AS Roma-Chelsea: Romans Show Rare Class
AS Roma managed to seem like they had some class today against Chelsea.
It was a rare occurrence of such a display thus far this season for the men from the capital.
Perhaps inspired by captain Totti, perhaps not, several Roma players finally expressed their form and potential in beating Chelsea 3-1.
Highly-rated winger Vucinic, who spent much of last year covering well for the often injured captain, earned a double with two goals of undoubted quality.
Both of the strikes exuded class.
The first culminated build-up starting with Vucinic between both Totti and Brighi, before Vucinic nimbly drove the returned drop pass, toe-down, into the interior side netting.
The second goal will surely prove a rather famous run, as the Montenegrin robbed Mikel, summarily pulled his pants down, bursting past him for 40 yards before beating the Nigerian again to lastly slot past goalkeeper Cech. The winger has deceptive speed, as the Chelsea midfielder was flattered to realize.
Vucinic scored 14 times in 47 appearances last season for the club. His combination of creative skill and speed beg wondering why he is not rated higher amongst the echelons of European football. If the Montenegrin continues to improve, if last year is any indication, he should become a real force for the Italian club.
Future club captain De Rossi strapped on his helmet and built fox-holes in midfield, constantly sabotaging Chelsea's established central stars. His balance between passing creativity and puritan work-ethic makes him of a mold rivalling Stephen Gerrard for type and class.
The Roman will hoist the entire club upon his shoulders inevitably when aging talisman Totti retires, which seems closer every month.
Perhaps it was Totti himself who inspired AS Roma today, although his influence now exists more in legend than in application for his beloved club, and at least his tangible effect on today's match was again missing.
His return was overdue as the captain has already missed much of the season through injury. The number 10 was in ambivalent form for much of last year until he drastically sprained his knee late in the season, an injury from which he is still recovering.
Regardless of the source, AS Roma expressed style today suggesting, or at least reminding, of the form last season where they challenged Inter Milan for the scudetto until the final match-day.
Hopes for any real success this season though are unrealistic as progression in the Champions League is not yet assured, and the strength and depth of the squad is in doubt.
Obvious flaws exist in their defense, with Mexes gaining more reputation for being a clown than a reliable force. His often partner, Juan, is probably the more promising of the two, although it is the former who has a larger profile, unearned from any recent performances.
The prescence of aging stalwart Panucci offers some comfort to the Roman rearguard, and though his legs surely number his days, the sometimes captain still scores important goals and often leads by example.
Roma will have to impove their activity next offseason in the transfer market where their failures most recently have largely contributed to their poor domestic form this season.
They currently sit just above the relegation zone in the Italian top flight.
However, Vucinic and De Rossi, both 25, provide a sound foundation for a club that is belatedly transferring from reliance on an aging talisman into the trusting of their emerging greats.
It appears though that Totti's weary shoulders will be burdened again by the sadly unrealistic ambitions for silverware, at least for one more season.
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