Base side Wijnaldum loses – after Mourinho reds
With Georginio Wijnaldum in the starting lineup for the first time, AS Roma suffered an embarrassing 2-1 defeat in Serie A at Cremonese, a relegation candidate. Roma thus missed the chance to equalize in points with Internazionale and AC Milan, the numbers two and three in Italy.
Later in the evening, Juventus did manage a victory. The top club from Turin triumphed in the city derby against Torino 4-2. At Juventus, Paul Pogba experienced his return after a long period of injury.
For Netherlands international Wijnaldum, it was the first time since May 14, 2022, that he was in a match from the kickoff line. The 32-year-old midfielder, who played 90 minutes against Cremonese, was still a Paris Saint-Germain player at the time.
In August, Wijnaldum suffered a tibia fracture in training, forcing him to miss the World Cup in Qatar, among other events. Since his return to Roma, on Feb. 11 against Lecce, he came to around 40 minutes spread over four games.
At Cremona, Wijnaldum could not leave his mark on Roma’s play, which mainly put on a weak first half. After more than a quarter of an hour, the home side took the lead through an eye-catching goal by Frank Tsadjout, who swept the ball from distance behind goalkeeper Rui Patrício.
After his frustration had slowly increased throughout the first 45 minutes, Roma coach José Mourinho’s spirits reached boiling point just after halftime. Mourinho, not for the first time, feted the referees and was able to leave with a red card.
From the stands he saw how Roma, where Rick Karsdorp had meanwhile substituted, came back into the game. Leonardo Spinazzola anticipated an excellent long ball from teammate Gianluca Mancini and signed for the equalizer.
In the closing stages, Cremonese, who were also too strong for Roma in the Italian Cup at the beginning of the month, still pulled the game to themselves. Goalkeeper Patrício fouled and could not prevent Daniel Ciofani from taking the ensuing penalty: 2-1.
It was the first league win for Cremonese this season.
Entertaining derby in Turin
The Turin derby, between Juventus and Torino, turned into a spectacular game. The visitors took two leads, then “The Old Lady” equalized twice through goals by Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro.
In the second half, after Pogba entered the field to loud cheers, Juventus still realized a victory. Gleison Bremer scored with his head and Adrien Rabiot set the final score at 4-2 ten minutes before time.
Juventus, which has been deducted fifteen points for tampering with players’ transfer values, is “only” seventh in Serie A. The fourth win in a row brings the club ever closer to place six, which entitles them to European soccer.