Straight from the dark heart of Italy
Buckets of tears, sang a great man and that could well become the AS Roma official song.
There were floods of the wet stuff at Brescia last night, as howls of anguish and frustration pierced the night sky.
Another defeat for the much put upon Claudio Ranieri, but one where the Romans can genuinely feel aggrieved after another lamentable refereeing display which will probably see the official in question Carmine Russo sent on gardening leave for awhile.
Philippe Mexes was the first to well up and then completely lose all semblance of restrain when he the furious Frenchman was sent-off for a last-man challenge where not only did he win the ball cleanly, but contact occurred outside the area.
The referee demurred to his assistant who gave the defender the thumbs down.
The double whammy of a red card and penalty was all too much for Gallic sensibilities and defender’s team-mates wasted a fair amount of energy dragging the blond bawler off the pitch.
Parents of children in their terrible twos up could only have shaken their heads in sympathy when the little tantrum continued all the way to the touchline where an innocent-looking foam pad became the victim of a vicious right boot.
Julio Sergio’s grief was much more understandable, although equally unsettling, as the goalkeeper was forced to remain on the pitch despite being in no condition to move.
The Brazilian had been the architect of his own demise when he came lunging out of the area to upend Panagiotis Kone - and in the process injure his ankle.
He could have come off had not Mexes beaten him to it and Ranieri had no further substitutions at his disposal so the water works were in full flow until the final whistle.
The brave soldier was carried off the pitch in a considerable state of distress and the initial diagnosis was ligament damage of some sort although the word ‘rupture’ was not mentioned.
However, it seems to be all coming apart for Ranieri who having ranted at the press at the weekend over his treatment was more itchy then belligerent when he faced the cameras for the post-game television inquisition.
It must be said that his prickly demeanour is understandable - what with the name of Marcello Lippi cropping up at every turn as his odds-on replacement.
Ranieri always suspected that the former Italy coach was behind his demise at Juventus and now the spectre of his cigar-chewing nemesis is once again haunting his thoughts.
Suspecting a plot stirring from the Lippi camp, Ranieri used the Sky Sports Italia platform to make his feelings very clear.
"I knew what was going on in Turin, I knew that Lippi was behind it and same things are appearing in the press now as they were then," he said in almost a doomed manner.
However, on a warm Thursday morning on the Tiber, the Roma-supporting citizens remain loyal to their own and the Roman-born coach still has the support of the 'Curva' as they say but defeat to Inter at the weekend could lead to ruin and more tears.
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