Roma collects important three points on the road to Crotone giving continuity to its recent successful domestic and international performances.
Not a remarkable first half between Crotone and Roma. Di Francesco decided to change six players after the Champions League effort and the team needed time to find the right balance on the field.
The qualitative difference was definitely in Roma’s favor but Crotone’s conservative approach left almost no space for the plays of the giallorossi. Although the Lupi managed the pace of the game with a good Pellegrini who shifted his position to create a necessary superiority in key zones of the field, Di Francesco’s men didn’t have many opportunities to break the deadlock. Kolarov often overlapped El Shaarawy on the left offensive flank and in one of this occasions, the dangerous cross of the Serbian fullback was gently tapped into the net by the Italian-Egyptian winger, 0-1!
Crotone reacted in the last few minutes of the first half trying to find the equalizer but Roma’s defensive phase, properly led by Fazio and Juan Jesus, cleared with no troubles. A fair performance by Bruno Peres who replaced Florenzi on the right defensive flank. The Brazilian had to take care of a dangerous and motivated Stoian (a former Roma man) and he did it with precision and consistency.
Zenga and Di Francesco started the second half not making any changes. Dzeko wasted a colossal opportunity to double the lead at 50′. The Bosnian star hit Cordaz with a potent shot after Nainggolan’s great efforts on the right flank. A great opportunity for the home side when Fazio lost the ball leaving Trotta alone in front of Alisson in the 55th minute. The magic Brazilian keeper miraculously saved sliding on his right side. Crotone advanced its lines to create more chances and surprisingly this move destabilized the giallorossi.
Nainggolana and Kolarov’s shots at 63′ and 64′ had the potential to secure the final result for the Lupi but this didn’t happen. Di Francesco decided to play Strootman to rebalance his midfield. The Dutchman replaced Pellegrini to provide a consistent support to Roma’s backline. Florenzi, instead, replaced Gerson on the right offensive flank. Crotone’s resistance went over at 74′ when Radja Nainggolan picked a ball up right outside of the box and fired from the distance, 0-2!