Roma play as voraciously as wolves on their shirts

Posted by Julian De Martinis

MaiconPA PhotosMaicon hammers home for Roma.

With three goals in the first half and another in the second, Roma could not have followed up their last league game, the 3-0 loss against Juventus, in a better way than with this 4-0 win against Genoa. Though the side had to toil for the initial breakthrough, once the goal came the result was rarely in doubt.

Perhaps it was no real surprise. After all, the home side proved they had put the league defeat behind them with the Coppa Italia win over Sampdoria and Genoa entered the match with just a single win in their last six games. This still might have been a game that a lesser, older Roma side may have dropped points in, but the Rudi Garcia effect has long been in place now and there's clearly little that ties this Roma to even last year's in terms of mentality or defence.

For 25 minutes, however, the home side pressed for a goal but did not have much luck in terms of registering genuine chances. Alessandro Florenzi's marvellous overhead kick came through from a poor clearance from the visitors, knocking a free kick right to the young Italian inside of the box. His celebration was pure joy -- an expression that mixed sheer surprise with pride and happiness as he ran over to the bench.

During half-time, Florenzi revealed that he suffered from physical issues towards the end of 2012: "I didn't feel well during a period, especially in December. My teammates were in much better condition than I was and [Garcia] did well to play them instead." With him back in good physical form, alongside a healthy Gervinho and Francesco Totti, Roma once again had the trident that seemed to score at ease early in the season; the scoreline reflected both the quality of the opponents but also Roma's dominance.

Five minutes after Florenzi scored, the captain himself doubled the tally after his shot was deflected in past Mattia Perin, and Douglas Maicon added a third before the break following some great passes from Florenzi and Dodo. After the half, Totti registered an assist from a corner as Medhi Benatia nodded in his fifth goal of the season, and Roma were in cruise control.

There were numerous chances for the side to add another, including a Mattia Destro shot that went over the bar, but Perin made some very good saves to prevent his side's further embarrassment after Matuzalem was sent off in the 60th minute, seemingly for goading the fans into jeering him off the pitch.

Tin Jedvaj playing a role in the last seven minutes was a welcome sight for Romanisti looking to see how the defender could do for the team; playing as a replacement for Maicon, his short time was productive. He completed all four of the passes he attempted and sat in an advanced role on the right flank or in the middle, just outside the box (Squawka). Garcia integrating both him and Lukasz Skorupski in the last two matches have been great opportunities for the young, promising members of the club to see time on the pitch.

The differences between the two sides could not have been any more pronounced. Roma had 22 attempts on goal, four of which were saved and eight of which were blocked. Genoa did not have a single shot, neither on nor off target, and attempted less than half of Roma's 694 passes attempted.

It was not necessarily an easy performance -- not until Florenzi's screamer broke Genoa's defence -- and it was Florenzi who shone. A goal and an assist equalled Francesco Totti's productivity on the day, and a return to form was just what Roma needed for the young Italian winger.

Although the team did not get much help elsewhere in the table, with both Juventus and Napoli winning their respective matches, the side have now concluded the first half of the Serie A season with 44 points from 19 matches, and just a single defeat. That alone is reason to celebrate.


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