AS Roma – Juventus: Roma Fail To Expose One-Man-Down Juventus (2-2)
A strong defense from Roma was met by Juve’s issues in possession, turning the game into an uncontrollable event eventually settled by moments of individual quality. The visitors, after a promising start in the Serie A, left Rome with a reality check. Against Roma it seemed that, in their 3-5-2 shape, a consistent buildup through the pivots lacked the right players or a defining game plan.
Tactical analysis and match report by Kareem Bianchi.
Last week’s win against Sampdoria was Andrea Pirlo’s first in his coaching career on the highest level. Slightly more than a month in, Juve’s Serie A debut was a pleasant surprise for the many skeptics and a first demonstration of the manager’s intentions. Given the former opponent’s level and strategy, many were cautious with their praise and eagerly waited to postpone their assessment until the first big test of the season, against AS Roma.
Although they are often not flawless, Paulo Fonseca’s Roma posed a serious challenge for a team that has generally suffered from opponents with intense high pressing. So, considering the embarrassing defeat by forfeit against Hellas Verona, the hosts’ motivations should have fielded an entirely focused and demanding eleven.
The Portuguese manager started his side in a 3-4-3 shape, making three changes to the lineup that started against Hellas Verona. Bryan Cristante, Amadou Diawara, and Rick Karsdorp made way for Marash Kumbulla in the back three, Edin Džeko upfront, and Davide Santon at right wing-back.
Meanwhile, Pirlo only made one change, as Gianluca Frabotta was replaced by the new signing, Álvaro Morata, who slotted in in the attack.
Juve’s many qualms . . .