Sampdoria vs. Roma, Final Score 3-1: Samp pile more post-Zeman misery on Roma

Gabriele Maltinti

Despite dominating the first half, Roma lost their first match of the post-Zeman era 3-1 to Sampdoria after Pablo Osvaldo's poor penalty miss could have seen them equalise and change the match.

Sampdoria made two changes, bringing in Jonathan Rossini in place of the injured Angelo Palombo and Pedro Obiang returning from suspension to replace Eder. Aurelio Andreazzoli lined Roma up in a 3-5-2 formation with Erik Lamela in an unfamiliar wide midfield role. He made five changes from Zdenek Zeman's final lineup, with Maarten Stekelenburg in goal following Mauro Goicoechea's horrendous error against Cagliari, whilst Leandro Castan, Daniele De Rossi, Miralem Pjanic and Marquinho came in for Ivan Piris, Dodo, Panagiotis Tachtsidis and Alessandro Florenzi.

Roma took control of the match from the off and the players looked as if they wanted to impress new boss Aurelio Andreazzoli. The opening exhanges saw the Giallorossi pass the ball around Sampdoria with ease and after four minutes, Erik Lamela cut in from the right and fired in a cross which was deflected behind. From the resulting corner, Miralem Pjanic was unfortunate to head wide.

Roma's domination continued, and three minutes later Pablo Osvaldo got into the box only to shoot wide from a tight angle. Soon afterwards, Michael Bradley's long range effort whistled past Sergio Romero's post.

Sampdoria were barely getting a sniff, and although they were managing to have odd forays up the pitch, they weren't coming close to creating anything, their best chance coming when Leandro Castan diverted a corner towards his own goal however Maarten Stekelenburg had it covered.

A quick Roma counter attack after an ineffectual Sampdoria corner found its way to Erik Lamela, the Argentine stinging his countryman Romero's palms with a fierce strike.

Roma continued to dominate the ball, but as the half wore on they seemed to have less and less energy, and although they had Sampdoria camped in their half for long periods, were struggling to create meaningful chances. Francesco Totti forced a good save from Romero with a fizzing, swerving free kick and with four minutes to go in the half, Pablo Osvaldo was played in down the left. His cutback found Miralem Pjanic, who really should've scored however his shot was blocked by Andrea Costa.

After five minutes of the second half, Roma thought they had the goal that their domination warranted. Francesco Totti's drive from 20 yards was deflected straight into the path of Erik Lamela and the Argentine coolly placed the ball in the top corner, however after a lengthy conversation with his assistant, the referee chalked the goal off. Lamela was deemed to be offside however replays suggested otherwise.

Minutes later, and the inevitable befell Roma - Sampdoria scored. Sampdoria counter attacked following a spell of Roma pressure and Gianluca Sansone found Marcelo Estigarribia in acres of space inside the box, the Paraguayan taking a touch and firing low into the far corner past a helpless Stekelenburg.

Sampdoria were visibly buoyed by their goal and began to gain some momentum, going forward with more purpose and exerting a lot more control of possession.

Roma still looked dangerous and were awarded a way back into the match when Daniele Gastaldello brought Osvaldo down in the box and the referee awarded an obvious penalty. Osvaldo stepped up to take the spot kick however his effort was weak and lacked any kind of direction, Romero easily saving.

Just two minutes later and i Blucerchiati delivered swift punishment to Osvaldo and Roma, Gianluca Sansone firing an unstoppable free kick past Stekelenburg and into the top corner.

Two minutes after that, and Roma were back in the match. Substitute Alessandro Florenzi's right wing cross was deflected into Erik Lamela's path and he volleyed through a clutch of bodies and in to give Roma a hope.

This hope was extinguished a further two minutes later, as Sampdoria restored their two goal advantage, Mauro Icardi heading home Sansone's corner to cap a crazy six minutes.

Roma continued to prod and press but Sampdoria easily soaked up all the pressure and only an Erik Lamela header that came back off the crossbar managed to threaten, leaving i Blucerchiati with three points that looked unlikely at half time.

Sampdoria: Romero; Gastaldello, Rossini, Costa; Krsticic; De Silvestri, Poli, Obiang, Estigarribia (Poulsen 87); Soriano (Sansone 46), Icardi

Roma: Stekelenburg; Marquinhos, Burdisso, Leandro Castan (Dodo 76); Lamela, Bradley (Florenzi 67), De Rossi, Pjanic, Marquinho (Lopez 87); Totti, Osvaldo

Goals: Estigarribia 56 (S), Sansone 73 (S), Lamela 75 (R), Icardi 77 (S)

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