STADIO BENTEGODI (Verona) – Roma were made to work as they sealed a 3-1 win over Hellas Verona on Sunday evening at the Stadio Bentegodi.
A rip-roaring first half saw goals for both sides with Justin Kluivert giving the away side an early lead, only for Marco Faraoni to level. But a Perotti spot kick ensured Roma went in at half time in front.
Verona for all their gusto were unable to breakdown a resolute Roma defence, nor test Pau Lopez to any real effect, despite controlling the majority of the match. Then Henrikh Mkhitaryan wrapped things up at the death to secure the Giallorossi’s 400th away win in Serie A.
As a result, Roma jump to fourth in the Serie A table, two points behind city rivals Lazio. Meanwhile, Verona remain in ninth place.
Initially, Verona pressed Roma well, keeping the Giallorossi pinned back with Sofyan Amrabat controlling things from midfield, and if not for a double Pau Lopez save, the home side would have taken the lead.
But it was Roma who got themselves in front thanks to a swift counter attack as Lorenzo Pellegrini found Kluivert with an excellent through ball, and the Dutch youngster finished under goalkeeper Marco Silvestri.
The lead didn’t last long as a Mattia Zaccagni cross to the back post was met by unmarked captain Faraoni who headed past Pau Lopez.
At the other end, an Aleksander Kolarov cross was volleyed into the ground by Pellegrini, and it bounced over the crossbar.
Verona were still dangerous when going forward and a ball to the back post, this time, was met by Amir Rrahmani who headed wide.
The ball was in the back of the net again thanks to Faraoni, but it wasn’t given as referee Marco Guida deemed there to have been an offside decision not given in the build up.
Then just before the break, Koray Gunter pulled Edin Dzeko back in the box, resulting in a penalty. Perotti then stepped up and sent Silvestri in the opposite direction to restore Roma’s lead.
Verona started the second 45 minutes in the same manner as the first and had Roma camped in their own half, but were unable to fashion any clear cut opportunities.
Once more though it was Roma who had the first real chance of the half as Pellegrini’s low drive from 20 yards had to be pushed out for a corner by Silvestri.
Moments later Chris Smalling could, and should, have put Roma further ahead when he rose well at the far post, but put his header the wrong side of the upright.
Eddie Salcedo lashed a shot wide, and as the game looked to be out of reach for Verona, there were penalty claims from the Mastini when a Giampaolo Pazzini short was blocked by Smalling’s hand, but the assistant had his flag up for offside.
Then in time added on, Roma made sure of the result when Mkhitaryan blasted home from close range following a swift counter.