By Joe Avicolli
Roma have stumbled a bit in their quest to make it to the top of the Serie A table after their 2-2 draw with Sassuolo at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
The capital city club are still undefeated in Italy this season but were unable to add a third win to their record after forcing a draw with the Neroverdi at home. Rudi Garcia’s men found themselves having to play catchup with their visitors twice, though they still managed to hold things together and earn a point from the clash. The hosts were back to dominating most aspects of play including possession and chances created, but ultimately failed at capitalizing off of their advantages.
Sassuolo opened up the scoring 22 minutes into the battle with a goal from Gregoire Defrel and held the lead for about 15 minutes until Roma captain Francesco Totti brought things level in the 36th minute. The Lupi legend also reached a memorable milestone in scoring his goal, as it was the 300th goal of his professional career. Eusebio Di Francesco’s men took the lead a second time with a goal from Matteo Politano in the 45th minute, though Mohamed Salah would bring his team back into the game after halftime by scoring their second goal in the 49th minute. According to LegaSerieA.it, Roma were able to keep possession of the ball for 63% of the match while the visitors had a possession rate of 37% throughout the 90 minutes. The Giallorossi also had a small advantage in passing completion as they had a passing rate of 86% compared to Sassuolo’s pass completion rate of 72%. Daniele De Rossi had the most completed passes in the game with 74, including one key pass, and had a passing accuracy of around 93%.
Reports from WhoScored.com show that the Stadio Olimpico outfit landed seven shots on target out of a total of 20 shots, while the Neroverdi put four shots on goal out of a total of 12. Mohamed Salah had the most shots in the match with six, landing four of those shots on target including his goal. Antonio Rudiger had the most touches with 88, while Sassuolo defender Francesco Acerbi won the most balls, winning four throughout the game. The Giallorossi had a massive advantage in corner kicks awarded throughout the game as they received 11 corners compared to the visiting side’s three. Roma largely favored their right wing when it came to launching offensive plays as they sent 49% of their attacks down that wing, while Di Francesco’s men evenly distributed their attacking plays down both wings, with both the right and left sides being used 38% of the time. WhoScored.com named Mohamed Salah as man of the match with a rating of 8.2 based on his enthusiastic performance, especially in the attack, and his goal.
Roma’s next Serie A challenge will be midweek against a tough Sampdoria side on September 23 at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.