Sunday, 21 September 2008

Roma 3 - 0 Reggina

Thank fuck for that. Back (sort of) on track. A somewhat shaky first half followed by an excellent second half, three goals, a clean sheet, signs of the attacking verve and creativity I know we still have in there, and hopefully a bit of confidence and solidity. Not that Reggina offered all that much, but hey. A win's a win, right? The first goal, on the stroke of half time, was a bizarro effort which I didn't quite understand at the time, and haven't yet seen on replay: a Panucci header from some very chaotic goalmouth scramble. Then a lovely solo effort from Aquilani, and the last a tap-in from Perrotta which the keeper had knocked straight into his path after a rather violent Totti free-kick. Vucinic and Menez both played very well in the second half, and Totti looked good when he came on, if a tiny bit immobile (and a trifle portly: someone's been scoffing...).

Before the game we had a big farewell coreografia for Franco Sensi. All the big ultras groups were involved in organising it. Firstly orange and red plastic flags had been printed, thousands of them; each group was allocated a boxful & a boxful of small plastic poles, and having arrived VERY early, they made their way around the Sud sliding squares of plastic onto said poles and depositing one assembled flag onto each seat in their section, until the whole section was full (some 8000 seats). Red and orange card was distributed in the distinti Sud and the corresponding side section of the Curva. Meanwhile a warning sign was temporarily erected down the front, facing the crowd, to make sure that no individual group accidentally upset the plans:

Don't put anything up

OK then. A gigantic photo of Sensi, printed on thick plastic sheeting and cut into broad strips, was unrolled from in front of the tabellone. And a giant red and white striscione was then taken out onto the running track, held by a dozen or so senior ultras:

The banner reads "What we do in life echoes in eternity.... Thankyou President", signed by the Curva Sud. [It's a quotation from the film Gladiator, but try not to let that put you off.] And we all waved our flags and we sang the Canzone di Testaccio, very very loudly, and it was all rather moving.

Then Sensi's widow was given a framed signed photo of the President, with the same slogan emblazoned upon it, along with a huge bunch of flowers, by a delegation of capi ultrà.

All very nice. The atmosphere was pretty good, lots of good singing, and flag waving, and it turns out that singing at the top of your voice for 90 minutes with a bad cough is positively medicinal. No really.

Then CB and I went and had a nice glass of wine in a smartish bar near Piazza di Spagna, with a plate of cheese & salami, and caught the newly open late metro back at about 1. Woot all round.


ginkers said...

Vital three points and big week ahead with trip to Genoa and home game to Atalanta. Four points minimum required from those two matches to get the season back on track...

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