There is a fierce law in football, it doesn’t matter if you play well or not if you don’t put the ball in the net no one will recall your efforts.
From yesterday’s match between Roma and Atalanta we can extrapolate a similar lesson. That match confirmed that football is an amazing sport made of strategy, dedication, and tactic wit but also that it is fierce and ruthless in its unpredictability. I would say that, in this case, stats are not telling us the truth. By deeply analyzing the numerical factors behind the Serie A clash between Roma and Atalanta we can definitely see that sometimes the development of a match cannot be simply summarized with numbers.
According to Opta Stats, the Giallorossi had a total control of the game. Spalletti’s guys also recorded their maximum ball possession of the season (70% against 30%). Roma shot 21 times but only 5 on target while Gasperini’s crew 6 with just 1 on target, Kurtic’s goal. Roma’s 541 completed passes against the 194 of Atalanta is another data that should give us the perception of an absolute dominance of the Giallorossi, however, in my view, these numbers are misleading.
Atalanta’s first half was simply astonishing. Giampiero Gasperini created a perfect football machine who stunned and harnessed the Giallorossi. Kessie erased Nainggolan’s efficiency and dangerousness while Caldara and Toloi took care of an underperforming Dzeko. Salah seemed to be very predictable as well. Gasperini’s guys kept the rhythms of the game very high and even Kevin Strootman terribly suffered.
Although Roma had several chances to overturn the outcome of the match in the second half, I believe that the Giallorossi don’t have that killer instinct and sometimes this factor jeopardizes Roma’s efforts.