AS Roma suffered their first loss of the season against Udinese on Sunday. However, the most shocking aspect of the defeat was the scoreline, losing 4-0 to the club nicknamed The Little Zebras.

Going into the match, Roma were on impressive run for the first few weeks of the 2022/23 Serie A season. Prior to the game against Udinese, only Juventus had scored a goal against the capital city Italian outfit in four matchdays. This loss moves Roma down in the standings to fifth, slipping away from first, currently tied between Napoli and Milan.

From the get-go, Udinese were on top. Rick Karsdorp, the Dutch defender, and Portuguese goalkeeper Patrício did not help their team’s morale. Both players were apportioned blame for AS Roma‘s first two conceded goals. From there on, Roma were in low spirits for the rest of the match.

The third consecutive victory for Udinese puts the Bianconeri outfit in a three-way tie for third place in Serie A. However, they currently hold the fourth spot over Roma on aggregate.

Room for optimism for AS Roma fans

Despite the loss to Udinese, Roma have started the 2022/23 Serie A in a robust manner. After winning last year’s Europa League, Jose Mourinho’s Roma squad look to win the Serie A this season. The last time Roma won the Scudetto was in 2000/01, during the epic reign of Francesco Totti, the club legend. One Scudetto championship for a club such as Roma is equivalent to ten Scudetti for a powerhouse such as Juventus. Therefore, Mourinho looks to bounce back next week when Roma plays against Empoli in week six on September 12.

As an obstacle, though, the club has been plagued with injury. After having returned from a grueling recovery from a damaged knee, attacking midfielder Nicolò Zaniolo made the headlines at the start of the 2022/23 season for Roma. Despite his injury, the Italian was reportedly a target for Antonio Conte’s Tottenham before the transfer deadline ended. The link between Zaniolo and Spurs was in spite of the midfielder’s recent injury. Nevertheless, Zaniolo’s season with Roma is curtailed for four weeks due to a dislocated shoulder against Cremonese, when a defender’s aggressive tackle decked Zaniolo into the grass.

However, the injury is coupled with Georginio Wijnaldum’s fractured leg, causing the Dutch midfielder to go on the disabled list for an undermined length of time.

Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire