Roma 1-3 Juventus: Brazilian Magic As Diego & Felipe Melo Down Roma


Diego-inspired Juventus continued their perfect start to the new season with a 3-1 win at the Stadio Olimpico.

Diego underlined his status as the next possible star of Italian football with two brilliant goals, while Felipe Melo scored on his debut, as Juventus beat Roma 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico in a thrilling game full of chances, during which the woodwork was also hit twice.

The heat was on both these sides coming into the game. Inter’s stunning 4-0 win in the Milan Derby yesterday meant Juventus needed to prove their Scudetto credentials, while Roma required a result after losing in their seasonal opener at Genoa last week.

The Giallorossi were not at full strength, with Cicinho, Alexander Doni, Marco Andreolli, Matteo Brighi, and Stefano Chuka Okaka all missing. Francesco Totti led the line supported by Jeremy Menez and Simone Perrotta in a new 4-3-2-1 formation. Julio Sergio started in goal in place of the error-prone Artur.

Juventus were minus Mohamed Sissoko, Jonathan Zebina, and Hasan Salihamidzic. Felipe Melo made his official debut following his summer move from Fiorentina, while Amauri and Vincenzo Iaquinta continued in attack, meaning Alessandro Del Piero and David Trezeguet were on the bench.

There was an even start to the game, but Juve were the first to threaten as Iaquinta peeled off down the left and whipped in a cross to the back post, which Amauri was inches away from getting his head to.

Juventus looked dangerous in the air, and were desperately close to scoring on 21 minutes as a free kick from the left was flicked on by Tiago but Julio Sergio produced a brilliant save to tip the ball around the post.

The deadlock was broken on 24 minutes as Diego scored his first goal in Italian football with a stunning run and finish from the half-way line. The Brazilian pick-pocketed Marco Cassetti on the centre circle, shrugged off the Italian before skinning John Arne Riise and flicking the ball past Julio Sergio with the outside of his boot.

Juventus looked in complete control but completely out of the blue Roma equalised in incredible circumstances. David Pizarro took a quick free kick 35 yards out to Daniele De Rossi who unleashed a rocket into the top corner that took Gianluigi Buffon completely by surprise.

The Bianconeri reacted and almost restored their lead three minutes before half time, as Diego fed Amauri who curled a precise shot past Julio Sergio, only to see it bounce off the post to safety.

Yet with the last kick of the half, Roma should have gone ahead. The hosts broke from midfield and Menez slipped Totti clean through on goal but he was denied by an extraordinary Buffon save.

Roma made one change at half time as Max Tonetto replaced Taddei. But it was Juventus who the next chance fell to as the ball deflected into Amauri’s path from a Felipe Melo cross, but Julio Sergio produced another fine reaction stop.

Juventus were squandering a lot of chances, and on 57 minutes Iaquinta ran through on goal after escaping De Rossi, but couldn’t steer the ball in as Nicolas Burdisso made a crucial last-gasp challenge. Soon after Julio Sergio charged into no-man’s land, but Iaquinta’s header was over.

Just past the hour mark Juve received a blow as Claudio Marchisio was forced off with a foot injury to be replaced by Mauro Camoranesi.

The chances continued to come, and Julio Sergio made his umpteenth save of the game by pushing away an Amauri header.

Juventus finally regained the lead on 67 minutes, and again it was that man Diego. The former Werder Bremen man found himself one-on-one with Philippe Mexes, and dummied delightfully before burying his finish past Julio Sergio.

Roma tried to react by introducing Mirko Vucinic, and Menez turned De Ceglie inside out before lashing across the six-yard box. Vucinic also headed wide.

Tiago twice scuffed half-chances as Juventus looked to kill the game, but Roma were also threatening more and more. The Giallorossi were so close to getting a second equaliser as Totti unleashed a daisycutter that crashed off the post.

It was a truly epic game and with six minutes to go Juventus twice could have closed the game as Chiellini shot wide and Julio Sergio saved from Diego.

In injury time, Juventus did kill off the match as debutant Felipe Melo burst through from midfield and slammed home left-footed from 25 yards into the bottom corner.

Juve made it maximum points from their first two games, and sent out a Scudetto-warning shot, while Roma are still pointless.


~ by footballdirecta on August 30, 2009.

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