By Joe Avicolli
Roma may have already earned second place with their previous victory over Lazio, but failed to close out their 2014/15 campaign with a win after falling 2-1 to Palermo at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
The Lupi didn’t have much to play for in their home clash against the Rosanero besides the chance to end their rocky season on a high note with a victory and it certainly showed in some aspects of their performance, as they even allowed their opponents to score a game-winning goal in the final seconds of the match. Despite having the expected advantage in possession, the capital city club’s finishing wasn’t on par and had also seen them suffer in the end.
Palermo took the lead towards the end of the first half after being awarded a penalty, which Franco Vazquez converted in the 35th minute, and were able to hold a one-goal advantage for most of the match until Giallorossi captain Francesco Totti brought his side level with a lovely chip over the goalkeeper in the 85th minute. However, this singular goal wouldn’t be enough for Rudi Garcia’s men to secure any points as Andrea Belotti netted a game winner for the Eagles in the final minute of stoppage time. Reports from LegaSerieA.it show that the Lupi had a slight edge in possession, keeping the ball for 52% of the clash compared to Palermo’s 48% of possession throughout the 90 minutes. Roma were also a bit more accomplished with their passing, with about 74% of their passes resulting in success compared to the Rosanero’s 71% pass completion rate. Alessandro Florenzi had the most successful passes out of every player on the pitch with 62 and managed a pass completion rate of about 77%.
According to WhoScored.com, the Giallorossi landed two out of their seven total shots on target while Palermo were able to put only three of their 12 total shots on goal. Rosanero midfielder Franco Vazquez had the most individual shots with four, though only his goal was on target, while both Totti and Miralem Pjanic were close behind him with three shots each. Florenzi had the most touches throughout the game with 93, while the closest players behind him were Daniele De Rossi and Palermo midfielder Enzo Maresca who had 77 touches each. Palermo defender Claudio Terzi had the most recovered balls with 26, though Davide Astori was right behind him with 23 balls recovered throughout the game. The Eagles had a few more corners than their hosts, having earned five during the 90 minutes compared to Roma’s two. The capital city club heavily favored their right wing when it came to launching their attacking plays, as usual, and made 45% of their offensive maneuvers down that side, while the Sicilian team preferred the opposite side, making 38% of their attacking runs down the left wing. WhoScored.com named Franco Vazquez as man of the match with an 8.4 rating due to his dominant performance in Palermo’s midfield and his opening goal for the visiting club.
Now that the 2014/15 campaign has come to a close, Roma will certainly use the summer to further strengthen the squad and make much needed improvements to multiple aspects of their game as they prepare to return to the Champions League next season. A lot will be expected of sporting director Walter Sabatini as well, as the Lupi have been lacking a powerful striker to bring them some crucial goals.