Borriello 8, Rubin (og) 59
Di Vaio 77, 90
It was time for Roma to get their season under way in week three with the visit of Bologna to the Stadio Olimpico. The return of Philippe Mexes was a very timely bonus due to Nicolas Andres Burdisso’s sending off in week two against Cagliari. Claudio Ranieri’s anger was there for all to see in the pre match press conference, slamming journalists who were all ready doubting the giallorossi as Scudetto contenders. He and his players were out to prove the media wrong.
It was important for Roma to attack Bologna from the outset. David Pizarro’s vicious in swinging corner caused havoc in the Rossoblu’s defensive ranks within two minutes and it did not take Roma long to convert this early pressure into a goal. A long ball from Mexes was smartly brought down by Marco Borriello who then composed himself to finish coolly when one on one with Emiliano Viviano. It was Borriello’s first goal for the club and the confidence started to ooze from i Lupi as Totti went close minutes later with a spectacular 30 yard strike that cannoned off the crossbar.
Although Roma were in control, Bologna managed to create their first chance after a neat first time pass from Uruguayan Diego Perez but Marco Di Vaio blazed over. Roma went on to dominate as Aleandro Rosi and Totti started linking up down the right hand side to good effect producing an opportunity for the 23 year old full back whose volley was well saved by Viviano. It was Bologna who should have levelled just before half time though with Daniele Paponi forcing a magnificent double save from Julio Sergio.
Bologna started brightly in the second half due to some poor possession play by Roma and a more forward thinking midfield. Di Vaio was through on goal but another poor finish from the veteran striker kept Roma in front. The giallorossi reverted back to using Borriello as a target man which resulted in Roma winning a free kick deep in Bologna’s final third. A dangerous delivery by Totti was flicked on by Matteo Brighi which then inadvertently bounced off Matteo Rubin into his own net. Roma were 2-0 up and looking comfortable.
Bologna continued to threaten with Di Vaio able to latch onto some precise through balls only for him to waste three glorious chances. This was happening all too often for Roma and Di Vaio eventually got his team back in it with a magnificent left foot volley despite being under pressure from Rosi. The Rossoblu deserved their goal but they were looking for a point now with Roma starting to lack a cutting edge.
Despite only being in front by one goal, Roma became complacent thinking that the points were safe. However, a determined Bologna kept asking questions of an increasingly shaky Roma defence in the closing minutes. Throughout the match Bologna displayed some decisive passing moves in the middle of the park. They were rewarded for their hard work in the last minute as Riccardo Meggiorini latched onto a through ball at the by-line which he duly cut back for Di Vaio in the six yard box who could not miss. Alberto Malesani’s men had salvaged a draw after being 2-0 down early in the second half.
It was looking like a disastrous day for Di Vaio until his late goals made him the hero in the visiting dressing room as Bologna take away a vital point in their battle against relegation. The early season crisis continues for the capital club with instability occurring on and off the field. Over recent seasons the giallorossi have been notorious slow starters in Serie A, but this time it feels like it could be a long season for last year’s runners up.
27 Julio Sergio
87 Rosi – 4 Juan – 5 Mexes – 77 Cassetti
20 Perrotta – 16 De Rossi – 7 Pizarro
94 Menez – 22 Borriello – 10 Totti
34 – 25 G. Burdisso on for 77 Cassetti
55 – 30 Brighi on for 16 De Rossi
69 – 30 Simplicio on for 94 Menez