AS Roma 0 Livorno 1
Well well well, Francesco Tavano did prove to be the difference between the sides at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday afternoon. A crisp shot from the corner of the box was the only goal in a dissapointing result for the Giallorossi. It was the Spaniards first goal of the season, and a very sweet one, as he has been ridiculed for his troubled spell at the capital club.
Roma threatened throughout the match, but Mirko Vucinic still doesnt have his shooting boots on with two glaring misses despite some neat bulid up play from Daniele De Rossi and the ever improving Stefano Guberti.
There were many other chances for AS Roma, particularly Simone Perrota’s chance set up by the rampant John Arne Riise but Alfonso De Lucia saved smartly to his right hand post. Soon after Francesco Tavano dealt the Roman’s a sucker blow with his powerful strike from the edge of the box which beat Alexander Doni at his near post. The fans were not happy at half time, and they made there feelings clear to the players while going down the tunnel for a roasting from Claudio Raineri.
Five minutes into the second half, Nicolas Burdisso, the diminutive Argentinian, missed a routine header at the back post from a Rodrigo Taddei corner. Burdisso was visibly enraged at himself for missing the chance to pull AS Roma level early in the second half. This feeling was echoed but the AS Roma faithful when Vucinic failed with two clear cut chances.
A ludicrous red card was then witnessed with Alfonso De Lucia being booked for time wasting while waiting to take a bye kick, after learning this he was incensed which led to the goalkeeper kicking the ball away as he was given the yellow card, the referee turned around and then sent him off. Francesco Benussi came on for the unlucky Nico Pulzetti who was sacrificed because of De Lucia’s sending off.
Roma continued to threaten but never looked like breaking through a resiliant defence that included former Inter Milan defender Fabio Galante. There was also a towering performance from Croatian international Dario Knezevic.
Serse Cosmi wins on his debut against the club he has supported all of his life, certainly a story for the morning Italian papers. Cosmi was’nt getting carried away though, “we achieved something particularly difficult, but not impossible, seeing as football has taught us anything can happen,”. Cosmi sticks to his ultimate belief that ‘anything can happen’ in the beautiful game.
Claudio Raineri takes a very different approach, claiming that “it’s not easy playing without a hitman like Totti”. The captain was sidelined for this fixture an Ranieri obviously thinks that AS Roma cannot operate without the Roman legend.
It was not about to get easier for the Giallorossi as they visit Udinese in midweek, a side that is equal in points with AS Roma in a tight section of the Serie A table. Livorno would look to bulid on their win in the capital with a winnable home tie against struggling Atalanta.
Despite what I reported at the weekend, Francesco Totti will requre surgery on his troublesome right knee, the injury which has caused him to miss countless games over the past three years. With “el capitano” being an integral part of the starting eleven, it is causing AS Roma some problems on the pitch as they are without a win since week 7 against Southern rivals Napoli. The irony in that victory was that it was a double from Totti that sealed the win, sure signs that they are missing their captain.
There is no return date set for the captain although he is certain to miss out on the midweek trip north to Udine. An AS Roma team sheet without Totti is priceless to the opposing manager, who then senses a chance to defeat AS Roma.