Roma began the new decade in a manner in which they had spent much of the last, wondering how they had fallen to an unlikely defeat, as Torino ran out 2-0 winners in Serie A.
Andrea Belotti scored late in each half to hand the Granata victory at the Stadio Olimpico, but Roma ought to have put the game beyond sight within the first half hour, as they struggled to finish chance after chance.
It was a similar story after the break, with numerous opportunities going begging, although Roma goalkeeper Pau Lopez twice pushed Belotti strikes on to the bar.
New year, same old Roma?
The new year often represents the opportunity for a fresh start for most clubs, but not so Roma. The Lupi continue to suffer a post new year hangover, with Sunday’s defeat the 30th time the capital club have lost in their first game of a new year.
Navigating an injury crisis superbly in the first half of the campaign, Paulo Fonseca will be desperate to get his team back on track as they push for a return to the Champions League.
Suffering only a third defeat of the season, Roma have shown greater resilience this term and a poor display against Torino is no cause for alarm just yet.
Lack of cutting edge decisive
It was a tale of two attacks, as Roma drove forward in waves but could not find a way through, whilst Torino turned to Andrea Belotti to settle the game.
As the Granata hitman rifled in on the stroke of halftime, before coolly slotting in a late penalty that he won himself, Roma stars Edin Dzeko, Nikola Kalinic and Lorenzo Pellegrini were left frustrated.
Goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu was in inspired form, but Roma’s attack lacked the conviction to take advantage of the many chances that fell their way, with a combination of poor finishing and bad decision making proving costly.
Indeed, Fonseca’s men fired in over 30 shots without finding the back of the net, their worst return since 2004.
Torino must find consistency
Despite their underwhelming campaign, Torino are well placed in Serie A in ninth and are far from out of the picture in the race for Europa League qualification.
Having lifted their Roma curse with a first away win against the Giallorossi since 2007 and ended a run of nine straight defeats in this fixture, Walter Mazzarri’s side must now use the momentum to push on.
With clashes against Bologna, Sassuolo and Lecce coming up, the Granata have a real opportunity to put points on the board and salvage their season.