The inconsistency shown by Jose Mourinho‘s Roma side this season appears to set in place for them to harbour any real hopes of qualifying for the Champions League this season.
After what had been an incredibly promising and calming week for the Roma fans, they undid much of the work by turning in an abject performance at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on Wednesday evening, falling to a 1-0 defeat in Bologna.
The previous three matches had seen wins over Genoa and Torino in Serie A, as well as an important European Conference League win over Ukrainian side Zorya Luhansk. They scored seven goals and conceded none.
The Bologna match represented an opportunity to stretch that to four consecutive wins. The Rossoblu are certainly not easy to beat, Wednesday’s 1-0 win took them level with Juventus on points, but they are a team that Roma should be beating without too much issue.
A flat Roma display
The Giallorossi were the better team for much of the first half without setting the world alight. The only clear as day chance whilst it was 0-0 fell to Tammy Abraham but he directed Rick Karsdorp’s cross wide of the near post when he really should have found the target.
Bologna were having their moments and then Swedish midfielder Mattias Svanberg produced an excellent, intelligent finish from the edge of the box that Rui Patricio could not keep out.
Incidentally, it was reported that a scout from Premier League side Manchester City was at the game to see Svanberg play. They will certainly have liked what they saw.
Barring an excellent save from Lukasz Skorupski after an unorthodox attempt from Abraham in the box, Roma never really looked like they were going to turn things around.
There was a chance right at the death where Matias Vina’s great pass towards Nicolo Zaniolo was almost turned past the on-rushing Skroupski by a Bologna defender. That was the closest Mourinho’s side came in the second half.
An increasing gap
Roma were just three points off the top four coming into this set of fixtures but now it is six points. It’s not an insurmountable gap, but the predictability with which Roma were unable to continue their upturn in form suggests that they will never manage to overhaul the likes of Atalanta, Inter, Milan, and Napoli who occupy the four lucrative Champions League places.
Their next match is on Saturday evening against none other than the champions Inter, who are in excellent form. Roma will also have to try and upset the odds in that match without Abraham who was booked for an infringement that could barely be considered a foul. The yellow means he is suspended for the match at the Stadio Olimpico.
Mourinho is likely well aware that his club’s chances of making Europe’s flagship tournament will hinge on what happens during the January transfer window.