AS Roma vs. Fiorentina: Winners and Losers from Serie A Clash
AS Roma got their Serie A season off to a flying start by seeing off Fiorentina in impressive fashion at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday night.
Radja Nainggolan scored a first-half screamer before Gervinho sealed the 2-0 win at the death.
The home team dominated the majority of the match and deserved to take all three points.
Here are the winners and losers from the entertaining clash.
Loser: Josh Brillante
New Fiorentina signing Josh Brillante was superb for La Viola in pre-season, but his Serie A debut certainly did not go to plan.
The 21-year-old Australian looked somewhat overawed by the occasion. Playing on the right side of midfield, he struggled to impose himself on the game and gave the ball away on several occasions.
Most tellingly, it was his pass back to Nenad Tomovic that lacked momentum and resulted in the turnover which led to Roma's first-half goal.
The unfortunate Brillante was hooked a few minutes later by manager Vincenzo Montella.
The youngster has a bright future ahead of him, but in the short term he will have to fight to earn his Serie A stripes.
Winner: Radja Nainggolan
Belgian midfielder Nainggolan smashed home Roma's opening goal with no remorse following a Neto parry, and he was excellent in every facet of his play for the Giallorossi.
He was the one who latched onto the loose ball from Brillante to accelerate into the Fiorentina area in the build up to his own strike, and that play was typical of his contribution in the centre of the pitch.
Dynamic and skilful, the drive he provides complements the attributes of his midfield companions Daniele De Rossi and Miralem Pjanic perfectly.
Winner: Vasilis Torosidis
With Brazilian veteran Maicon unavailable, Vasilis Torosidis proved more than capable of filling his shoes in the right-back role for Roma.
The versatile Greek was full of energy down the right-hand side, regularly bombing forward to help out in attack, while still attending to his defensive duties with due diligence.
Maicon may have a fight on his hands for the starting spot when he returns to full fitness.
Winner: Morgan De Sanctis
They say it is a sign of a great goalkeeper when he can perform at his best even after long periods of inactivity, and that's exactly what Morgan De Sanctis did for Roma.
After barely having anything to do for the first hour, the veteran shot-stopper pulled off two sensational saves in quick succession.
The first was from a wonderful Josip Ilicic free kick, which he tipped onto the crossbar with his fingertips.
Moments later he pulled off another wonderful save, blocking Khouma Babacar's bounced shot from point blank range.
Roma would have been very unfortunate to concede an equaliser after dominating the match, but they have their veteran 'keeper to thank for saving their skins.
Loser: Vincenzo Montella
Aside from a spell in the second half where Fiorentina were consistently troubling the Roma defence, the visiting side were outplayed by the Giallorossi all over the park.
Montella did not find the right formula against his former club. Even playing with a bank of four across the middle, Fiorentina were overwhelmed by Roma's brilliant midfield trio, who were able to dictate play from the outset.
As a consequence, the defence was under constant pressure, and Mario Gomez was wasted up front as he barely got a look at the ball.
Fiorentina won't come up against sides as good as Roma every week, but nonetheless Montella has some tactical work to do before Round Two.
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