06 December 2019 23:02
Roma returned from what felt like an interminable international break with a home match against 20th place Brescia today, who were down Mario Balotelli, who was dismissed at the last minute by new manager Fabio Grosso. The return of Pellegrini and Florenzi's smiling faces did not bring good weather unfortunately, as today's match was played under some persistent rain, which was pooled up on the track ringing the Olimpico. Roma returned from international break, they had everything they needed to dominate possession (and the match), but the pitch was wet and they were facing a decidedly inferior squad. Roma definitely had the look of a frustrated team attempting to reintegrate some missing parts, and were lucky not to head into half-time down a goal or two, as Brescia nearly beat Pau Lopez twice in the first half—one Lopez masterfully parried away while at full stretch, while the second was just a flubbed header from Alfredo Donnarumma. Great switch of play/cross from Justin Kluivert, and an even better header from Smalling, who used the damp pitch to deaden the ball, finding Gianluca Mancini in a tiny bit of space between the defense.
The Giallorossi would get that third goal moments later when Chris Smalling set up a second goal, this time heading the ball from the edge of the area right towards Dzeko, who was screening the keeper and in the process sort of twisted himself around—you'll notice how he twisted his head each way before finding the ball. They moved the ball quicker, the passes and crosses were more precise and, as we just saw, they were clinical in the final third, Smalling in particular, who scored one goal and set up two more. Edin Dzeko would be denied two more times in the waning moments of this match, with one right-footed turn and fire attempt parried away by leaping Joronen, while his left-footed attempt, which was almost a carbon copy of the first, was ruled off by VAR. Dzeko is a complete striker in many ways, with a far better touch and intuition than he's credited, but Roma need him scoring goals. Chris Smalling has scored two goals for Roma in Serie A this season Chris Smalling scored one goal and assisted two others as Roma moved into the Serie A top four with a comfortable win over bottom-of-the-table Brescia.
On 57 minutes he turned provider as his powerful header back into the box from Justin Kluivert's cross was turned in by defensive partner Gianluca Mancini, who finished with a superb acrobatic effort over Brescia goalkeeper Jesse Joronen. Nicolo Zaniolo thought he had added a third on 63 minutes but saw his goal ruled out as the video assistant referee (VAR) had adjudged the ball had gone out of play in the build-up. Chris Smalling had a hand in all three Roma goals against Brescia. But Roma did make it 3-0 on 66 minutes as another header from Smalling allowed Edin Dzeko to tap home a third from close range. Roma defender Gianluca Mancini was interviewed by Sky Sport after keeping a clean sheet and scoring in the Giallorossi's 3-0 win over Brescia.
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