Because less players equal more space to pass and move

Roma run is on

After the final whistle blew at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday evening you would have been forgiven for thinking Roma had just wrapped up their fourth Serie A win.

The celebrations were in fact il Giallorossi’s reaction to beating title rivals Inter Milan 2-1 thanks to goals from Daniele De Rossi and on-loan Luca Toni, putting them a point behind the reigning champions who sit atop the league with 63 points.

Roma's inspired loan signing Luca Toni

Victory in this match – their 21st game unbeaten since October 28th 2009 – will have given a huge boost to their championship aspirations, especially as they possess a marginally easier run-in than Inter. As well as a trickier fixture list, Inter are also still in the hunt for Champions League glory, a competition boss José Mourinho is desperate to win.

This will mean selection headaches for ‘the special one’ as he will have to decide whether to rest key players in preparation for the games against CSKA Moscow and risk dropping points in the league, where results have not been fantastic of late as it is. Inter’s drop in form has also allowed city rivals AC Milan to close the gap to three points, just two behind Roma, whose bitter rivals Lazio did them a favour on Sunday by earning a 1-1 draw at the San Siro.

Rome’s light blue side find themselves languishing in 16th place on 33 points, five above the relegation zone, much to Roma’s amusement. They can however do their enemy another favour when they take on Inter at the Stadio Olimpico on May 2nd, two weeks after they face Roma there in what will be the most intense and eagerly anticipated derby in the Italian calendar.

With seven league games left, Roma’s incredible undefeated run, masterminded by Claudio Ranieri, is entering the final straight. With less hurdles to overcome than holders Inter and more stamina than AC Milan, can Roma duck first over the finish line and party because of victory after 38 games as opposed to one?