If there were someone who could take his eyes off the football market, there is news to report: José Mourinho’s Roma for the moment has put the studs in the Champions League zone. Despite the Zaniolo case, the Giallorossi lost 2-0 to El Shaarawy and Abraham, and went to sleep with Empoli in third place. True that the team of Gotti, cut off by absences, makes the figure of the sacrificial lamb, but just a figure to understand the difference between the two teams: Rui Patricio makes the first parade in his own mirror of the door at the minute 41′ of the second half, with the race already on ice.
THE SCRATCH OF THE PHARAOH – The team of Mourinho, without even Pellegrini – on the bench for ailments – chooses a 3-4-2-1, with Matic alongside Cristante in the median and El Shaarawy partner of Dybala behind Abraham. La Spezia is the shadow of what was the typical team until a few weeks ago. Sold Kiwior to Arsenal, out of Nikolaou by disqualification and Nzola, Ekdal and Bastoni by injury, Gotti’s group loses almost immediately also Holm. Bottom line: with Agudelo lining up a 3-4-2-1 mirrored center-forward with the Giallorossi, the space is tight for everyone and the first half is certainly not champagne. The first thrill comes only at 17′, with a raid by Zalewski stopped in the area without fail, although both benches roar, some for the alleged penalty, some for the lack of a warning for simulation. Four minutes later, the Pharaoh shows up with a shot that Dragowski blocks on the ground. From that moment on, there were five conclusions in little more than twenty minutes, without anyone reaching the door. They practice without luck Zalewski, Abraham (head), Green, still El Shaarawy and Reca. In short, when the game seems to start made the interval without gasps, a throw of Smalling from the rear swallows simultaneously Amian, Caldara and Hristov that – in different ways – are attracted by the ball directed to Abraham. The ball instead passes and so Dybala flies to the opponent’s goal, unloading at the right moment on the Pharaoh, who scores without problems. It’s the 44th minute, and all that remains is to try a couple of minions with Bourabia and Agudelo, once again without getting too close to the door of Rui Patricio.
DYBALA & ABRAHAM – In the second half Gotti immediately launches Esposito and Maldini for Hristov and Verde, lowering Ferrer in defense and placing Gyasi on the belt. Just Esposito, however, at the debut in Serie A, the 4′ gives the ball to Dybala that triggers Abraham, in one on one. Caldara, booked, did not risk the foul and so the Englishman easily overtook him and then beat Dragowski. The attempts to recover from the Spezia seemed to die at that moment. For the Ligurians, Bourabia is out and Kovalenko is in, but the inertia is all for the Giallorossi. On the 14th, in fact, Abraham intervenes from a penalty on the back, whose ball slides through the entire small Bianconeri area, a step away from the goal line, without anyone intervening. In the rest of the action it is Matic to pull, without hitting the door. Same fate that touches 20′ from the limit to Zalewski. The hosts try to shake themselves, attack the bands more frequently and with Maldini, at 22′, they go to the dangerous conclusion from the limit. Mourinho then covers himself, inserting Bove for the Pharaoh. The game then begins to slide towards the credits without too many gasps. Gotti also puts Joao Moutinho for Reca and Mou gives Belotti a few minutes for Dybala. It only serves to update the scoreboard, because the only thing that matters is that Roma are back in the Champions League for now. And they want to stay.