Rome: AS Roma`s 7-1 home defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League is being seen in Italy as an unfortunate one-off rather than another sad reflection on the dismal state of Serie A.
Tuesday’s match produced the inevitable soul-searching, plus comparisons with Roma`s loss at Manchester United in 2007 and Germany`s World Cup semi-final win over Brazil in July, both by the same scoreline.
The general view, though, was fairly clear-cut -- Roma are on the right track and have the time and resources to bounce back from a nightmare match in which they fell apart like a Sunday league team playing after a heavy night out.
The Manchester United defeat in 2007, under Luciano Spalletti, came in a Champions League quarter-final, second leg in a season in which Roma had already lost touch with Serie A leaders Inter Milan, although they went on to finish second.
“The biggest difference is that game was a quarter-final, while here there’s a chance to remedy the situation," Marco Cassetti, who played against United, told Sky Sport Italia. "After Manchester, there was no chance for a re-match."
Even after Tuesday`s defeat, Roma are second in Group E and well-placed to reach the knockout stage with their home match against Manchester City in early December now looking decisive.
Their Serie A challenge is well and truly alive as they trail leaders Juventus by one point, with a visit to Sampdoria on Saturday giving them a chance to quickly put Tuesday’s fiasco behind them.
Roma’s thumping was all the more shocking because they had made impressive progress in 15 months under coach Rudi Garcia, finishing second in Serie A last season, and are seen as one of Italy`s best-organised teams.
It would be tempting to say their defeat just goes to prove the weakness of the opposition in Serie A, except that Bayern routinely hand out the same treatment to some of the Bundesliga`s top sides.
The Bavarians came into the game on the back of a 6-0 win over Werder Bremen and already have a goal difference of 19 in the Bundesliga where, almost inevitably, they are still unbeaten.
“It`s a very bad and humiliating defeat but it`s the first time something like this has happened under Garcia,” former Roma midfielder Alessio Scarchilli told Sky.
“This game caught the imagination of Roma as it drew nearer, and they were a little lacking in organisation against such a strong team.
“They reacted after the first goal and got the game under control but then conceded the second and third goals and surrendered mentally."
Sporting director Walter Sabatini said Roma, who had proudly gone into the competition saying they wanted to be considered among the possible winners, would have to reconsider their European potential.
"We certainly have to re-evaluate ourselves at international level," he said. "We will ask ourselves what happened as we really did not expect this.
"We expected to play a proud game. Instead it all went down the drain so quickly and the lads lost confidence.
“It is a lesson that we could have done without but we will try to turn it to our advantage."
Roma will quickly learn whether the lessons have been learned as they visit Bayern in the return fixture on Nov. 5.