Roma and Parma played against each other over the weekend on the final day of the season. Roma could theoretically qualify for the Champions League but also needed to ensure qualification for the Europa League. Parma proved to be a tough matchup but the attacking style of play of Roma made sure they won this game, as this tactical analysis will show.
In this tactical analysis supported by statistics, we will have a look at two tactical trends during this Serie A game. We will look at the diverse attacking style of play of Roma and how Parma’s 4-3-3 made them quite dangerous on attacks.
Claudio Ranieri’s Roma played in a 4-2-3-1 formation with a defensive block of Lorenzo Pellegrini and Daniele De Rossi. Together with the back four, they formed the defensive players. The attack consisted of Diego Perotti, Javier Pastore, Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Džeko as the sole striker.
Roberta D’aversa’s Parma came to Rome with a 4-3-3 formation with Gervinho and Mattia Sprocati assisting Fabio Ceravolo in attack. Their three-man midfield was employed to assist offensively but also carry out their defensive duties. Especially Leo Štulac, who played as the fifth defender in defence.
Roma creating from the middle
Tactical analysis shows that Roma wanted to win as comfortably as possible and the way to do that was to have an attacking style of play. In this particular game, there were different options for the home side to attack. Roma had 31 attacks; 13 of them were from the left flank, 12 from the right flank and six were through the middle.
As you can see on the image above, they were most dangerous from the right flank. But how did they conduct their attacks? The Roman outfit would pass the ball between defenders high up on their own half, moving forward.
Roma formed a danger for the Parma defence in the way that they transitioned from defending state to an attack state as can be seen in the 42nd minute of the first half. In the image above, the defenders are passing the ball with De Rossi connecting with them. In the image below they have switched to the attacking phase.
Roma has six players going forward on the attacks and there were plenty of options going forward. Džeko was ready to make a run through the middle towards the box and was anticipating a through ball, but the other options were Stefan El Shaarawy and Diego Perotti on the flanks. Javier Pastore had three different options going forward and also had the support of Pellegrini and left-back Aleksandar Kolarov.
In the 89th minute, Roma showed how they successfully utilised their attacking midfielders on the flanks. El Shaarawy had the ball in the middle – surrounded by four midfielders – and he passed the ball wide.
Above, you can see that Cengiz Ünder delivers the ball to the far post. Space is made by El Shaarawy and Nicolò Zaniolo, who draw the defenders to the near post, which makes it easier for Pellegrini to score the header and make it two to one to Roma.
This style of play with different options made it possible for Roma to have 23 shots, of which nine were on goal. Ultimately, it was Perotti and Pellegrini who made the difference.
Tactical analysis – Parma’s direct attacking play
While Roma had 31 shots, they didn’t dominate. Parma had 42.23% possession of the ball in this Serie A game and managed to produce 13 shots, of which five were on target. They were quite effective in the second, which can be illustrated by their equaliser.
The attack started with the pressing of the front three: Gervinho, Ceravolo, and Sprocati. This led to Roma to resort to long balls.
Parma won 40.74% of their aerial duels and on this occasion, setting up Parma nicely going forward, as the players directly went into attacking mode.
Parma had a direct plan to attack and strived to play the as many passes as possible forward. As you can see in the images above, they transitioned quickly from winning the challenge to making runs forward with both the attacks and the midfield.
Ten seconds after Roma played the long ball, Parma managed to score because of their directness and quick attacking style, leaving Gervinho with a chance he couldn’t miss.
The final game of this season was more than just a game for Roma. They could have theoretically still qualified for the Champions League. However, they also bid farewell to Daniele De Rossi and manager Claudio Ranieri. Their strong transitioning from defence to attack was the key to their two goals, even with Parma’s strong and effective attack proved effective. In the end, it was not enough for Champions League qualification. The Roman outfit will not plan for life next season.