Nainggolan: Dzeko needed to end goal drought

February 13th, 2016

The Bosnian striker scored his first Serie A goal since November in the win over Carpi and Radja Nainggolan was thrilled to see his team-mate end the barren run

Radja Nainggolan admitted Roma players had been desperate to see Edin Dzeko end his goal drought after the striker scored in Friday’s 3-1 win over Carpi.

Lucas Digne’s long-range stunner gave Luciano Spalletti’s side the lead, but they were pegged back by Kevin Lasagna just five minutes later.

Dzeko – whose last goal in Serie A came in November – turned home Mohamed Salah’s cross after 84 minutes and the Egypt international went on to make the points safe, with Nainggolan now hoping to see the former Manchester City striker regain some confidence.

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“It was difficult until Lucas Digne’s goal, as we had the game in our hands despite not creating many scoring opportunities,” the midfielder told Mediaset Premium.

“The victory was deserved and we’d been waiting a really long time for Dzeko’s goal. I’m happy that he ended his drought. At this moment he really needed this goal, because he was a bit down.”

Roma’s win moved them into third in the table ahead of Inter’s clash with Fiorentina on Sunday and Nainggolan is determined to continue their strong recent form which has seen them win four games in a row.

“We have to put together a run of victories if we’re to stay close to the leading group, because everyone else is doing really well,” he added.

“Our objective for the season was always to challenge for the top spots. Right now it’s third place, then if those above us drop points it’s up to us to catch them.”

Carpi 1-3 Roma: Dzeko ends drought as Spalletti's men win again

February 12th, 2016

The Bosnian struck his first goal in three months to fire his side into third place

Roma ‘s good form under Luciano Spalletti continued as Friday as Edin Dzeko helped give the visitors a 3-1 win at  Carpi that propelled them into Serie A’s Champions League qualification places.

The capital club, who sacked coach Rudi Garcia last month, have now won four league matches in succession under Spalletti, with Lucas Digne opening the scoring before Kevin Lasagna pulled the hosts level.

However, Dzeko and Mohamed Salah struck in quick succession to hand the  Giallorossi their latest victory moving them to third at the expense of Fiorentina and Inter ahead of a crunch meeting between the duo, now fourth and fifth respectively, on Sunday.

Roma found Vid Belec in a determined mood during the first half at Stadio Alberto Braglia, the Carpi goalkeeper denying Dzeko and Salah, who struck the bar a minute before the break.

Stephan El Shaarawy was replaced by Miralem Pjanic at half-time and the visitors took the lead nine minutes after the restart.

It was the unlikely figure of defender Digne who broke the deadlock, smashing a long-range screamer past the helpless Belec.

Carpi levelled five minutes later, Jerry Mbakogu taking advantage of some slack defending from Antonio Rudiger to feed  Lasagna , who slotted home.

Despite dominating possession and chances, the away team from the capital looked set to be frustrated in Modena until the 84th minute, when Salah’s square ball across the face of goal found Dzeko , who scored his first Serie A goal since November to restore Roma’s lead.

And they made sure of all three points 60 seconds later when Salah , provider of the first two, got in on the scoring act by gathering a rebound and beating Belec.

Roma v AC Milan: Under-fire bosses face pivotal Olimpico showdown

January 8th, 2016

Rudi Garcia and Sinisa Mihajlovic are facing mounting pressure ahead of Roma’s home clash with AC Milan on Saturday.

Roma host AC Milan on Saturday in a game which could prove decisive in the futures of both Rudi Garcia and Sinisa Mihajlovic.

Milan appeared to have turned a corner under the former Inter defender towards the end of last year, winning four and drawing two of the final six matches of 2015 to put them firmly back in the race for Serie A’s top three and keep their Coppa Italia hopes alive.

But a shock home defeat to Bologna on Wednesday has piled pressure back onto Mihajlovic, with reports in Italy suggesting president Silvio Berlusconi has given him the next two matches to prove his worth.

Mihajlovic was defiant after that loss to Roberto Donadoni’s side, insisting he would not resign, and is determined to make a statement with an imposing performance at the Stadio Olimipco – despite them having won just once on their last 10 visits.

