November Notes: Roma Start the Month Right, Stun Napoli, Take Third Place

AS Roma Fans

The Giallorossi look to go undefeated in facing a very favorable schedule.

What transpired in Rome? Top Four Achieved

Contributions came from Roma’s star-power and up and comers Saturday as Roma fought their way through to a third win in a row, gleefully looking forward to a November schedule that could make for the perfect month. Nicolò Zaniolo, Roma’s young star who has been in tremendous form started the scoring with a magnificent high-powered perfectly placed shot from just outside the box.

The 1-0 start marked the fourth consecutive time in all competitions that young Zaniolo has put Roma on the score sheet. After a rare missed penalty shot from Aleksandar Kolarov, newcomer Jordan Veretout saved face for the elder Serbian by putting home a penalty of his own. Last year’s least valuable player, Javier Pastore, has been making strides in his personal development and has done a complete 180 under Fonseca’s system. Pastore looks to be an important contributor to the offense now and in the future as well.

Although many will paint Mert Cetin as a villain who almost cost Roma the game, I urge critics to go back and look at the videotape of his penalty against Milik. Cetin’s tackle just outside the box saved the game, for if the through ball had connected with Milik, he might have easily had open time and space to go one on one against Pau Lopez. I’m not betting against Milik in an open field no matter who the goalie is.

Looking Forward Europa League: Far From Home

Roma should be highly motivated to avenge the unfortunate outcome that transpired when Monchengladbach traveled to Rome, scoring a last-second goal to steal a draw and leave the Giallorossi scratching their heads. Borussia Monchengladbach is the surprise story of the German Bundesliga having taken over first place by feasting on the lower-tiered teams.

While Monchengladbach is certainly a capable squad, they’ve suffered two recent defeats to Borussia Dortmund and lost a late August match 1-3 against Red Bull Leipzig. Their record is certainly indicative of a team that has an extremely favorable strength of schedule and not of a new powerhouse to displace Bayern Munich or Dortmund. Roma travel to Germany for Europa League action this upcoming Thursday 7 November.

The last time Roma and Istanbul Basaksehir met the results were extremely one-sided. Roma won 4-0 with goals from Dzeko, Zaniolo, and Kluivert to add to a Basaksehir own goal. Basaksehir has been in mediocre form, currently sitting 5th in the Turkish Super League, drawing in their last two matches.

Despite this, the Turkish side currently sits second in Group J, only one point behind Roma. By the time these two teams meet on Thursday 28 November, the standings could be neck and neck and Roma should not expect any easy match from a desperate team that will be clawing its way towards the next round.

Looking Forward Serie A: Home and Away, A Chance for Six Points

This is the point where scheduling games so close to league tournaments can wear down lesser teams. Roma will only have two days rest after the Borussia Monchengladbach to get ready for a trip to Parma. Unfortunately, that rest will include a half-day of travel between Germany and Northern Italy. The Giallorossi head to Parma on Sunday 10 November. Parma has been what everybody thought they would be pre-season, average. However, when Parma does win games they do so by scoring plenty of goals, flashing their firepower recently with a five-goal win against Genoa and three-goal win against Torino. Midfielder Dejan Kulusevski currently sits second in assists, so Roma will need to make containing the playmaker a top priority.

Last but not least is Roma’s only remaining home game of the month. The Giallorossi play host to Brescia on Sunday 24 November. Brescia currently sits second to last in Serie A though with a game in hand on all other teams. Brescia’s Mario Balotelli attracted a media circus after last week’s incident involving unruly Verona fans. Roma will be relieved to play at home in an otherwise travel-filled month and against Brescia, players will have a chance to pad their stats against a very poor visiting team.

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About Robert Theodorson 21 Articles
Robert Theodorson has previously covered NHL prospects on Hockey's Future and a multitude of sports and teams on Bleacher Report.

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