An early double helped Roma to a 3-0 win over Chievo at the Stadio Bentegodi on Friday night.
Roma made it 12 Serie A matches unbeaten against the Flying Donkeys, as they prepared for their Champions League clash with Porto on Tuesday in fine style.
It was more or less over after 18 minutes after Stephan El Shaarawy gave Roma an early lead, before Edin Dzeko doubled to give Chievo a mountain to climb. Then, early in the second half Aleksander Kolarov bagged the Giallorossi’s third with his sixth of the season.
Despite the much changed line-up from Roma, they kept their first Serie A clean sheet of the year which takes them fourth in the standings.
After a bright start from Chievo, it was Stefano Sorrentino who was tested first, pushing a low Nicolo Zaniolo shot wide.
Nine minutes in, a goal kick was won on the halfway line by Steven Nzonzi whose header beat the offside trap and ran straight into the path of El Shaarway who lifted the ball over Sorrentino and into the back of the net.
The second goal followed nine minutes later as Dzeko found space on the right side of the penalty area before cutting inside, beating Peparim Hetemaj in the process, and sliding into the far corner.
From there, Roma seemed content to sit back and let Chievo attack with Antonio Mirante called into action as Filip Djordjevic lashed one from the edge of the area which needed tipped round the post.
Then the Roma goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant close stop, denying Djordjevic once again, and Mariusz Stepinski found himself free in the box, but couldn’t get his shot off quick enough.
Chievo started the second half as they ended the first, but all hope of getting back into the game was killed off six minutes in when a stunning counter attack from Roma was finished off by Kolarov.
That goal breathed new life into Roma and Sorrentino had to be alert as Federico Fazio tried a low shot, before Dzeko danced through the Chievo backline but was thwarted by Sorrentino.
Dzeko smacked the post, then served up a delightful ball for El Shaarway who did the same as Roma wrapped up an easy trip to Verona.
Dzeko equals Delvecchio
Acting captain on the night, Dzeko was somewhat inspired and got his 83rd goal for Roma which takes him eighth and level with Marco Delvecchio on the club’s goalscoring charts. Helping Kolarov on his way to the third, bagging the second and hitting the post, the Bosnian has scored three goals with his last 14 shots fired in Serie A after having netted only two with his previous 68 shots this term and could be coming into good form just at the right time for Roma.
Signs of life
Going into the clash Chievo had found the net in each of their last five home matches. Of course that came to an end, thanks to Mirante and a distinct lack of composure. For long periods Chievo dominated and if not for the Roma goalkeeper’s heroics they would have made it six. That said, one win all season, and a defensive horror show, means Chievo need to take any chances they get if they are to make an unlikely escape from relegation.