Roma can clinch their first-ever Champions League spot with a win over Sampdoria

With a chance to draw even with Juventus top of the table several weeks ago, Roma’s Scudetto dreams were dashed after committing the sport’s most serious sin: conceding a decisive own goal. With the two clubs separated by just three points, a Roma win would have, at the very least, lifted the Giallorosse into second place in the tiebreaker with a chance to eclipse the future four-time defending champions in the standings. stretch.

While Roma managed to recover from Angelica Soffia’s blunder in the 11th minute to earn a draw through Paloma Lázaro’s 61st-minute equalizer, for all intents and purposes Roma’s title dreams were destroyed in the early afternoon. The club have since recovered, claiming five wins from their next six matches to extend their league unbeaten run to an incredible 14 matches, but it’s hard not to be disappointed – they were so close to knock the old lady off her perch.

But it’s not all bad news. Thanks to Giallorosse’s splendid season, Roma women have two exciting goals at hand: to repeat as Coppa Italia champions and secure the top spot in the Champions League in the club’s short four-year history. Roma will have to wait until May 22 to tackle the first (against Juve, of course) but they can settle the second case tomorrow without even trying.

With a cushion of five points over third-placed AC Milan, Roma are well-positioned as we head into the penultimate round of the league, so much so that the Giallorosse can return to the Champions League if Milan lose. points (via a draw or a loss). ) to their city rivals, Inter Milan, tomorrow. Qualifying by default would ring a bit hollow and deprive us of what is sure to be an uplifting scene at the Tre Fontane, but it’s testament to the Giallorosse’s success this season – they’ve done the job, and now it’s time to enjoy the spoils .

A point guard Alessandro Spugna preached in his pre-match comments:

With a chance to qualify for their first-ever Champions League spot tomorrow, the Derby della Capitale next weekend and the Coppa Italia final the following weekend, Roma have no shortage of distractions as they prepares to face sixth-placed Sampdoria, a side that gave them all they could handle last December.

And in an ironic twist, the match was decided by an own goal – you can’t make that kind of thing up.

December 5, 2021: Sampdoria 1, Rome 2

Roma’s first look at newly-promoted Sampdoria unfolded beautifully at the start of that early December game, with Paloma Lázaro drawing first blood in the 15th minute, but the deluge of goals we were expecting never came. came as Sampdoria put up a surprisingly tough fight. After trading blows with Samp for the next 40 minutes, veteran striker Stefania Tarenzi leveled the match just before the hour mark, setting the stage for a tense end.

And in the first of many gut-checking performances this season, Roma fought back and, with a little little luck, flew the day after Manuela Giugliano’s left-footed shot from the edge of the box received a fortuitous deflection from Debora Novellino, tucking neatly inside the left post, giving Roma their fifth straight win at this stage of the season.

But what will it take to send Sampdoria packing their bags this time?

Glad you asked, let’s take a look!

Nobody. Like, literally anyone. They are all likely to score.

Photo by Andrea Staccioli/Insidefoto/LightRocket via Getty Images

On the surface, Roma’s 49 goals, which put them second in the league, might lead you to believe they boast a world-conquering goalscorer, but looks can be deceiving. While Paloma Lázaro set a new career high this year with nine league goals, the Spanish forward is three goals ahead of capocannoniere favorite Daniele Sabatino. Perhaps if Spugna’s tactic had more one-way traffic in his direction, Lázaro would have climbed higher on the goalscoring chart this year, but with 14 different goalscorers, no team has shared the wealth more than Roma. this season, although Samp has been terribly close, as their 26 league goals have come from 13 different players – the second best in the league.

So if you’re a bettor, skip the prop bets and just go for the simple over/under.

Stefania Tarenzi and Melania Martinovic: Roma killers

UC Sampdoria v Napoli Women - Serie A

Photo by Simone Arveda/Getty Images

With seven goals combined against the Giallorosse, few players have victimized Roma more often than Tarenzi and Marinovic. A 34-year-old veteran striker, Tarenzi has slowed down as she gets older, but with 18 league goals in her last three seasons, the Lodi native still has a knack for scoring and beat Roma last season when she played for the club. ‘Inter. Milano. Martinovic, although nowhere near as accomplished as her Italian teammate, has scored three career goals against the Giallorosse: one in 2018-19, one in 2019-20 and another in 2020-21… feel a tendency ?

And finally, don’t forget to keep an eye out for…

The Out of Town Dashboard

The badges of Inter Milan and AC Milan

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

With the Derby della Capitale scheduled for next weekend, the cup final at the end of the month and the promise of the Champions League looming, you can forgive Roma if they get a bit distracted. No matter how much Spugna preaches focus, after such a long season and with visions of European nights already dancing in their heads, a momentary loss of focus is to be expected.

However, should the worst happen and Roma falter tomorrow against Samp, salvation is only a decent WiFi signal away. With simultaneous kick-off times at 2.30am CET, don’t be shocked if the cameras spot Roma fans (and maybe a few players on the bench) reaching for their phones to check Inter-AC’s score Milano. All Roma must secure second place in Serie A and second and last league place in the Champions League is for Milan to either draw or fall to Inter on Saturday.

So just in case the shots stray or the ball doesn’t bounce, just make sure your phone is charged.

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