Roma Ratings vs Sassuolo: Pellegrini Undoing Brave Neroverdi

Roma squeaked past relegation-battling Sassuolo 1-0 in Sunday’s uneventful contest at the Stadio Olimpico to stay within touching distance of the Serie A top four. Without Paulo Dybala, Daniele De Rossi’s side looked somewhat clueless in the front third but got an all-important three points over the line.

Chances were at a premium in the first half. Led by new manager Davide Ballardini, Sassuolo came to the capital with one purpose – they wanted a point. Everything the visitors did before the break pointed in that direction. Neroverdi prevented Roma from attempting a single shot on target, though they also failed to put Mile Svilar to the test.

However, Ballardini, whose first two games in charge ended 1-0 (W1, L1), had to change the script after Roma found the opening goal five minutes after the break. Resurgent Giallorossi captain Lorenzo Pellegrini blasted home a mid-range strike to put the hosts in front. 

After taking the lead, Roma resorted to Jose Mourinho’s old tricks. De Rossi pulled his lines back to protect a hard-earned advantage. Sassuolo started to push forward in numbers, which opened spaces at the back, but last season’s Europa League runners-up failed to capitalize on that.

Second-half substitute Tommaso Baldanzi had two clear-cut chances to make it 2-0 but couldn’t convert as Roma claimed their first 1-0 victory under De Rossi to stay within a three-point distance of fourth-placed Bologna.

Let’s look at our player ratings.

Roma (4-3-3)

Mile Svilar – 7

Though the Serbian stopper didn’t have much to do this evening, he made a crucial intervention to thwart Uros Rasic’s thumping strike from the edge of the box at 1-0.

Rick Karsdrop – 6

Despite his energetic approach and commitment, his attacking shortcomings plagued his effort to impact the proceedings again.

Gianluca Mancini – 7

It was a much more convincing performance from the Italian defender than a few days ago against Brighton. His aerial strength was crucial when Roma tried to fend off Sassuolo’s effort to restore parity.

Diego Llorente – 7

After a last-gasp equalizer against Fiorentina last weekend, the Spaniard seemed full of confidence tonight as he timed his tackles to perfection.

Leonardo Spinazzola – 6.5

Roma looked far more dangerous on his flank, but his erratic crosses repeatedly let him down.

Bryan Cristante – 6

His defensive contribution was immense as ever, but he had no influence in the opposition’s third despite completing several diagonal runs.

Leandro Paredes – 6.5

The Argentine’s composure on the ball was of utmost importance to Roma’s build-up play. Not afraid to get his hands dirty when asked to defend.

Lorenzo Pellegrini – 7.5

His moment of brilliance determined this fixture, while his creativity and exceptional playmaking skills kept Roma’s inert midfield ticking over in troubled patches.

Houssem Aouar – 6

Asked to fill Dybala’s shoes, the Algerian came nowhere near the Argentine’s high standards. 

Stephan El Shaarawy – 6

His final touch was often problematic, even though he showed eagerness and determination when allowed to go one-on-one with his marker.

Romelu Lukaku – 6.5

Often left on an island, the robust striker had only one clear sight of goal but worked his socks off in physical battles against both Sassuolo center-backs.


Tommaso Baldanzi – 6.5

Zeki Celik – 6

Dean Huijsen – N/A

Sardar Azmoun – N/A

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