STADIO ENNIO TARDINI (Parma) – Roberto D’Aversa’s Parma were inspired on Sunday evening and they impressively sent Roma packing from Emilia-Romagna having suffered just their second loss of the Serie A season and first on the road.
With their squad still depleted by injury, D’Aversa managed to find the perfect recipe and the Crociati were more than good value for their three points, despite Andreas Cornelius only killing off I Lupi in stoppage time to give Parma their first win over Roma since October 2012.
The Dane had missed three good chances before then, two of those coming in second half counterattacks, but he made no mistake when Hernani slipped him through to double the lead.
Parma now have 17 points from their 12 games, which is the exact same total as this time last term.
— ForzaItalianFootball (@SerieAFFC) November 10, 2019
Parma’s midfield power
Juraj Kucka always gives everything his possibly can for the Gialloblu, but on Sunday he performed above even his own usual high level. The Slovakian was everywhere, he put in some big tackles and displayed an impressive range of passing that he doesn’t always possess.
Kucka set the tone for his team. Hernani and Matteo Scozzarella followed suit and the entire engine room was lited to an energy level that Roma’s midfield weren’t able to match.
In front of them Dejan Kulusevski was as excellent as ever. The Atalanta loanee has attracted attention from around Europe, with Manchester United one of the many clubs interested in his services and the Crociati will have to fight hard to keep him at the Tardini beyond January.
His smoothness of running with the ball is impressive enough, but that he’s able to do it after a lung-busting run back to help out with his side’s defensive responsibilities makes it all the more impressive.
There are countless teenagers who have a lot of technical ability and energy, but Kulusevski possesses a mind and maturity that suggests he has experience greater than his 19 years.
Parma have goals
Mattia Sprocati’s opener made him the fifth Parma player to score in Serie A this season, a total that’s second only to Atalanta’s six.
Ahead of the win over Roma, the hosts had scored 16 goals from their 11 games in 2019/20 – now 18 in 12 – which was a record tally for them after that number of matches.
Cornelius himself is hitting new heights. He has five goals in just eight appearances since arriving at the Tardini, having netted six goals in his previous 43 across spells with Bordeaux and Atalanta.
Edin Dzeko brings a very specific skillset to Paulo Fonseca’s side but the Bosnian is 33 now and his legs can’t carry him like they did.
He’s often slow in possession and a little laborious in his turning on the ball. He can show great elegance from time to time, but his best moments are becoming fewer and further between.
With a lively and dynamic trio behind him in Nicolo Zaniolo, Cengiz Under and Justin Kluivert, Roma might be best playing with one of those as a false nine or looking to bring in a more versatile frontman to offer Dzeko some competition.