Roma Player Ratings vs Lecce: Dybala to the Rescue

Roma fought back to hold bottom-half Lecce to an evenly-contested 1-1 draw at the Stadio Via del Mare on Saturday evening. Jose Mourinho’s top-four hopefuls wasted a glorious opportunity to consolidate their position in a Serie A top-four race.

Much of the credit for Roma’s failed attempt to build on a comfortable 2-0 home win over Empoli last weekend goes to a stubborn Lecce side. No strangers to upsetting pre-match favorites, Marco Baroni’s men give the Giallorossi a run for their money less than a month since holding reigning champions Milan to an enthralling 2-2 draw.

Roma defender Roger Ibanez netted an own goal only seven minutes into the game to get Lecce off to a flying start. But the hosts’ celebrations were short-lived as the Giallorossi replied through talismanic forward Paulo Dybala only ten minutes later. The Argentine slotted home a spot-kick to rescue a point for Mourinho’s charges.

Action was back-and-forth, with both teams spurning some presentable opportunities to take three points. There’s no doubt Lecce will be happier of the two sides, as a point will briefly steer them ten points clear of 18th-placed Hellas Verona. 

Meanwhile, Roma could surrender a coveted fourth place by the end of the day if a mouth-watering contest between Lazio and Atalanta produces a winner. On a more positive note, Georginio Wijnaldum made a brief cameo appearance for the first time since breaking his leg in the summer. 

Roma (3-4-2-1)

Rui Patricio – 6.5

Could do nothing about Ibanez’s own goal but stepped up with a few decent saves to deny Federico Di Francesco and Lorenzo Colombo from mid-range. 

Gianluca Mancini – 6.5

Made several all-important clearances to avert the danger and kept his composure whenever Roma trusted him to kickstart the build-up play.

Roger Ibanez – 5.5

Not as dependable as he used to be in recent outings. In addition to scoring an unfortunate own goal, looked a bit insecure in one-on-one duels against Di Francesco and Gabriel Strefezza.

Chris Smalling – 7

Another classy performance from the experienced defender, always providing cover for Ibranez and Mancini. Won virtually every aerial challenge. 

Stephan El Shaarawy – 7.5

Too bad his phenomenal display won’t be seen on the scoreboard, but the former Milan star has nothing to regret as he excelled at Via del Mare today. 

Nemanja Matic – 6

You’d expect more from a player of his caliber. Though he completed his defensive duties with flying colors, a lack of pace saw him struggle to impact Roma’s attacking movements. 

Bryan Cristante – 6

Like his abovementioned midfield teammate, the Italian was reluctant to get more involved in the organization of his team’s attacks to save energy for giving his backline a helping hand. 

Nicola Zalewski – 6

With Roma focusing their ventures forward on the opposite flank, the Polish youngster had a quiet evening by his standards, though he occasionally showed glimpses of his burgeoning talent. 

Lorenzo Pellegrini – 5.5

Recent fitness problems seemingly took their toll on the Roma captain as he often looked out of steam and ideas despite being trusted with taking care of every set-piece.

Paulo Dybala – 7.5

Absolutely instrumental to the Giallorossi’s danger plays, the Argentine star was pulling all the strings in the front third all evening long, twisting and turning around his markers and creating more than a few clear-cut chances.

Tammy Abraham – 7

Though it’s hard to give a striker a high rate after failing to get on the scoresheet, the ex-Chelse man worked his socks off at Via del Mare, looking threatening from the get-go. It’s a shame he failed to crown his sublime individual showing with a goal. 


Andrea Belotti – N/A

Georginio Wijnaldum – N/A

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