Genoa 3-2 Roma: Genoa Take The Points In Enthralling Encounter

tottiGian Piero Gasperini’s men came out on top in a thrilling battle at Marassi, but the match had its share of controversy as well as goal-mouth action.

As expected, new loan signing Nicolas Burdisso slotted straight into the heart of the Giallorossi defence with the inexperienced Marco Andreolli. Stefano Guberti also made his Serie A debut for the Lupi, while Hernan Crespo, Alberto Zapater, Marco Amelia and Emiliano Moretti all made their league bows for the Rossoblu.

The Grifoni started brightly, with most of their attacks being directed down their left flank and earning a couple of early corners. Roma remained a threat on the counter attack, however, and Francesco Totti brought a good stop from Marco Amelia.

Hernan Crespo had an excellent chance in the 13th minute, receiving the ball in the penalty area and effortlessly turning Burdisso, but fired his shot wide of Artur’s left hand post.

While the majority of the pressure came from the hosts, the game remained very open as Roma counter-attacked, primarily through the lively Jeremy Menez. These quick moves left the Lupi open at the back, however, and Ivan Juric was eager to move the ball to the front three to try and exploit the gaps.

Crespo had a penalty appeal turned down on the half hour mark, as the Argentine striker felt he was tugged down by Marco Andreolli just before Mesto also tumbled in the box, but the referee ignored their protests.

Genoa continued to press forward, and a shot from Papastathopoulos flashed just wide from 25 yards, but the penalty appeals appeared to spark their visitors into life. Jeremy Menez almost found himself through on goal, but a last ditch tackle by Marco Rossi denied the Frenchman.

The winger then made another excellent block to save the Grifoni’s skin, this time from Guberti, and Burdisso headed just wide from a corner moments later. Despite a period of sustained Giallorossi pressure before the break, the sides went in goalless.

Gian Piero Gasperini took the initiative after the break, bringing on Rodrigo Palacio for Modesto as well as Domenico Criscito for Mesto.

The move paid immediate dividends, as Genoa held a high line to exert heavy pressure on the Giallorossi. Four minutes into the second half, an extended period of Grifoni possession led to Sculli heading the ball down for the onrushing Criscito to hammer the ball into Artur’s left hand corner to put the hosts in front.

It didn’t take long for Roma to respond, however. Marco Motta’s cross was met by Andreolli’s head, but although Amelia palmed away the initial effort, Taddei was on hand to head home the equaliser.

The game was becoming very open, although a number of niggly fouls somewhat broke up the pattern of play. While the Rossoblu were passing the ball nicely around the pitch, frustration was beginning to show as Roma’s defence held firm.

Criscito then made an excellent tackle on Lupi captain Totti to prevent the visitors taking the lead, but it was only a temporary respite. Genoa failed to clear their lines after Pizarro’s cut-back and Stefano Guberti’s shot was deflected into the net by Totti on 64 minutes.

Just five minutes later and the sides were level again! Andreolli was booked for a high tackle on Juric 20 yards from goal, and the youngster was made to pay for the foul as Zapater unleashed a fierce free kick that bent into the top right hand corner.

The atmosphere was now as electric as the match was, and Genoa rode their luck to scramble the ball away from their goalmouth after Amelia saved well from De Rossi.

Giuseppe Biava was fortunate to remain on the pitch with 15 minutes remaining as he pulled down Menez, but although the defender was the last man in Genoa’s half the referee only deemed it a yellow card offence. It was to prove a costly decision for the visitors.

With just under 10 minutes to go, Cassetti felled Palacio on the right hand side of the box, and Biava hammered home the rebound after Sculli’s shot was saved. Immediately afterwards, the game was almost wrapped up when Artur palmed Figueroa’s shot over the crossbar.

Roma poured bodies forward in search of another equaliser, but the hosts remained the more dangerous side and comfortably saw out injury time to record an important win over Luciano Spalletti’s men.

Goal

~ by footballdirecta on August 24, 2009.

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