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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Roman Gladiators

On Sunday, AS Roma thoroughly defeated Catania, 7 to 0, at Stadio Olimpico. Catania was down to 10 men rather quickly, and then the onslaught began. Even Panucci, a fullback, scored a brace. Then Mancini of Brasil added to the misery. Simone Perrotta scored on a great individual run. Then he added another. Totti and Montella comprised the balance to the score sheet.

Luciano Spalletti, the Roma coach, didn't put any brakes on this very entertaining side. For those of us who grew up watching 1 to 0 ultra defensive catenaccio, this was calcio of the new millennium. It must have seemed like ancient Rome at the Coliseum for the Sicilians. But if we learn anything from history, on and off the pitch, it usually repeats itself. ;-)

Catania, which has been out of the Serie A for over 20 years, was humiliated. After the game, Catania President, Antonio Pulvirenti, said: "They played at their best until the end and they celebrated, this is fine, but I am only speaking as the President. There are unwritten rules also in war, so there must be in sport." Spalletti's custom to greet the opposing players as they exited their dressing rooms also poured Roman salt upon open Sicilian wounds.

This was an unusual scoreline for Italian calcio. And a warning that if you get red carded against an offensive side such as Roma, and a modern coach the likes of Mister Spalletti, you will pay the price. Especially in the shadows of ancient Rome. Where all is fair in love, war, and calcio.

Here is the link to video highlights:

http://www.footytube.com/2006/11/19/roma-7-vs-catania-0/

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