Roma vs Cremonese 1-0: Smalling Lone Goal Enough for Mourinho

Roma took another baby step forward as they beat Cremonese with a Chris Smalling lone goal to wrap their second Serie A victory in a row. That was enough for José Mourinho and his boys to reach Inter and Napoli at the top of the table.

Considering that luck doesn’t seem to be on the Giallorossi‘s side these days, the Special One can be happy with how things are going on the pitch. Indeed, after losing Georginio Wijnaldum for a few months, Mourinho also lost his jewel Nicoló Zaniolo who suffered a dislocated shoulder. He is expected to be out for at least three weeks.

Massimiliano Alvini’s Cremonese came home empty handed again but his team showed to be worth more than the zero points they collected so far. One week ago, it was a macroscopic blunder from their goalkeeper Ionit Radu to ruin the Grigiorossi‘s return to Serie A after 26 years. Tonight, Cremonese held their own against the much more experienced Giallorossi and perhaps would have deserved a little bit more.

Roma’s start was relentless and resulted in their first clear scoring chance after just eight minutes: Paulo Dybala served a golden assist to Tammy Abraham but the Englishman’s conclusion was unworthy of his fame. 

Radu seemed to be in the zone tonight and denied back to back shots from Zaniolo and Dybala on 19 minutes. But Cremonese also had their share of dangerous chances, including a fabulous overhead kick from Cyriel Dessers that narrowly missed the target.

The Nigerian starlet sent another chill down Rui Patricio’s bone right after the restart as he made the goalkeeper’s crossbar rattle with a venomous shot. Stephan El Shaarawy, who had replaced the injured Zaniolo, did the same for the Giallorossi.

Roma opened the scoring with a powerful header from Smalling, who was served from the corner flag by Lorenzo Pellegrini. But despite their one-goal lead, Mourinho’s boys had to keep their guard high as Cremonese still had some fuel left in the tank. The Grigiorossi threatened Rui Patricio until the very last minute, with a Charles Pickel shot that ended just a few inches wide of the net.

Roma took the three points home, but Cremonese made a good impression. Perhaps Alvini’s side is not bound for a likely relegation as many commentators predicted ahead of the season.      



August 22, 2022 – Serie A 2022-2023 Round 2

SCORER: 65′ Smalling 

ROMA (3-4-2-1): Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Karsdorp (86′ Celik), Lo. Pellegrini, Cristante, Spinazzola (73′ Zalewski); Dybala (72′ Matic), Zaniolo (45′ El Shaarawy); Abraham (Svilar, Kumbulla, Tripi, Vina, Bove, Shomurodov, Afena-Gyan) Coach: Mourinho
CREMONESE (3-4-1-2): Radu; Aiwu (57′ Bianchetti), Chiriches, Lochoshvili (85′ Ciofani); Ghiglione (56′ Baez), Pickel, Ascacibar, Valeri; Zanimacchia (56′ Buonaiuto); Dessers, Okereke (78′ Tsadjout) (Sarr, Saro, Vasquez, Ndiaye, Quagliata, Sernicola, Acella, Milanese, Di Carmine) Coach: Alvini
REFEREE: Mr. Massimi from Termoli
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Aiwu, Zanimacchia, Bianchetti (C); Added Time: 1st Half: 4′, 2nd Half: 4′  
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