Roma hosted Benevento at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday evening. The giallorossi collected three points overtaking Lazio in a Champions League position.
A troubled first-half for the Lupi who conceded an early goal and struggled in building up a proper offensive phase. De Zerbi’s side covered the spaces and counterattacked proficiently. The giallorossi missed a proper playmaker able to rapidly trigger the plays but Di Francesco was unable to make changes due to De Rossi, Nainggolan, and Pellegrini‘s absences. The 4-3-2-1 played by Di Francesco didn’t look as good and effective as the one presented with a Nainggolan slightly advanced toward the attacking line. Strootman and Gerson weren’t able to set an adequate pace of the game giving to Benevento the possibility to tight the lines. Fazio scored the equalizer with a good header after Kolarov‘s perfect cross from a set piece but the overall performance of the offensive trio (Dzeko, Under, and El Shaarawy) was very disappointing. Roma played a chalky first-half with a performance that left a bad taste in the mouth of its supporters. The Lupi are a sick side that needs an antibiotic.
The second-half hid many pitfalls for the Lupi. Di Francesco’s crew needed to change gear in order to break down the human wall created in front of Puggioni. A magisterial cross by Kolarov was sent off by Dzeko right at the beginning of the second 45 minutes. But the Roma plays seemed to be random and confused. Benevento pressed the opponents all over the field putting the Lupi in trouble, a team unable to properly react. Perotti was a ghost, a player with physical issues to solve. But Di Francesco decided to replace El Shaarawy with Defrel rather than giving a break to the Argentinian winger.
The pace of the game didn’t change at all. The only Roma player able to make a difference was the young Turkish star Cengiz Under who served a precious cross to the Bosnian striker letting him score the second goal with a header in the 60th minutes. Just three minutes after, the Turkish elf annihilated the hopes of the opponents scoring the 3-1 with a sublime cross-shot. In the 71st minute, we had the confirmation that a star was born. Cengiz Under took the ball on the right side of the box and curled a precise shot stubbing Puggioni on his right corner, 4-1. In a blink of an eye, Benevento scored the 4-2 thanks to a silly defensive inattention. During the extra-time, Defrel scored a penalty, 5-2. The rest of the match did not reserve any further surprises.