AS Roma – Sampdoria: Cagey Affair Ends in a Disappointing Draw (1-1)
Two underperforming sides faced off as Roma hosted Sampdoria at the Stadio Olimpico. Being the slightly better team, Roma seemed to snatch three points in the second half, but their inability to defend set pieces came back to haunt them in the end.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
After a disappointing 2020/21 season where they finished sixteen points adrift of the Champions League places, Roma made some big changes as Paulo Fonseca made way for José Mourinho. Hiring Mourinho always brings great expectations, and he usually lives up to them for the first season at least, but that was not the case at the Italian capital, as Roma had already tasted defeat seven times in the league going into this match, languishing in sixth place.
Sampdoria were facing tough times too, but to a much more serious extent. After a very strong top-half finish last campaign, they were dangerously close to the relegation places in fifteenth spot. Four points in their last two games had certainly helped, but the good times would have to keep rolling for them to develop a real sense of security.
Roma made no changes to the starting eleven that started the big 4-1 success over Atalanta, meaning that the recently frequent 3-5-2 formation ahead of Rui Patrício in goal was maintained. Gianluca Mancini, Chris Smalling and Roger Ibañez made up the centre-back trio once again, with Rick Karsdorp and Matias Viña in the wing-back roles. Jordan Veretout, Bryan Cristante and Henrikh Mkhitaryan formed a midfield trio, whilst Nicolo Zaniolo partnered Tammy Abraham up front.
Sampdoria did not . . .