The Lupi faced serious issues on the sides in the first three Serie A matches of the 2018-19 campaign. Positional errors and lack of brilliance for Di Francesco’s men.
The giallorossi are struggling in this period. Roma collected only 4 points in the first three Serie A matches of the season and Eusebio Di Francesco is already criticized by the Roma fans. His tactical approach doesn’t fit the qualities of his players and albeit he tried to change something in the last away match against AC Milan, the situation did not improve.
The real issues that Roma are experiencing are the lack of intensity and positioning on the flanks. While Atalanta had impressed everybody speeding up their offensive plays putting Kolarov and Florenzi in trouble during the first 45 minutes at the Stadio Olimpico, AC Milan took advantage of EDF’s 4-2-3-1.
By analyzing the positional report of the game played at Stadio San Siro on Friday, Suso and Çalhanoğlu made a difference in their respective sides of competence. While the Spaniard played wide on the right offensive flank, the Turk moved from the left to the center giving the possibility to Ricardo Rodriguez to overlap pushing from the left wing.
Meantime, Bonaventura and Kessiè stepped forward in the central area pushing Nzonzi and De Rossi back and squeezing the Roma lines. By doing so, Roma lost their position on the field compromising their possibility of counterattacking and creating serious offensive opportunities.
In the tactical nature of the 4-2-3-1, the defensive flanks are often exposed for the joy of the opponents. When the two midfielders in front of the backline are centrally shield their teammates, they naturally leave space on the sides. If the offensive trio behind the striker is not ready to make an effort to drop down filling the void in those areas, the opponents can easily create a devastating numerica superiority.
Schick and Pastore‘s lack of tactical attitude in the defensive phase has left Kolarov and Karsdorp alone and in numerical inferiority. Thanks to their impossibility to recover the ball, AC Milan shot on goal 26 times scoring 2 goals and winning the game.
Although it’s clearly easier to assess the situation when the match is over, Di Francesco could have changed the cards on the table by playing Kluivert and Under in the last 30 minutes of the game. When the AC Milan were resting a little breathing up after their remarkable first half efforts, the two Roma wingers could have put Gattuso‘s backline in serious trouble speeding up the offensive plays of the Lupi.