Roma find some form in mid-week fixtures
ROME – AS Roma got their Serie A campaign back on track with their first win in all competitions since the beginning of the season against Frosinone on Wednesday.
Under serious pressure following their disappointing loss to Bologna in the previous fixture, Roma showed little sign of nerves, taking the lead through Cengiz Ünder after just two minutes. Two goals followed before the half was over, summer signing Javier Pastore getting on the scoresheet with a delightful backheel flick from some way out.
The game slowed down a touch in the second-half, as Roma seemed to take their foot off the gas, looking to maintain their comfortable 3-0 lead. On 87 minutes Alexander Kolarov made sure of the three points, as if there were any doubters, to round off a convincing 4-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico. This will give both Roma fans and players confidence going into a huge derby game against Lazio on Saturday.
Roma’s local rivals worked their way into the top four with a close-fought victory away at Udinese. Two second-half goals in quick succession seemed to have wrapped the game up for Lazio, but a Badelj own goal with 10 minutes to go led to a nervy ending. Lazio held on and took advantage of Fiorentina’s defeat to Inter on Tuesday to leapfrog them into the Champions League qualification positions.
At the top of the table, both Juventus and Napoli completed convincing victories against Bologna and Parma, respectively. The Old Lady put in a masterful performance that deserved a bigger margin of victory than just two goals. Having started to find his feet in the Serie A, Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t find the net, but showed his quality in setting one up for Blaise Matuidi to fire home in the first half. The Portuguese striker has avoided anything more than a single game ban for his red card in the Champions League and will be available for both of Juventus’ matches against his former club Manchester United.
Napoli’s talisman Lorenzo Insigne continued his fine start to the season with a goal and an assist in their 3-0 win. It was a dominant display from Napoli ahead of a vital fixture against the league leaders on Saturday evening. Lose, and they find themselves six points behind Juventus, which is a worryingly large gap to close, even at this early stage in the season.