Roma vs. Udinese: Final score 2-3 as Udinese come from behind to win

Paolo Bruno

In the first half hour, it seemed victory for the Romans was a certainty. But the Roma defense fell apart once again, allowing a 3-2 Udinese victory.

Cries of "Welcome to Zemanlandia" issued from the AS Roma supporters spread throughout the world, as their side went up 2-0 after 24 minutes thanks to a brace from Erik Lamela. But Zemanlandia has a dark side, too, and the giallorossi stumbled into this gloomy swamp, falling to pieces as they allowed three goals from Udinese. The win lifts the zebrette into joint-seventh, sharing the spot with Parma.

It should have been three victories from three matches for Roma. Their first chance came before five minutes were up, but Pablo Osvaldo's header was blocked by the impressive Zeljko Brkic. Five minutes later, it was Lamela forcing Brkic into action, but the Serbian parried away the fierce shot.

Lamela managed to trick Brkic into giving up the first goal in the 22nd minute. The Argentine appeared ready to pull back the cross for Miralem Pjanic, but instead cheekily rolled his shot into the goal.

Roma's second, in the 24th minute, was equally impressive and tricky in its own right. Francesco Totti sent the ball through to Osvaldo, who, while Brkic rushed out to control the damage, chipped the ball over his head. Lamela came diving in to send the ball into an empty net.

But then it all started to go wrong for the home side. The giallorossi failed to clear their lines after a free kick, and Maurizio Domizzi took advantage to put the ball past Maarten Stekelenburg. Fans clamored for offside, but considering the ball came off Osvaldo, the rule did not apply. 2-1 Roma in the 32nd.

Udinese equalized early in the second half. Roberto Pereyra set up Antonio Di Natale, but Stekelenburg was there to save. Alas, Roma once again couldn't get the ball away, and Toto seized the opportunity. He got on the end of a misplaced shot from Pablo Armero, twirled like a ballerina in her first Nutcracker performance, and put the ball into the back of the net.

The visitors couldn't resist having a laugh at their hosts' expense. In the 88th minute, Leandro Castán fouled Pereyra inside the area, setting up yet another controversial penalty decision. Captain Toto stepped up to the spot and, in a cruel imitation of the Roma captain, executed a cucchiaio-style penalty to give Udinese the win.

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