Roma Open Season with Uninspiring Goalless Draw In Verona

Roma opened their Serie A season with an uninspiring 0-0 draw against a stubborn Verona side.

A clash between two top-half finishers from the previous Serie A season, Roma started with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and free summer signing Pedro in the attack, with Jordan Veretout starting in midfield and Gianluca Mancini at the back.

Carles Perez started on the bench, along with Juventus-bound Edin Dzeko.

Verona’s Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi allowed fans in for the first time in several months but, as there was not enough time to organize a ticket sale, it was friends and family members of the Verona players who watched on.

They endured a pretty tough first-half though; Roma were the better side and might’ve headed into half-time a little disheartened after chances for both Pedro and Mkhitaryan.

The Armenian said before the game how he wanted his side to start the season and their game against Verona strongly, and they did. But through Roma’s early pressure, Verona arguably had the better chances of the goalless first-half.

Lubomir Tupta saw his effort from close range go straight into the hands of Roma goalkeeper Antonio Mirante, before Adrien Tameze had his strike pushed onto the crossbar by Mirante just before half-time.

Roma kept the heat on Verona though and summer signing Veretout was involved; he was winning free-kicks and starting attacks, but it was Mkhitaryan who all the chances were falling to. He was again denied by Marco Silvestri when the Verona stopper came out to intercept the on-rushing forward.

After the restart, Verona came closest. Davide Faraoni had managed to round Mirante but he’d taken it too far, and Verona watched the ball roll across the goalmouth.

The game started to nullify as Verona made a double substitution shortly after the hour mark, with Roma bringing on Davide Santon and Justin Kluivert.

Verona looked as though they were ready to settle for a point but they almost lost that when Lorenzo Pelligrini had a curling effort saved fantastically by Marco Silvestri.

With 10 minutes to play, both teams were going at it; Verona’s Federico Dimarco saw his shot hit both the crossbar and post before bouncing clear, but Roma hit Verona on the counter and it was only for a last gasp tackle from Matteo Lovato that prevented Pedro from getting in on goal.

This encounter could’ve had some fine goals and the finest of them all would’ve been from Leonardo Spinazzola. The 27-year-old saw his half-volley ricochet off the bar and luckily for Verona, it went behind for a goal-kick.

Verona will be delighted with the point, but for Paulo Fonseca and Roma, it was a disappointing opener.



September 19, 2020 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 1

VERONA (3-4-2-1): Silvestri; Cetin, Gunter (66′ Ruegg), Empereur (19′ Lovato); Faraoni, Veloso, Danzi, Dimarco; Tameze (66′ Barak), Tupta (46′ Zaccagni); Di Carmine (77′ Ilic) (Berardi, Bocchetti, Casale, Pandur, Stepinski, Udogie) Coach: Juric
ROMA (3-4-2-1): Mirante; Mancini, Cristante, Ibanez; Karsdorp (72′ Santon), Diawara (88′ Villar), Veretout, Spinazzola; Pellegrini (78′ Kluivert), Mkhitaryan; Pedro (Pau Lopez, Antonucci, Boer, Calafiori, Dzeko, Kumbulla, Carles Perez) Coach: Fonseca

REFEREE: Mr. Chiffi from Padova
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Danzi, Di Carmine (V); Extra Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half: 3′