After Roma win the derby, which pointed by Mister Rudi Garcia that none of those team beaten by Roma is strong team, comes the first test for his team, the busy schedule on midweek, 3 games in single week.
Rudi know it well how his players physically tested during this week, however his objective remain clear to treat upcoming opponent with great respect which means keep the winning team as long as possible in the pitch. Let’s back again in 3 games in a week, this is what Rudi mentioned in press conference in the derby eve that he will take advantage on Lazio’s physical situation, yet he did it to grab win in 2nd half.
Now, it become his challenge against Sampdoria in midweek, Strootman was tired to take penalty on the derby yet he still play him (Strootman still play with grinta thou), rotation need to be made, as starter 2 new players as starter Borriello for Totti and Marquinho for Florenzi, keep another IX the same, keep the foundation strong.
In the first half Roma able to keep the possession however in 34′ come the problem, Maicon asking for substitution, so it’s clear that physical is the main issue to deal with. Since Vasilis Torosidis, the Maicon vice is not in his 100% condition, enter Dodo to replace Maicon just to make Balzaretti take Maicon position in Right-back and Dodo plotted to his original position in Left-back, surprisingly both of them did a good job.
Sampdoria keep 7 players behind the ball, it’s very difficult for Roma to find a leakage on them, midfield always a constant battle for trio Strootman-De Rossi-Pjanic and counter attack from Sampdoria make Roma’s fullback not able to join the attacking phase. Critique come for Marquinho who lack of strength to keep the ball, he’s not able to come battling with Sampdoria defender, this make lacking of ball supply in right side and instantly frustrate him in the field, Totti was brought on to replace Marquinho in 62′ to fix this hole. With Totti on the field, there is disruption in Sampdoria defense line.
Benatia 1st goal, slalom
Then the heroic effort come from Mehdi Benetia in 65′ who come from behind, asking De Rossi to cover up his position, make a slalom passing 5 players, get tackled in penalty box but he still manage to tuck in the ball with his long leg and put his name in score board. Absolute grinta. Absolute game changer. Superb signing.
Gervinho 1st goal, millimeter finish
Benatia goal make Sampdoria open their play a little bit, since they try to steal point in their home ground (as a note Sampdoria supporter who come to stadio Luigi Ferraris has been amazing, they give constant support to their team), as a consequences for tactic change, Roma get what they like room and space in opponent defensive line. Florenzi come in 83′ to replace Boriello, to give pair of fresh leg, and turbo charge in each flank.
Then the opportunity is coming in counter attack lead by Totti running directly in Sampdoria goal accompanied by Gervinho in his left and Pjanic who sprinted in his right, and here is the interesting part, in penalty box Pjanic has better position to shoot however Totti make a millimeter precision pass to Gervinho who convert it superbly in 88′ to seal the win.
Welcome to Serie A, Rudi
In the beginning of second half, Marquinho get dangerous challenge by Sampdoria defender but no whistle from the Referee, hence Rudi clapping to the referee and reported saying “do you have eyes to see” then he has been sent out by the referee and commanding his team from supporter seat.
The final whistle is history in the making. This Roma squad put their name in club history with 5 consecutive win from starting Serie A campaign.