AS Roma – Juventus: Roma Edge Win Over Hapless Juve (1-0)
In a tight encounter, a second half strike by Roma’s center-back Gianluca Mancini decided the game. Mourinho’s choice to play without a target man indirectly reinforced the midfield and prevented Juventus from taking control after going down. Allegri’s men were left cursing their fate as the woodwork denied them the chance to break Roma’s resistance, but their offensive play still left a lot to desire.
Tactical analysis and match report by Giovanni Cesaroni.
With the fight for the top four spots in Serie A offering no signs of predictability behind the solo leader Napoli, AS Roma and Juventus weighed up their chances in a highly tactical and physical match in front of a bumper crowd.
After a disappointing 2-1 loss against Cremonese, José Mourinho kept his cards close to his chest until the official lineups were named, springing up the first surprise of the night as the omission of a pure number nine left space for Gini Wijnaldum’s return alongside Lorenzo Pellegrini and Paulo Dybala, with Tammy Abraham and Andrea Belotti both sitting on the bench. Following a 3-4-2-1 shape, Nemanja Matić and Bryan Cristante formed the usual midfield barrier while Leonardo Spinazzola and Nicola Zalewski played respectively on the left and right midfield. Green light also for the regular back three in front of Rui Patrício, with Chris Smalling, Gianluca Mancini and Roger Ibañez included in the team sheet.
Massimiliano Allegri backed up his intended plan to build on the recent series of four consecutive wins, confirming his 3-5-1-1 formation which relied on Ángel Di María’s creativity behind Dušan Vlahović upfront, the robust midfield with Manuel Locatelli . . .