23 October 2014 15:23
Roma are out to repay their fans at Sampdoria on Saturday in Serie A and bounce back from UEFA Champions League embarrassment.
Rudi Garcia’s side were thrashed 7-1 by Bayern Munich in Europe’s elite club competition on Tuesday – a match in which the Bundesliga champions led 5-0 after 36 minutes.
The Bavarian giants were exhilarating in the first half, but Roma, given a chance of causing an upset in front of their home fans, could only pull one goal back – through Gervinho – before substitutes Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri added polish to Bayern’s rout.
The belief is evidently high at Roma, though, and president James Pallotta revealed that the support the capital club received after the match moved him to tears.
“Unfortunately [it was] just one of those days,” Pallotta wrote in a brief statement on the club website.
“One day doesn’t change anything. It happens on the way to glory. I saw a video of our fans after the game: [it] made me cry.
“You [fans] are the best in the world. [I am] so proud of being part of Roma.”
Roma legend Francesco Totti echoed Pallotta’s words, with the forward posting on his blog: “Our fans are unique in the world and proved that again last night at the end of the defeat to Bayern Munich, showing their warmth and proud attitude.”
Coach Rudi Garcia accepted responsibility for Tuesday’s defeat and is likely to adopt a more defensive approach in a key game at third-placed Sampdoria.
Roma – who sit three points above them in second, just behind leaders Juventus – have won six of their Serie A matches this season.
Sampdoria, inspired by forward Manolo Gabbiadini – who has four league goals this term – are unbeaten this season and like Roma, have conceded just four times.
Fourth-placed Milan, on an unbeaten streak of four, will hope to make up further ground on Sampdoria and Roma with victory at home to Fiorentina.
No Serie A side has scored more than Milan’s 16 goals this term, with Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda contributing six of them.
Fiorentina find themselves in 11th after a patchy start and will face a fresher Milan side, who do not have any European commitments this season.
Defending champions Juventus remain unbeaten and are expected to extend that record this weekend when they host a Palermo side who only registered their first win last Sunday.
Juve also have a disappointing midweek 1-0 UEFA Champions League loss to Olympiacos to bounce back from.
At the other end of the table, rock-bottom Parma host 19th-placed Sassuolo aiming for a win that could drag the likes of Cagliari and Cesena – who play Empoli and Inter respectively – back into the relegation zone.
Napoli have finally found form and are unbeaten in four in Serie A, with a home fixture against Hellas Verona to come, while Lazio will be out to make it four straight league wins when they face Torino.
Elsewhere, Chievo take on Genoa and Udinese meet Atalanta.