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Serie A

  • 25 September 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma
  • Referee: D. Orsato
  • • Attendance: 12822
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Parma 0-1 Roma: Osvaldo header hands coach Luis Enrique first victory of the season

Parma 0-1 Roma: Osvaldo header hands coach Luis Enrique first victory of the season

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The Argentine forward's 50th-minute winner allowed the Spanish tactician to secure his first win in charge of the Serie A stalwarts at the sixth attempt

Some of the pressure building on coach Luis Enrique was eased on Sunday night following Roma's 1-0 victory over Parma at the Ennio Tardini.

The former Barcelona B boss has come under increasing scrutiny following a winless start to the season which has included defeats to Slovan Bratislava and Cagliari, and draws against Inter and Siena.

However, Argentine striker Osvaldo’s second-half header handed the capital club that elusive first competitive victory of the 2011-12 campaign, to their Spanish coach’s considerable relief.

In a first half devoid of spectacle, Enrique’s men took the sting out of the game by playing a possession game modelled on Barcelona, the Roma tactician’s former club.

In his system, Daniele De Rossi is tasked with sitting in front of his centre-backs and attempting to dictate play from a deep position. However, the outcome was not the desired one, as the visitors simply stroked the ball around in nonthreatening areas without any of the Catalans’ incisive forward play.

Parma, on the other hand, looked the side most likely to open the scoring despite seeing little of the ball, with Sebastian Giovinco’s set-pieces causing particular problems for the visitors' rearguard.

It was his out-swinging corner which picked out Alessandro Lucarelli early on, the imposing defender met the cross with a powerful header which flashed narrowly over the crossbar.

Giovinco worked Bogdan Lobont with a shot of his own just before the half hour, but the Romanian dived to his right to make a fairly routine save.

Roma’s lack of penetration in the final third eventually forced a frustrated Francesco Totti into a long-range effort which actually went close to breaking the deadlock.

The effort was flicked onto the post by Antonio Mirante, who should probably have made a more convincing connection. But the Parma custodian made amends for the blip by quickly recovering to block Osvaldo’s follow up and ensure the sides would go in level at the break.

With just five minutes gone in the second half, right-back Aleandro Rosi popped up in an advanced position and picked out Osvaldo with a pinpoint centre. The Argentine did the rest, sending a header back across goal beyond Mirante’s reach to break the deadlock.

Jonathan Biabiany should have restored parity in the 72nd minute, but the Frenchman blew a glorious opportunity after sprinting past Gabriel Heinze, electing to go for goal, and toe-poking wide, rather than rolling the ball to the unmarked Giovinco for a tap in.

The Roma defence suffered a couple of minor scares in the closing stages but managed to hold out for a narrow, but crucial, three points.

Enrique and his squad can now look forward to another testing encounter when they host high flying Atalanta at the Stadio Olimpico in next Saturday’s early evening kick-off.

Parma, meanwhile, have a second consecutive home match, as they are scheduled to host Genoa in an afternoon kick-off on October 2.

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