter myself I sympathize: soccer fans of the world unite against the evil tyranny of hospital overcrowding.



A.S. Roma
[Match Highlights]
AC Siena
GOALSCORERS: 63’ Taddei (R).
ROMA (4-3-1-2): Doni – Cicinho (72’ Filipe), Mexès, Juan (46’ Diamoutene), Riise – Pizarro, Brighi – Motta, J.Baptista, Taddei – Totti (82’ Montella). (bench: Artur, Loria, Bertolacci, Stojan). Coach: Spalletti.
SIENA (4-3-1-2): Curci – Zuniga, Portanova, Brandao, Del Grosso – Jarolim, Codrea (68’ Amoruso), Galloppa – Kharja – Maccarone, Frick (59’ Ghezzal). (bench: Eleftheropoulos, A.Rossi, Ficagna, Coppola, Barusso). Coach: Giampaolo.


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Posted in Roma, Serie A, Siena |

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