The Breakdown

I deliberately wanted to separate this post from the rest of the game, because I believe it to go beyond any one game of football. This isn't about 90 minutes spent in Brescia, this isn't about any three points.

When Julio Sergio came out of his area in over time to clear the ball, he got trampled by the Brescia player. Completely unintentionally, I'm sure, but the end result was nevertheless that Julio Sergio was in tremendous pain. After being cautioned by the referee, he somehow hobbled back to his goal line where he had his foot tended to in the most rudimentary of ways. The remaining minutes of the game Julio Sergio spent crying and yelling out because of the severe pain his injured foot was causing him.

Roma had made three substitutions, yes, but to leave him on was nothing short of inhumane by Ranieri. They say he himself wanted to stay on. I don't know if that's true, but I think it's irrelevant. Ranieri has an obligation to assume responsibility of his players's health, and this situation falls wholly within those lines. Even if Julio Sergio himself wanted to stay on, Ranieri should have taken him off. The man was crying out in pain, and it looked like a miracle that he could walk at all; he wouldn't have been able to save a giant beach ball had it come towards him, so keeping him on was not only futile, it was also callous and cruel.

He needed to be taken off the pitch and treated properly, with any other player on the pitch taking the gloves for the final minutes. Some things go beyond results, this is surely one of them. Perhaps I'm overreacting due to being ridiculously fond of Julio Sergio, but Ranieri's inaction made me more upset with him than any of the results we've suffered so far, or any results that Roma even can suffer in the future.