The Portuguese coach believes his team lacked the right mentality in the first half but played in a different way in the second 45 minutes. Fonseca wants his side to keep fighting for their seasonal goals.
A shocking start of the match for the Giallorossi who gave Napoli the possibility to manage the tempo of the match and put constant pressure on the backline of the Lupi.
Diawara and Pellegrini in midfield haven’t been able to tackle the talented central line played by coach Gennaro Gattuso. Ruiz, Demme, and Zielinski controlled the midfield in the first 45 minutes and Ibanez, Cristante, and Mancini have been outperformed by the duo Mertens–Insigne.
The Belgian scored a brace putting his side on the right path since the beginning of today’s Serie A clash at the Stadio Olimpico. Dzeko, Pedro, and El Shaarawy, instead, seemed to be completely defused by Koulibaly and Maksimovic.
Spinazzola was the only working engine of Roma today. The Italian fullback tried to push forward and support his teammates in the offensive phase, but Gattuso’s backline comfortably repelled all attacks.
Roma’s Europa League effort didn’t play a major role today and Paulo Fonseca focused on other factors that, instead, made a difference against Napoli.
Perhaps we don’t have the mentality to fight against these teams. In the first half, I saw a team without courage but then it changed in the second half.Paulo Fonseca said to SKY Sport right after Roma v Napoli: 0-2
No excuses or alibis for the weak performance of the Lupi in the Italian capital. The Portuguese coach couldn’t clearly explain the reasons why sometimes his side approaches these matches without the right mentality.
We are all responsible for this. It’s difficult when we are afraid of losing. In the second half, instead, we played and this shows that the team can play [well] but we cannot approach [the match] with that mentality.Fonseca continued
ROMA v NAPOLI: 0-2 | Stats
- Ball possession: 52% – 48%
- Total shots: 8 – 11
- Corner kicks: 6 – 4
- Big chances: 1 – 1
- Passes: 545 – 495
(Stats by SofaScore)
It looks like the above numbers are not clearly showing the development of today’s game. The Partenopei seemed to be a very solid side, a group of players with the right mix of talent and experience.
Fonseca made a few changes in his starting XI but one of them seemed to be the most important. He rested Villar and decided to move Pellegrini close to Diawara, but with that positioning, Roma didn’t have enough filter in midfield. The captain of the Giallorossi seems to be more comfortable when he can actively play the offensive phase rather than shielding the backline.
In a competitive league, a wrong tactical choice can change the outcome of a match. It can also affect the overall performance of the team that may be unable to put in place the strategies designed in training.
The Serie A standings highlight that Roma may not be ready to reach a Champions League spot this season. Many teams are now ahead of the Giallorossi and albeit the coach preaches calm he may be forced to focus primarily on the international stage.
The Europa League and Ajax are there waiting for the Lupi. The Dutch team will be a tough obstacle but Fonseca’s tactical approach seems to be very effective in the international competition.