It will be the last away match of the year but the first in importance. Because in Bergamo, on Saturday at 3 pm, an identity test is staged. The protagonist is the Rome that after the success against Spezia has hooked Juventus in sixth place and now has the chance to reopen the Champions League discourse. Atalanta is third at +9, Napoli – who will face Milan at San Siro – fourth at +8. It may seem strange to hear about a crossroads in December, but so be it: the opportunity is on the plate, we must not let it slip away. It matters little that the Giallorossi will present themselves without Pellegrini, El Shaarawy, Felix, Spinazzola and with Smalling in doubt. Because “if there is an opportunity behind every problem” (Galilei), that of Bergamo should not be wasted. We need to follow up on the success with the Ligurians and above all on the pre and post-match intentions (“We are there too for the Champions League”, Cristante; “The accounts are made in the end, every match is like a final”, Pinto) that risk otherwise to become a sample of clichés. It is therefore up to a Mourinho give hope, to be cultivated then for the rest of the season. Because being satisfied at the end of the first round of a year with a transition man, it is difficult to reconcile that he loves challenges. Even impossible, as he himself defined the decision to accept the Friedkin’s proposal to GQ: “I am going to meet a new mission impossible.” After 4 months, he realized that he hadn’t gone too far with words.
Mourinho: «Cristante is not Bonucci». Social storm among the fans of Rome and Juve
In Bergamo you have to win. And to do so, it will be necessary first of all to put an end to the taboo of direct confrontation which continues to be an open wound. November 2, 2019 is the date on which Roma won 2-1 with Ancelotti’s Napoli, repeating the success of two weeks earlier against Milan. But it also represents the last sharp in a big match that is important for the ranking. Since then, another 26 matches have been played with the big names in the championship (including one in the Italian Cup) and just 2 victories have been collected which, however, counted little and nothing for the final objectives (arrived at the 37th and 38th day). For the rest, 16 defeats and 8 draws. Trend that has not changed even with the arrival of José: 4 knockouts (Lazio, Juventus, Milan and Inter) and a draw (Napoli). The significance of this trip to the Gewiss Stadium should certainly not be explained to the coach, aware of what the obstacles may be.
SPEED AND AGGRESSIVENESS
Starting with the state of form of Zapata and his companions (6 consecutive victories in the championship), passing through the squad built by the Percassi and ending with a speed and aggression in the game that is seen little here and above all at alternating plates. Mou is ready to accept the challenge in the mirror with Gasperini: 3-5-2 against 3-5-2, the formula that Roma has chosen, waiting for the return of the injured.
The mistake not to be repeated is the one committed against Inter. Team too low, unable to carry out a convincing pressing, at the mercy of the Nerazzurri’s pallet, emptied and resigned from the start. If the script is the same, you risk a bad impression. But compared to that evening, José will have Abraham and Zaniolo at his side who has recovered from muscle fatigue. It’s up to the young couple to take Roma by the hand. Atalanta are strong but not invulnerable as Villarreal demonstrated no later than 6 days ago, 13th in the Liga at -23 from leaders Real Madrid after just 17 days. We must therefore believe it. Also to honor the presence of the 1,127 fans who in a few hours have pulverized the availability of the guest sector. They are always there. Now it’s up to Roma.