Welcome to the first of a new series on Giallorossi Yorkshire, where fans are invited to share their memories from the last Roma match they went to.
With Serie A put on hold for the foreseeable future, what better time to revisit some games from years gone by?
Starting the My Most Recent Roma Match series is Giallorossi Yorkshire editor Samuel Bannister – recalling a game from this day last year.
Read to the end of the article to see how to submit your own piece for the series!
Result: Roma 2-2 Fiorentina
Date: 3rd April 2019
Competition: Serie A
Having followed Roma regularly for more than five years and having witnessed one of the club’s most famous ever performances in the flesh, when we beat Barcelona in the Champions League, it was about time I returned to the Stadio Olimpico to take in my first ever Serie A match.
It was my third trip to the Olimpico, the first having been a friendly and the second being that Barcelona game. Therefore, this experience would have a different feel to it – it wasn’t a winner-takes-it-all scenario, but a win was demanded nonetheless.
The game was just a few days after Roma had lost 4-1 to Napoli, in what was arguably the only performance under Claudio Ranieri which left fans angry. These were the early days of Ranieri’s reign as interim manager, and the team were still suffering from the end of Eusebio Di Francesco’s tenure.
I should clarify that I have no hard feelings towards Di Francesco, and really hope he can get his coaching career back on track. I even wouldn’t mind having him back at Roma in the distant future, depending on how things turn out.
But it had been clear that a change was needed, and I was fully behind Ranieri to inspire a short-term turnaround.
That Napoli loss left us in a dangerous psychological position, so a reaction was needed against Fiorentina. And that’s exactly what we got.
This was also the first game in which Antonio Mirante grasped the starting position in goal, something I was excited to see given his reasonably impressive cameos earlier in the season. I had actually wanted Mirante at the club for a long time – I thought he was the perfect back-up keeper. And for once, a dream transfer actually came true. Thanks, Monchi.
For me, what happened outside the stadium was just as significant as what happened within it, as it gave me a rare opportunity to meet a fellow fan I knew from Twitter in person. Amos Fiocchi had told me he was going to the game, and when I got tickets myself, we were able to meet up before the match.
At the time, I knew very few Roma fans in person, but had built up a rapport with several via social media – Amos being one of the first. To have the chance to meet him like that showed how much of a community the Roma Twittersphere can be.
Great to be back at the Olimpico for tonight’s game! DAJE ROMA 💛❤️ pic.twitter.com/cywZ2c8aQu— Samuel Bannister (@SamBanno1) April 3, 2019
(Cue the greatest reply to ever grace my mentions…)
Thought that was Inesta for a second.— BC (@BradleyCurrie_) April 3, 2019
When it was time for the action, there was a degree of apprehension when Fiorentina took the lead 12 minutes in. Let’s not forget that the same side had beaten Roma 7-1 just a few months before. Were they going to inflict damage upon us again?
Fortunately, a quick response came through Nicolo Zaniolo, who headed Justin Kluivert’s cross against the inside of the post, then to see it trickling over the line.
The Italian youngster was one of the brightest sparks of that season, so to witness him scoring was a pleasure – especially since I was sat just in line with the goal.
Roma had to dig deep again when Gerson, of all people, put Fiorentina back in front, but once again there was a quick reaction, with Diego Perotti firing home a rare goal from open play to level things up again.
I have always felt that Perotti has been an underappreciated player, so felt a degree of pride for him to get such a well-taken goal.
And so it finished as a draw. The atmosphere was rather more muted upon the full-time whistle than it had been for the Barcelona comeback just under a year before, but I left feeling content with the performance. A win would have been nice, but it was an improvement.
Indeed, it did become the turning point for our season. Roma did not go into a losing position in any of our last eight games that season. Ranieri had done what he had come to do.
Leaving the stadium after the Fiorentina game was not the end of the story, as anyone who has tried to get a taxi away from the stadium will tell you. Hence, it was time for a gruelling walk across the city, at the end of a very long day – which had started with an early morning journey from Leeds to Manchester for the flight.
As the Curva sometimes sings, Maciniamo chilometri…
Reflecting on everything, though, it was all worth it. Sometimes football is about more than the three points. It is about the friendships you form and the memories you make.
Let’s keep this series running by listening to your stories as well! To be featured, please email firstname.lastname@example.org outlining the last Roma game you went to (result, date, competition) with around 500 words about the experience.
What was the atmosphere like? What are your main memories? Which players impressed? Don’t just make it a match report – what stood out other than the game?
Please include your name and Twitter handle so you can be tagged in the post, and if you would like to share a photo or two of your last game to be published alongside the piece, feel free to.