The momentum around Jose Mourinho’s stint at Roma seems to swing with every new week. The disappointment of having failed to win even once in four games across all competitions was overcome through beating Spezia 1-0 through a last-ditch Tammy Abraham penalty and at the weekend, it swung a completely new way after a win over Gian Piero’s Gasperini’s Atalanta.
There have been signs of inconsistency in the Roma unit under Mourinho and the team has been operating in small streaks throughout the campaign – as even the recent results suggest. But with the Giallorossi having beaten La Dea twice and with Gasperini’s side struggling in more ways than one this season, a top five finish seems like a definite possibility.
Many things about Atalanta seem off. The threat from wing-backs has come down and Robin Gosens’ exit will not help. Josip Ilicic’s absences have had an affect, Luis Muriel’s injury and Roberto Piccoli’s loan exit have left them without a recognised striker. Jeremie Boga has had to play in an unnatural striker’s role, while Teun Koopmeiners has had to play in the front three. Duvan Zapata, on the other hand, is out for the season.
Roma meanwhile, are back with a near-fit squad following a period of suspensions and injuries. While Mourinho certainly wants more additions to the side in the summer, the key elements of his squad are in place compared to what Atalanta have.
The Giallorossi have accumulated the second-highest xG in the campaign at 48.8 and that is certainly a net positive, even though they have underperformed on it.
While going past Juventus will be a massive task – especially considering the Bianconeri’s form since a poor start, Lazio and Fiorentina have developmental issues of their own. Maurizio Sarri still seems to lack vital elements of his own team, while La Viola barely get a consistent run on board under Vincenzo Italiano.
Things can go either way because of how Roma’s season has been, but a top five finish can be a believable possibility for Mourinho.