AS Roma are in the race to qualify for the UEFA Champions League's group stage next season, but this current path might not be the way. The Giallorossi, under Jose Mourinho, won last year's edition of the UEFA Conference League and this season are in good shape to get into the quarterfinals of the Europa League, which could be another route towards UCL qualification if they win the cup. But recent inconsistencies raise concerns.
The Giallorossi were coming from a huge win against Juventus last weekend that came after the unexpected defeat away against Cremonese. Despite being fifth, their potential momentum was ended on Sunday against Sassuolo as AS Roma lost 4-3 at home after a very entertaining clash with seven goals. Coach Jose Mourinho was not on the bench thanks to serving a two-game ban after he was sent off at the beginning of the second half against Cremonese after complaining to the fourth official.
The club reacted and decided to not allow any of their representatives to speak to the media until the international break. Mourinho's absence against Sassuolo might have affected the squad as also Marash Kumbulla was sent off after he kicked striker Domenico Berardi in what was another lack of composure, all of which is starting to cost them.
It gets worse for Roma!— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 12, 2023
Marash Kumbulla is shown a straight red for violent conduct and Domenico Berardi makes it 3-1 right before halftime. 😳 pic.twitter.com/p8rsEI74U9
Roma ended the first half down 3-1 after the brace scored by Armand Lauriente and the penalty scored by Berardi, while the home team opened their score with Nicola Zalewski. Paulo Dybala's goal seemed to put pressure on Sassuolo, but the away side scored their fourth goal with former Inter striker Andrea Pinamonti. The late goal of Gini Wijnaldum didn't change the final result.
AS Roma need to change the digging themselves holes they can't get out of if they want to get into the top four because these are the details that often make the difference. The rivals for the top four did not perform particularly well this weekend as Atalanta lost against Napoli, Inter lost to Spezia and Lazio drew at Bologna. AS Roma were expected to win this match and blew a big opportunity in the process. The capital club are still fully in the race to get a Champions League spot, but their lack of discipline is costing them some key points ahead of the final part of the season.
They've dropped points against teams in the lower half of the table three times in less than a month. With Lazio, Milan, Inter and Atalanta on the horizon, the upcoming stretch will tell us if they've learned from their mistakes and deserve UCL qualification or not.