Match Analysis: Juventus 1-1 Roma

Posted on 14/11/2010


It took a controversial penalty decision for Roma to break through a weakened but organised Juventus.

It was apt of Juventus to be playing at home and wearing their away shirt, such was how Roma’s visit transpired. Luigi Del Neri, shorn of half his first team, set the Bianconeri up in a regimented 4-4-2 with the lines of defence and midfield very much based in their own half and Vincenzo Iaquinta and Fabio Quagliarella selected for the variance of pace and hold-up play they could offer.

The idea was to ask of Roma whether with the possession they could break Juventus down and then to hit them on the counter. Simone Pepe and Claudio Marchisio’s performances defined the game, impeccable of defensive wing-based midfielders, Pepe in particular offering Frederik Sorensen consistent support against Mirko Vucinic and John Arne Riise. Whenever 18-year-old Sorensen was caught following the ball rather than the defensive line, he would turn round and find Pepe deputising at right-back.

Roma’s ability to keep the ball (69 per cent possession by half-time) meant a high work-rate for Pepe and Marchisio, rendering their contributions to countering Giallorossi devoid of enough energy to punish Claudio Ranieri’s side, so inevitably possession was on more than one occasion surrendered to the visitors.

Another reason Juve were generally unable to attack was Jeremy Menez’ performance. The Frenchman continues his bright start to the season and was Roma’s best outlet in attack but also their most active in the centre of the park in chasing Juve down to win back the ball.
Ranieri will be furious with the goal conceded through Iaquinta’s well-taken half-volley, his side allowing a low cross to bounce a foot inside the penalty box between the goalposts – cross and goalscorer unchallenged.

Whilst they had themselves to blame for conceding, Roma had the referee to thank for the equaliser off the back of a hotly-disputed penalty award. Juve will feel it was harsh given Pepe’s intentions were not to handle, but the player’s positioning as he turned his back on the ball was irresponsible and gave the referee the decision to make, a harder one given what had transpired not 60 seconds prior. Roma had protested for a penalty on 44 minutes when Philippe Mexes was caught by Giorgio Chiellini’s sliding tackle on the edge of the six-yard box which arguably the home side would have had fewer complaints about being awarded. Although separate incidents, the first may have influenced the decision on the second.

Overall Juventus will be the happier side despite only drawing as the home side given the players available to the Coach. The attitude of those on the pitch continues to ensure a weakened Old Lady remains hard to break down. Meanwhile Roma will have to ask themselves what the result would have been without that penalty and where their potential lies for 2010-11.

Source: Football-Italia

Posted in: Match Analysis