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Excellent first half. Atalanta never near our keeper. Dzeko’s goal within 3 mins and more chances afterwards. Unlucky not to go 2 nil up at half time with Spinazzola’s chip on the post and Pellegrini’s saved free kick. Second half, Gasperini made changes, Fonseca did not. New personnel, another pace. Overwhelming. Lost the plot. Ended in disaster.

As happened against Napoli, at the best the Giallorossi team melted like snow in the sun. Yet the first half had given good signs, giving Atalanta hardly an opportunity. In the second half, Gasperini threw Ilicic into the fray but this cannot explain the shamble that followed. The Giallorossi immediately squashed in their own half, stopped attacking and left the ball in the hands of Atalanta.

Whether it’s a physical or mental issue, it’s up to Fonseca to find the recipe to go beyond the limits that this Rome is imposing itself on. The Portuguese coach was tough at the end of the game but he photographed the situation well: it would have been worrying if Roma had played the whole game as they did in the second half. Instead, the first half was practically perfect, played with quality but above all with intelligence.

In the second half, total darkness, and Fonseca probably has on his conscience the delay with which the changes were made, when the situation was compromised. To aim to reach new heights is fading again. Cagliari next in midweek before the Christmas pudding. But it’s a long way…Always Forza Roma.

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