Giallorossi | Part 11 | Italian Domination

Moving to a more offensive approach had worked nicely for AS Roma as we moved into 2027 still unbeaten in Serie A. But we began the new year with a seriously tricky run of games.

I didn’t see a need for transfers in January as we already had an exciting squad to work with, but we did tie star man Tammy Abraham down to a new four-year deal.

The new year began with two tough home games against the Milan sides. The winter break clearly did the boys the world of good as Roger Ibanez and Tammy Abraham had us 2-0 up at half-time against Inter. Gabriel added another and we settled for 3-0, which led Inter to sack their third manager of this save (Simone Inzaghi, Luis Enrique, Sérgio Conceicao) and replace him with Marseille boss Alvaro Arbeloa, which I doubt will last long.

We didn’t start quite so well against Milan but were looking solid until de Ketelaere scored after half-time. The game swung on a double sub and reverting to our 4-3-3 shape as Matías García replaced Abraham to grab the equaliser and Isak Jóhanneson smashed home a superb Dominik Szoboszlai through-ball for the winner. The fixture list didn’t get much easier as a trip to rivals Lazio was next up – after we won the Super Cup against Napoli with a reserve 11! – and we settled for a 1-1.

The fixtures got easier and we racked up nine successive league wins, scoring 26 in the process. That included an Endrick hat-trick in a 5-0 win at Torino – could this finally be his breakthrough moment? and Abraham hat-tricks in a wild 7-2 smashing of Fiorentina and a 3-1 defeat of Napoli, which set a new club record 12 wins on the bounce in all competitions. But our 28-game unbeaten streak ended with a very unlucky 2-1 loss at Juventus, who scored twice from their first three shots.

Seeking Champions League qualification

Two wins from our final two home games could see us qualify automatically in the top eight of the Champions League league phase. First up was Shakhtar and we started well with García scoring twice inside 13 minutes. And we went on to win 6-0 with goals from Roony Bardghji, Endrick and centre-back Austin Udeh’s first two goals for the club.

That moved us up to 12th and one point off 8th going into the final game at home to Monaco. We again made a flying start as Bardghji volleyed home spectacularly after 34 seconds then his naughty rabona assist teed up García to backheel in the second! Then Endrick bagged FOUR in the second half hat-trick for a 6-2 win!

But was that enough to qualify? Yes! Endrick’s goals lifted us up to 8th ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea on goal difference so we went straight to the last 16 for the first time.

In the final 16 we drew Dortmund and led early in Germany but they came back to claim a 1-1 draw. Abraham gave us a flying start after 65 seconds at home but we wasted a host of chances and gave away a penalty – but Marco Carnesecchi saved from Adeyemi and we held on for a 1-0 win to reach the quarter-finals.

Now things got tough as we took on Real Madrid without both centre-backs for the home leg. It took less than two minutes for Real to score through Mathys Tel, who scored again 12 minutes later and I was scared. But we got back into it through Schjelderup then missed a few huge chances before Real predictably made it 3-1 in injury time. Even less surprisingly, we didn’t win at the Bernabéu and didn’t have a shot on target – but also didn’t lose! As Carnesecchi inspired a brilliant 0-0. But we were still out, and we lost to the Champions as Real went on to win the Champions League, defeating Milan 1-0 in the Final.

8 games from 4 in a row

Heading into the final eight games of Serie A, we enjoyed a 10-point lead over Milan, who had a game in hand, and were a ridiculous 26 points clear of third-place Juventus.

Game 1 – Empoli (12th, away): We started with trip to Empoli, who obviously scored their first shot and only shot on target – because that’s seemingly the law on FM23. But luckily, Abraham and Endrick scored and Gabriel headed home a third. Milan lost 3-1 at home to Sassuolo, moving us 13 points clear.

Game 2 – Salernitana (14th, home): We got a flyer as Abraham scored after 17 seconds, again after seven minutes and wrapped up his hat-trick in injury time of a first half in which we racked up 2.70 xG. After the break, Abraham created a fourth for Schjelderup, I made five subs and we settled for 4-0. Milan also won, so we stayed 13 points clear.

Game 3 – Udinese (19th, away): Abraham was at it again, scoring inside two minutes and then teeing up García to hit a 25-yard volley 12 minutes later. Before Udinese obviously scored from their first attack. But Abraham latched onto a Carnesecchi to double his tally then Bardghji teed him up for his hat-trick inside 38 minutes. Giacomo Faticanti got himself sent off and Udinese, who’d scored 22 in 33, suddenly turned into Real Madrid, scoring from their third and fifth attacks and should have equalised late on. But we held on for a 4-3 win while Milan won 2-1 at Bologna then won their game in hand to move 10 points back.

