AS Roma played out a dramatic 3-3 draw with Genoa in their opening Serie A game at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night. The Giallorossi went ahead on three different occasions with strikes from Cengiz Under, Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov, but Genoa pegged back every-time.
Impressive strikes from Andrea Pinamonti, Domenico Criscito and Christian Kouame was enough to salvage the side a point in this exciting stalemate.
Story of the Match
Paulo Fonseca fielded a relatively attacking lineup in his Serie A managerial debut, allowing the Young Romans to start with a bang. Roma took an early lead when Cengiz Under beautifully skipped past multiple players before slotting in emphatically in the sixth minute. One minute later, he almost doubled the lead after dancing into the final third and shooting just wide of Andrei Radu’s goal.
However, Genoa wasn’t one for sitting back and got their equalizer in the 16th minute. Domenico Criscito flung a long-ball to Christian Romero, who tapped the ball for debutant Andrea Pinamonti to power in the ball into the net. Edin Dzeko had the opportunity to restore the hosts lead 10 minutes later, but his shot was well saved by Radu. However, he didn’t miss in the 30th minute after receiving Bryan Cristante’s ball in the box, dribbling past multiple defenders and slotting in-home clinically to regain the lead.
Captain Alessio Florenzi almost scored a scorcher four minutes later, when his thunderous volley from Aleksandar Kolarov's chipped corner forced a strong save. However, the Giallorossi lost their lead again in the 43rd minute. Pinamonti was brought down inside the area by Juan Jesus, as Criscito scored from the penalty area to bring things level before half-time.
The Giallorossi again regained their lead in the 49th minute when Kolarov’s curling free-kick was adjourned a goal thanks to goal-line technology. The Serbian again went close minutes later when another free-kick went just wide. The hosts never looked any convincing, failing to add some cushion to their lead. Roma were made to pay later in the 70th minute when Genoa once again levelled the game with a brilliant team goal.
Ivan Radovanovic flung a long-ball down to the right to Paolo Ghiglione, who put in an inch-perfect cross for the onrushing Christian Kouame to power in with a diving header. Roma looked warn-out after that point but had a golden opportunity to seal a win in the dying moments. The ball was played into Under inside the box, as he dribbled past multiple players before cutting back to substitute Davide Zappacosta, who scuffed his shot from yards out to frustrate the fans.
Takeaways from the Match
Roma’s youngsters brimming with excitement
AS Roma might not have been able to pull off the winner in the late minutes, but their style oozed with swagger going forward. While Edin Dzeko’s obviously the decisive-factor in the final third, it’s the Giallorossi’s youngsters who will shine the brightest this time. Cengiz Under was irresistible with his tricky movement, interactive style as well as creativity in the final third. Nicolo Zaniolo also lurked into promising positions to have some goal-scoring chances of his own, while he also looked in good sync with his team-mates. Justin Kluivert’s also slowly developing his lethal touch and as the season goes on, these three will fire up Serie A with their pace, technical ability and eye for the spectacular.
Genoa might’ve found their Krzysztof Piatek successor
Last season, Genoa rode on Krzysztof Piatek’s brilliance for a long time before he was swooned away by AC Milan. However, they might’ve found a player with similar capabilities in new-signing Andrea Pinamonti. The Italy U-21 international terrorized Roma’s defence with his clever work upfront, scoring an emphatic goal with a devastating volley. Moreover, he also earned Genoa the penalty after getting the better of Juan Jesus and also looks to have formed chemistry with Kouame. Genoa craved for a complete striker after the Polish international’s departure. For a much-discounted fee, they might’ve attained Piatak’s perfect replacement.
Kostas Manolas is being missed in Rome
Probably the biggest loss incurred by Roma this summer was when Greek centre-back Kostas Manolas decided to move to Napoli after a disappointing campaign last time. They failed to properly replace him and that showed in today’s defeat, where the Giallorossi lost their lead three times! Juan Jesus was disastrous, failing to contain either Piamonti or Kouame and often making unnecessary challenges. Fazio wasn’t the defensive leader they needed either, as Genoa carved them up too easily on multiple occasions. The emphatic tackles or warrior-spirit integrated by Manolas just isn’t there anymore, as being unable to replace him could haunt them this season.
The 22-year-old could have his crowning season this time out, as he kicked off the Giallorossi’s season with an absolute banger. The way Under glided past multiple players before slotting in confidently is something even Francesco Totti would be proud of. Moreover, he remained persistent with creating chances by skipping into promising positions before scraping in clever passes through Genoa’s defence. The defenders just couldn’t handle his swagger on the day, failing to predict his manoeuvre that well. He might’ve failed to get the winner, but the Turkish magician’s promising performance proved the bright days are just around the horizon.