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A lot of work and some freezing cold: Roma have their sights set on a Champions League spot

As a long-time Roma professional, Daniele de Rossi was known as a workhorse and vacuum cleaner in front of the defense. The new coach has evidently passed on this DNA to his charges. Because it wasn’t particularly nice in Salerno

Somehow it was a topsy-turvy but ultimately real world in Salerno as the bottom club in the table faced Roma, who are in the international race, at the end of the 22nd Serie A matchday.

Although the Giallorossi lived up to their role as favorites in terms of match data after their 2:1 win over basement dwellers Hellas Verona in only their second game under José Mourinho’s successor Daniele de Rossi, they were not dangerous offensively. Not at all. There was an acute lack of goals and no action at all

Rome have the ball, Salerno the chances

In contrast, the underdogs from Salerno, recently defeated 2-1 three times in a row, supported by the passionate home fans, lurked for their few chances and then tried to strike with a quick passing game.

There were even more chances to take the lead in the first half, which was not undeserved. But none of them were taken: The now 36-year-old Candreva, who was a tireless driving force right up to the final whistle, missed in the 24th minute, while Bradaric (31) and Tchaouna (32) failed to score from good positions with saves from AS keeper Rui Patricio, before oldie Candreva tried again and this time just missed (35). Striker Simy – with just one goal to his name this season – rounded off the series of chances with a header that deflected just to the right of the post (43′).

And of the big-name players Dybala, Lukaku and El Shaarawy? That’s right, basically nothing came from these three

Dybala ice-cold, Pellegrini dry as dust

The neutral spectator already had the feeling that Salerno might get a receipt for the missed opportunities. And lo and behold, it was delivered by Dybala. After a clear handball by Maggiore after Cristante’s header had been penalized shortly after the restart and confirmed by the VAR despite massive complaints (50′), the Argentinian world champion stepped up from the spot. And he lived up to his reputation as a penalty expert: Dybala converted with a powerful left footer into the bottom left corner, while the 38-year-old Mexican Ochoa dived into the other corner of the box (51′).

In the 66th minute, the Giallorossi were even on hand to make the difference: Dybala played a fine back-heel pass to the onrushing Karsdorp, who then crossed precisely into the five-yard box for Pellegrini, who crept away. The AS captain scored from close range to make it 2:0.

There was no denying that the bottom team were determined, especially as Kastanos managed to make it 2-1 with a header (70′). However, the Roman rearguard did not allow anything else to happen and were thus able to do without the attacking engine still not running smoothly despite some very open counter-attacking areas – Lukaku, for example, did not look very present on this evening. In the end, there were only two upsets: Candreva wanted a penalty in vain for a small tug from opponent Llorente (86′), while substitute Ikwuemesi had another decent header. However, Rui Patricio saved the ball (90.+2).

And so the increasingly relegated bottom club US Salernitana lost bitterly for the fourth time in a row with 1:2 and remained on a meagre twelve points, while Roma increased to 35 points via a working victory and are only just behind Atalanta in fifth place.



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