Game 4 – Atalanta (5th, home): We played Atalanta on Wednesday night after they’d played one of their three games in hand on the Monday! And we quickly took advantage as Abraham rifled home his 40th goal of the season after 11 minutes. We couldn’t add to that until the final minute when subs Matteo Nardini and Endrick combined for the latter to score our 100th league goal of the season. Milan didn’t play as they played their Champions League semi-final.

Game 5 – Genoa (12th, away): That meant our first chance to lift the title came at Genoa. Endrick teed up Schjelderup for the opener after four minutes and Bardghji for the second five minutes later. But, guess what, Genoa scored their first and second shots. How many times? Then Faticanti got sent off again, this time very harshly. And we capitulated to a 4-2 defeat and lost Abraham for the rest of the season with a hip injury.

Game 6 – Lazio (10th, home): That shocking effort meant we could win the title by beating local rivals Lazio for the second time in four years. With Abraham missing, I reverted to the 4-3-3 and we again made a great start as Bardghji tapped home following great play by lone striker Endrick after seven minutes. Jóhanneson doubled our lead after 35 minutes and Endrick added a third two minutes later – and it looked all over. And this time it was as Endrick doubled his tally on 51 minutes, Szoboszlai curled home a fifth.

AS Roma wrapped up a fourth successive Serie A title!!

We wrapped up the season by hammering Torino 4-1, led by an Endrick brace that took him to 30 goals for the season, and won 2-0 at Milan, who’d rested most of their first team for the Champions League Final, on the final day.

That saw us equal the all-time Serie A points tally (102) and most wins in a season (33) as we obliterated the rest of Italy. Our attacking approach saw us pummel 113 goals and concede only 30. Abraham led the way with 32 league goals in 30 games and a 7.86 average rating, with Gabriel third on an impressive 7.45. Endrick was the sixth top scorer with 19 goals and won Serie A Young Player of the Season, while Szoboszlai again topped the assists chart with 16 followed by Bardghji’s 11.

Surprise Italian Cup Final

Throughout this save I’ve ignored the Italian Cup as a chance to blood youngsters and rest the first 11. That was no different this season but we snuck past Cagliari and somehow beat a strong Milan side after extra-time to reach the semis. We then lost the first leg (during an international break) to Juve, before the craziest game I’ve seen on FM23. We went behind so I went defensive, put on a low block, low defensive line, trapped inside and rested regular starters. And out of nowhere we pulled level, took it to extra-time, got in front and Juve’s heads absolutely went.

Three days after wrapping up the league title, we had a chance to win a double as we took on reigning cup champions Napoli in the Italian Cup Final. We had a mass of injuries and suspensions, so I called a load of youngsters onto the bench as we lined up:

Carnesecchi; Croce, Gabriel, Ibanez, Zalewski; Szoboszlai, Faticanti, Jóhanneson; Bardghji, Schjelderup; Endrick
Subs: García, Morlacchi, Udeh, Andujar, Nardini, Frings, Mendoza, Poitoux, Cichella, Hammerstrom, Bonhomme, Ravaglioli, Feola

We started poorly as Osimhen hit the post early on in what was a dire first half. But, out of nowhere, we countered and scored as Bardghji collected a loose ball and smashed it into the far corner. Endrick went close early in the second half as we began to dominate and it paid off as Endrick teed up Bardghji to tap home his second. Nardini came on late and wrapped it up with a third as we restricted Napoli to four shots and one on target.

AS Roma won the league and cup double and their first Italian Cup since 2008!!

Season Review

A more attacking approach was rewarded with our most successful season yet, winning the Italian Cup and Italian Super Cup and reaching the Champions League quarter-finals alongside a fourth successive title.

Abraham was the main man again this season, scoring 40 and getting nine assists with a 7.73 average rating from 42 matches, which won him the Best Player in Europe award for the first time – ahead of Haaland, who “only” scored 30 in 54. But the big beneficiary of the change in tactic has been Endrick, who scored 30 and got 10 assists in 51 appearances. Gabriel racked up 13 goals with a 7.33 average rating, followed by García (12), Schjelderup (11) and Andujar and Bardghji (9). Szoboszlai led our assists chart with 19 followed by Bardghji (17), Schjlederup (14) and Nicoló Barella (13).

Our success also saw me become the 8th-best manager in Italian history, entering the Italian Hall of Fame for the first time. But is that as far as we’ll go with AS Roma?

I think it is. It’s been a fun introduction to FM23 and we’ve built a very strong AS Roma side that still has plenty of potential to become even better. And, as intrigued as I am to see how good Endrick and Bardghji become, I think this is the right time to bring the Beta save to a close. Although I’ll probably continue playing it offline.

Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for plenty more FM23 content coming your way soon – starting with our first FM23 main save OstDeutsche Sieg, which begins tomorrow!

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