AS Roma – Atalanta Bergamo: Distinctive Directions Between Romans And The Goddess (1-1)
Similar in position, but different in direction. Whereas Atalanta Bergamo tried to slice through the sides, AS Roma found Romelu Lukaku directly down the middle. The result leaves much to be desired.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
Separated by just a point in the table, victory would make a noticeable difference as Roma and Atalanta push for the Champions League spots. With Fiorentina, Bologna and Lazio above them, the pressure is on to stay with the pack.
Comparing the wage bill at Roma to the rest of the league, you could argue that José Mourinho should have this team comfortably in the top four already, but their domestic performance has always been underwhelming. Mourinho had previously described the possibility of Roma getting into the Champions League as more than just a miracle, but like Jesus Christ walking around the Vatican: but when you consider that the tactical playbook has not changed since he arrived, it is hard to find sympathy in this sentiment.
It was only a few years ago that Gian Piero Gasperini had Atalanta consistently punching way above its weight, in the table and the highest European competition. His flexible and aggressive style gave them a rich identity, but they have struggled to replicate it without its original cast. Both coaches are experienced and had long spells at the helm of their clubs, but being stuck in their default approaches has a hindrance to the performance of their squads.
Two changes were made to the Roma team that lost to Juventus, in their previous Serie A encounter. Rick Karsdop came in ahead of Evan Ndicka, who has left . . .