Roma’s good period continues: another brilliant performance in a difficult stadium like Marassi brings to Garcia’s side 3 very important points. Roma is now the solitary leader of the pack. Benatia (65’) and Gervinho (88’) decided the match. Sampdoria are struggling but it was not an easy task for Roma: they have never won the first five matches of the season in their history and Delio Rossi beat Roma the last five time he coached against them.
LINE UPS – Both coaches made surprising choices. Rudi Garcia opts for the turnover: Totti and Florenzi start the match watching their teammates from the bench, the trident is formed by Marquinho, Borriello and Totti. Delio Rossi field a new 4-4-2 with Gavazzi and Wzolek on the flanks. Roma XI: 4-3-3 De Sanctis, Maicon, Benatia, Castan, Balzaretti; Pjanic, De Rossi, Strootman; Gervinho, Borriello, Marquinho. Sampdoria XI: 4-4-2 Da Costa, De Silvestri, Mustafi, Gastaldello, Costa; Gavazzi, Obiang, Krsticic, Wzolek; Sansone, Gabbiadini.
FIRST HALF – Roma never scored in the first 45’ and the same happened tonight. Roma delivered their usual game plan made of ball control, Sampdoria try to strike on the counter. Marquinho and Maicon miss two good chances, Gabbiadini, mistakenly served by a very long Borriello’s backward pass, is denied by De Sancits in a one on one situation.
SECOND HALF – Roma seem more aggressive in the second half, even if Rudi Garcia is sent in the stands for protesting. Gabbiadini is too isolated; Sansone, Gavazzi and Wzolek are more busying defending rather than attacking. Rossi tries something different: Bjarnason in for Wzolek, but the plot does not change. Three minutes after Totti came in, Roma find the goal. An incredible solo action by Benatia who received the ball 30 meters away from the net, dribbles past three defenders, is fouled in box but kicks with his left foot right near the post, where Da Costa cannot reach the ball. A Messi-esque goal for the Moroccan defender. Rossi tries a more offensive solution with Pozzi on for De Silvestri. The striker has the best chances to equalize the game on his head but he misses it. The fierce final pressing by Samp opens the spaces for Roma’s counter: Totti set up, Gervinho finishes on the right of Da Costa from just outside the box. 2-0 game over.
All in all, it was not a bad performance by Sampdoria: they put up a good fight and Roma had to find a real jewel by Benatia to score. However, it seems that Rossi’s offensive solution are working very well, Gabbiadini is the only spark. The absence of Eder is felt.