By Joe Avicolli
Roma have been able take hold of second place with a slight advantage over rivals Lazio following their 2-1 win over Udinese at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
The Lupi have a one point lead over the Biancocelesti after securing the crucial three points against the Zebrette and will now have the upper hand in their penultimate derby clash with Stefano Pioli’s men on May 24. Despite the positive result, the Giallorossi played a mediocre game against their visitors and had to depend on a bit of luck to secure the home win over Andrea Stramaccioni’s squad, especially after going down 1-0 about midway through the first half.
Udinese took the lead in the 19th minute with a goal from youngster Stipe Perica, who was able to capitalize off of a mistake made by the home side’s defense to give his team the advantage. Radja Nainggolan then managed to bring his team level with the Bianconeri in the 45th minute as the first half came to a close, while Vasilis Torosidis provided an awkward winning goal for the capital city club in the 65th minute after a bit of confusion in the Udinese box. According to LegaSerieA.it, Rudi Garcia’s men dominated the possession game, keeping hold of the ball for 64% of the match compared the Stadio Friuli outfit’s 36% of possession throughout the meeting. The home team also had a higher percentage of successful passes with about 71% of their passes being completed compared to Udinese’s 51% pass completion rate. Daniele De Rossi made the most successful passes in the match with 56 and had a stunning pass accuracy percentage of around 95%.
Reports from WhoScored.com show that Roma landed six of their 19 total shots on target while the Udine side managed to put three of their eight shots on goal. Radja Nainggolan and Victor Ibarbo had the most shots in the match with four each, with two of Nainggolan’s ending up on target compared to Ibarbo’s one. Vasilis Torosidis led the way in touches throughout the game with 87 and was closely followed by Daniele De Rossi, who had 85 touches despite suffering a cut to his head early in the second half. Giallorossi center-back Kostas Manolas was tied with Udinese defender Silvan Widmer for most recovered balls with 23 despite making several mistakes during the 90 minutes. The Lupi had double the amount of corners as their opponents with 10 corners awarded throughout the game compared to the Zebrette’s five. Both clubs heavily favored their right wings for launching their attacking plays with Garcia’s men making 47% of their offensive runs down the right side compared to the Bianconeri’s 49% of forward dashes down the same flank. WhoScored.com named veteran Roma captain Francesco Totti man of the match with an 8.0 rating due to his number of key passes and usual dominance on the pitch.
Roma’s next match against Lazio on May 24 could possibly be their most important clash of the campaign as it will determine whether or not they can finish in second place and guarantee a spot in the Champions League next season, which will definitely have Garcia’s men on edge in training throughout the week.