At half-time, 2-0 up and looking comfortable, I texted Chelsea Boy with the score, as I always do. His reply: "Forza Roma, and don't go and fuck it up." Almost prophetic, since fuck it up was precisely what we (almost) proceeded to do.
We started brightly, Taddei scored after about 13 minutes (a slightly scrappy & chaotic affair) and then just three minutes later Vucinic scored a truly amazing goal, turning on the edge of the area to somehow put it in the opposite corner. Under the Sud as well.
The best bit about this clip is the contrast between Totti's restrained applause and Zampa's insane commentary.
So at half-time we looked firmly in control of things. Which of course means that it's time to sit back and bugger things up. Gah. Roma are an incredibly frustrating side to watch at times - or as the Gazzetta notes of the second half, "facendo morire di paura i suoi tifosi". The defence was chaotic at times, several players looked at best ineffectual, at worst immobile. Yes Cicinho, Giuly, I'm looking at you. Genoa upped their game and got one back some ten minutes into the second half. And then, incredibly, unacceptably, equalised almost straight from the restart: two goals in less than a minute. The second of which, incidentally, while not the equal of Vucinic's effort, was not half bad. Four goals under the Sud, only two of them welcome.
Luckily De Rossi stepped up with a flawless penalty after Boriello fouled Taddei (and not long after Genoa had a penalty claim of their own turned down pretty sharply... looked fair to me but I think Interisti are complaining about it...). The whole stadium holding its breath for De Rossi, half the crowd unable to watch, but De Rossi is a man has taken a penalty in a world cup final, he's not going to bottle it for us now. 3-2, huge sigh of relief, and ten more anxious minutes to get through, of incredible loudness and much jumping up and down.
Genoa played well I thought, worked hard and created chances. Their fans were even more impressive, good numbers, lots of flags, and the ability to make themselves heard on a couple of occasions even from our end. They also have a nifty manouvre involving a sciarpata (a "scarfery" - that thing where you all hold your scarves over your heads) when they then all do a coordinated stand-up/sit-down thing with impressive results. We like.
But the Sud was not in bad voice either, despite the warm afternoon sunshine which often quietens things down a bit. After the Genoa equaliser everything got a bit fraught, but by the end even the distinti where on their feet and singing (amazing!). And when Panucci and De Rossi came to throw their shirts into the Sud, another chorus of Vinceremo il Tricolor, belted out over the top of "Grazie Roma". Right now, with afternoon games about to kick off, we're only a point behind Inter. I've not seriously entertained the prospect of winning the scudetto this season. But the curva all believe, or they say they do; I just can't quite let myself... can I....?