Kevin Strootman

Even though a 3-2 win in a first leg isn’t that much of a great result at home, Roma are perfectly happy with their victory over Napoli in the Coppa Italia semifinal and especially with Kevin Strootman, scoring what is probably the best goal we’ve seen this season in Italian football.

Under the pouring rain at the Olimpico, the Dutch midfielder gave Roma a 2-0 lead in the 32nd minute by breaking through the diluted Napoli midfield and setting himself up for a shot from over 25 meters out, using his left foot to take a shot ending up in the top corner of Pepe Reina’s goal, as at the time it looked like Roma were about to finish the two-leg encounter in a swift, efficient first half.

Things changed later on as Napoli came back with an own goal and another one from Dries Mertens, but Gervinho, who also scored the opening goal for Roma, added a second in the 88th minute.

It’s hard to see Roma coming away with the Serie A title but the Cup is probably something they’re favorites to win at the moment considering they’ve got a slight edge of Napoli and the potential matchup with Fiorentina and Udinese.

Both Gervinho and Strootman are probably the biggest pats, on the pitch at least, of the turnaround from a disappointing season into a team that challenges for the title and will feature in the Champions League next season. Strootman didn’t come cheaply but it was worth bringing in someone who can do everything asked of him in the midfield, without specifying only in one area. Gervinho hasn’t scored as much as he can – the man is a missing machine; but his speed and dribbling have been crucial to Roma’s attacking form and unpredictability.

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