Three takeaways from AS Roma 1-0 Monza: El Shaarway bails out the Giallorossi, Rui Patricio regains his form

It was a hard-fought win for AS Roma against a stubborn Monza on Serie A Matchday 9 and it was Jose Mourinho's substitutes who turned the game around.

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An underwhelming AS Roma side were able to grab a 1-0 victory against Monza, but it was far from easy against a Brianzoli side that were down to 10 men for the majority of the Serie A Matchday 9 clash.

When Danilo D’Ambrosio was sent off after 41 minutes, this gave the Giallorossi an extra man advantage, but it required coach Jose Mourinho to make substitutions to turn the match in his team’s favour.

Both Stephan El Shaarawy and Sardar Azmoun looked dangerous in the second half, and it was Il Faraone that scored the winner for AS Roma near the end of the game. At the back, Rui Patricio had arguably his best game in goal this season after some disappointing performances beforehand.

El Shaarawy saves AS Roma from an embarrassing draw

AS Roma had 51% possession for the match, they lacked the guile to unlock the Monza defence until late in the game. Although Romelu Lukaku and Andrea Belotti worked hard in attack, and Leandro Paredes and Houssem Aouar were passing the ball tidily in midfield, it was clear the flair of the injured Paulo Dybala was missing.

El Shaarawy replaced Edoardo Bove after 63 minutes, he completed 85% of his passes, and he had three shots when he was on the pitch. Crucially, he scored the winner in the 90th minute, smashing in the ball into the net despite the congestion in the penalty area.

It has been a tough week for the Italy Men’s National Team player, who has been implicated in the latest betting scandal plaguing Italian football despite not being under investigation by the authorities, so the goal has served as a big weight off his shoulders.

The 30-year-old had not scored a goal or provided an assist in any competitive game in 2023/24, and he could not have found a better time to have broken his scoring drought.

Stephan El Shaarawy celebrates after scoring for AS Roma .(@OfficialASRoma)

Azmoun brings some class off the bench

It has been an uneventful time at Roma for Azmoun, who had made three substitute appearances in Serie A since his arrival from German club Bayer Leverkusen.

The Iran Men’s National Team player came on for Belotti in the 63rd minute, and despite not having a lot of the ball, some of his skills did unsettle the Monza defence. He had three shots with one of them hitting the post, and he created a chance that Lukaku should have finished off.

Although he was not directly involved in the goal, Azmoun showed in open play that he can be graceful on the ball, adding something different compared to the physical and laborious styles of Lukaku and Belotti. With more match fitness, the Iranian forward could be a handy option going forward.

AS Roma players celebrate a goal with an emotional Stephan El Shaarawy. (@OfficialASRoma)

Rui Patricio stands tall after some substandard performances

It has not been a great season at all for Portuguese veteran Rui Patricio, who has displayed some signs of decline. There have been times when the 35-year-old has been unable to hold shots, been slow to react, or been too far off his line.

During the second half against Monza, he demonstrated the qualities of a goalkeeper that has won over 100 caps for the Portugal Men’s National Team. He made excellent saves from Samuele Birindelli and Samuel Vignato when it was scoreless, and he also had to deny Giulio Donati in the dying minutes of the game.

This is the type of performance Roma need from their goalkeeper, and he needs to keep replicating these displays if the Giallorossi are to further climb up the table.

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