Things Expected and Unexpected Today in Calcio

EXPECTED EVENT NUMBER 1
Roma went down quickly on what was Atalanta's first real chance. In the best of worlds we'll be sometime in December when Roma keeps a clean record for the first time this serie A season. (I'm not confident we do live in the best of worlds, so who knows what that says about Roma's defensive prospects.)

UNEXPECTED EVENT NUMBER 1
Totti didn't score. Weird.

EXPECTED EVENT NUMBER 2
Inter looked pretty solid, if completely unrefined and incompetent in attack, but got the win and eight point gap in the table, thanks to a penalty with few minutes left. Ah, Inter. I don't have a problem with the penalty itself, it seemed a very dumb challenge by notorious hot head Comotto, it just repeated a familiar pattern. Gilardino hitting the outside of the post was the water shed of the game; had it gone in it would have been a spectacular goal and most likely completely have changed the outcome.

UNEXPECTED EVENT NUMBER 2
It's soon 2010, and Roma suffered a clear drop in quality when Simone Perrotta was taken out of the game. It wasn't merely the goal scored; in his absence Atalanta found many more passing routes and time to build up play. The substitutions of Perrotta and Cristiano Doni coincided to swing the game in Atalanta's favor, and my blood pressure against my favor.

EXPECTED EVENT NUMBER 3
It's soon 2010, and Roma suffered a clear drop in quality when Rodrigo Taddei entered the game. Him still being the go to guy off the bench at this point makes our relative proximity to a CL spot an early Christmas miracle.

UNEXPECTED EVENT NUMBER 4
Cristiano Doni didn't score one goal and assist one or two against Roma. Is this a first?

EXPECTED EVENT NUMBER 5
Cannavaro falling down and possibly breaking his hip on Cagliari's second goal. He's (more than) decent for his age, but he's still a 36 year old going up against pretty athletic twenty somethings. This type of scenario was visible a mile away for everyone but Juventus.

UNEXPECTED EVENT NUMBER 5
Roma winning away in Bergamo despite playing decidedly unspectacular. Going there feels like going to the trenches of Italian football; there's always a gray fog lingering over the pitch, which may in fact also be a trench judging by its quality. And the games always evolves into aggressive clashes with both the team and its fans - how appropriate that this serve as Roma's aperitivo ahead of the derby in a week. An unexpected bonus was Roma's 2-1 goal apparently coming off direct instructions by Ranieri in half time, not something we're overly exposed to so far this season.

IMPOSSIBLE TO CATEGORIZE
Roma were lucky not to get a penalty call on Juan's challenge on Tiribocchi. He embellished the fall, but the contact was there. Could have gone either way.