By Joe Avicolli
Roma have finally managed to break their poor streak at home with a 1-0 victory over Napoli at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday, which has come as pleasant surprise to the club and their fans.
The Lupi were on an embarrassing seven-game winless streak in Rome leading up to their battle with their Neapolitan rivals, having been unable to secure a victory since their 4-2 triumph over Inter at home on November 30, but have now been able to earn a positive result in front of the home crowd. This victory has also allowed the capital city club to continue holding second place, though they still sit just one point ahead of Lazio.
Miralem Pjanic scored the only goal of the match in the 25th minute, making him the hero of Rome and giving his team a necessary win in their hard fought clash with the Partenopei. According to LegaSerieA.it, the hosts failed to dominate the possession game this time around, with both sides having pretty much equal possession of the ball throughout the game. The Azzurri had a slight edge over the Giallorossi when it came to completed passes as 64% of the visiting side’s passes were successful compared to Roma’s 62% completion rate. Napoli defender Faouzi Ghoulam had the most completed passes of the game with 53, while the closest Roma player to that tally was Kostas Manolas with 41 successful passes.
Rafa Benitez’s men had the most attempts on goal with 12, sending five shots on target but failing to score, while the Lupi landed two of their seven total attempts on target including Pjanic’s goal. Dries Mertens led the way in shots with four, though he was followed closely behind by Adem Ljajic and Juan Iturbe, who blasted two shots each at goal. Napoli earned more corners than their hosts, earning five corner kicks compared to Roma’s two. WhoScored.com reports that Rudi Garcia’s men favored the right side of the pitch when it came to launching attacking plays, making 49% of their offensive maneuvers up the right wing, while Napoli made 46% of their attacking plays up the left side. Partenopei defender Miguel Britos had the most recovered balls in the game with 29, while the closest Giallorossi player to his tally was Davide Astori who recovered 24 loose balls. Britos also had the most touches with 80. Kostas Manolas was awarded man of the match by WhoScored.com with an 8.4 rating due to his impressive performance in Roma’s back line, which helped the hosts keep their 1-0 lead over Napoli throughout the clash.
Now that they’ve secured two straight Serie A wins, the Stadio Olimpico outfit are certainly motivated to end the season on a high note by keeping second place, with their next challenge coming in Turin against a tough Torino side on April 12.