“We need to be more ruthless in attack and not lose heart,” he told Milan Channel. “We have the chance to get back on track at Roma in a few days’ time. We will try and impose our game and as always go for the win.”

For Roma, victory is almost essential if they are to keep pace with the leading pack in Serie A and buy more time for under-fire Garcia.

Just one win in nine matches prior to the mid-season break – a run which included a 6-1 hammering by Barcelona and a shock Coppa Italia exit to Spezia – left Garcia fending off the critics and a 3-3 draw with Chievo in which they twice surrendered the lead has created further scrutiny.

Edin Dzeko – who will miss the game after his three-match suspension was upheld – insists that they will not abandon their Scudetto hopes, however.

“The guys gave everything and fought until the last minute,” he said of the Chievo result. “Sometimes you have to take a point. We have the next game at home and will try to win.

“No, I wouldn’t say that [the Scudetto is over]. There are still 18 games to play, so there are a lot of points up for grabs.”

Roma were at least given a boost by the news that Mohamed Salah has escaped damage to his hip flexor muscle, after he had to be withdrawn against Chievo.

Daniele De Rossi (ankle), Seydou Keita (calf), Kevin Strootman (knee) and Salih Ucan (foot) are all set to miss the match, however, with doubts still lingering over the fitness of Francesco Totti.

Milan will still be without Jeremy Menez (hip), Diego Lopez (knee) and Mario Balotelli (groin), but Kevin-Prince Boateng is in line to make his first appearance since rejoining the club after shaking off an illness.

Key Opta Stats:

– Roma have won only one of their last five league games against AC Milan (D3 L1).
– Three of the last six meetings at the Olimpico between Roma and AC Milan have ended 0-0.
– Roma have won only one of their last six league games (D4 L1).
– AC Milan have won only two of their last seven league games (D3 L2).
– After 18 games, Sinisa Mihajlovic has only two points more than Filippo Inzaghi last season.

Dzeko to miss AC Milan clash as ban is upheld

January 7th, 2016

The Bosnian striker was sent off for directing verbal abuse towards a referee against Genoa last month and has had his three-match ban upheld upon appeal

Edin Dzeko will miss Roma’s crunch clash against AC Milan on Saturday after his appeal against a three-game ban was rejected.

The Bosnia & Herzegovina international was sent off in the 2-0 win over Genoa last month after directing verbal abuse towards the referee.

Dzeko lodged his appeal on Thursday but, despite stating his confidence that his suspension would be reduced, the Italian Football Federation confirmed the initial sanction would be upheld.

The former Manchester City striker will subsequently miss Saturday’s meeting with Milan and the match with Verona in the capital on January 17.

Dzeko has scored just five goals in 21 appearances this season.

Dzeko hit with ban for verbal abuse

December 22nd, 2015

The former Manchester City striker has been suspended for two games for using inappropriate language on the referee, while Inter hardman Felipe Melo is out for three

Edin Dzeko has been given a two-game ban as a result of “repeatedly addressing the referee with abusive language” in Roma ‘s 2-0 win over Genoa on Sunday. 

Serie A’s officiating body ruled that the Bosnia-Herzegovina forward – who has faltered under expectations since his summer switch to Italy – will miss the capital club’s trip to Chievo on January 6, followed by the home clash with AC Milan four days later.

The former Manchester City striker’s absence is a huge blow given under-fire Giallorossi coach Rudi Garcia is already fighting to keep his place on the bench.

Inter midfielder Felipe Melo, meanwhile, has been banned for three matches following his high kick on Lazio captain Lucas Biglia.

The Brazilian – who three minutes earlier had clumsily given away the deciding penalty – planted a boot on his opponent’s shoulder towards the end of Inter’s 2-1 defeat at San Siro and was issued a straight red card for the offence.

After the incident, Roberto Mancini blasted the Brazilian saying he had ruined Christmas, and the league have now classed the incident as “deliberate violent conduct”.

Melo, who returned to Italy from Turkish team Galatasaray, was subsequently issued a three-game suspension, meaning he will now sit out the clashes with Empoli, Sassuolo and Atalanta in January.

Atalanta have also been slapped with a €15,000 fine after supporters were found guilty of  “chants expressing discrimination relating to territorial origin” against Napoli.

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