While it certainly wasn't a masterpiece, Fiorentina's trip to Rome was a thriller. With two late goals, if not for a blunder by replacement goalie Artur Boruc, Fiorentina could have escaped with a point that, honestly, they probably didn't deserve.
Roma out possessed La Viola 60% to 40% and out shot them, 22(8) to 9(4) but the stats don't really paint a full picture. Fiorentina came out and tried to score, but like the last few matches, the first half was a very frustrating thing to watch.
There was very little connection between the defense and the midfield and no connection at all between the midfield and the forwards. Pasqual and Di Silvestri constantly were creeping forward and had to scramble back and were frequently exposed. With all that, somehow, a few minutes before halftime, it was still scoreless.
Then La Viola couldn't clear their box and Roma broke through:
7 minutes into the second half Fiorentina's left back issues were shown for all to see, as Pasqual was left behind by Menez:
After a few more minutes of back and forth, Adem Ljajic was brought in to replace Vargas. He injected some energy into the attack and served a nice ball to Gila
D'agostino came on for Donadel and Bolatti for Santana. Then Artur's Blunder made it 3-1
All looked lost, but in the final minute of regulation, D'agostino stepped up to a free kick
But Roma were able to finish it off. 3-2
Boruc - first two goals really weren't his fault, but the third was. It was his first Serie A match on the road. I'll give him a 5.5
Natali - not very impressive. burned on the simplicio goal, couldn't block the menez pass, but played better in the second half. 5
Gamberini - part of the mass confusion on the first goal and unable to mark the roma player on the second goal. step backward. 5
Pasqual - really horrible, played to far forward, got schooled by menez, this is the game that gobbi would've normally started. slow and tired. 4
Di Silvestri - best of our defense, but it's not saying much. served the ball to Ljajic that led to Gila's goal. 6
Santana - did ok in a strange position, had a shot that the Roman goalie nearly blundered on, subbed out at min 80 for Bolatti; Bolatti - not enough time to make an impresssion
Donadel - looking tired, got an early yellow card, needs some rest. subbed for D'ago 5.5; D'ago - great to see on the pitch finally, sweet strike on a free kick. 6
Marchionni - Not sure what's wrong with this guy, but he looks nothing like what we saw last season. should be a back up at best. if he's not invisible he's having the ball taken away or passing to the other team. 4.5
Vargas - He really drives the bus, we need him in and healthy. Still doesn't have a full 90 in him, subbed at one hour by Ljajic 6.5; Ljajic - Brings energy, got the assist on Gila's goal on the right side, not really sure why he's not ahead of Marchionni. 6.5
Mutu - looked rusty and tired, and yet got off a rocket at the corner of the net that was blocked. he's getting there, but today was a tiny step back. 5.5
Gila - He's ready to score if someone can get him the ball. no real surprises. 6
Mihaj - the defense stepped back some today, but it was a short week, with travel and against one of the big four. both of first two subs led to scores. 6
Only a few days to rest up for Saturday's match at the Franchi against a Cesena squad that just beat Lazio, but is winless on the road. Three points is a MUST. After that match, our internationals will have to go off for a midweek friendly, and then come back for a trip to Milan to see The Team Formally Known as the Beckhams. As Saturday's match will be the third match in 6 days, expect to see more lineup tweaks. perhaps Comotto and Kroldrup, Maybe Gulan. Match time is 12pm EST, game will be on TV, but on Fox Soccer Plus. No ESPN3 either.