There is always a certain amount of intrigue surrounding the appointment of a new coach. This is especially true when that coach is appointed at a club like Roma, a giant of the Italian game who had been underperforming recently. Last season saw the highly experienced Claudio Ranieri given time at the helm as the powers that be at the club sought a coach who could move the club forward. In the summer the decision was made to appoint the Portuguese coach Paulo Fonseca, formerly of Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.

Fonseca is a coach with a recognizable game model that he will look to implement at Roma but as with any other new appointment, this model will take time to fully embed. Indeed, they started the season with two consecutive draws, at home to Genoa and ‘away’ to city rivals Lazio.

Their opponents in this match, Sassuolo, are widely regarded as a more forward-thinking Italian club. They were one of the first in Italy to follow the lead of Juventus in building their own stadium. A move that will provide immediate financial benefits. They also recruit and trust young players whilst playing an attractive brand of football under their 40-year-old coach Roberto De Zerbi.

In this tactical analysis, we will examine the key tactical battles that led to Romawinning the match 4-2.

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Artwork by @chapulana

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