After missing several cut-clear opportunities, Roma eventually managed to secure a 2-1 comeback win against Sampdoria at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night, thanks largely to a magnificent display by Edin Dzeko.
The Blucerchiati scored early in the first half and could have doubled their lead before the Bosnian striker compensated for his teammates’ lack of precision after the interval.
Despite playing their first match in three months, it didn’t look like Roma had to shake off the rust as they mustered several dangerous chances in the opening 10 minutes, forcing three good saves from Emil Audero.
However, Sampdoria proved the most clinical side as Manolo Gabbiadini needed just one chance to put the visitors ahead, taking advantage of a Amadou Diawara’s mistake by rounding Antonio Mirante to make it 1-0.
Another slip from the Giallorossi midfielder could have cost Paulo Fonseca’s side dearly, as Jakub Jankto dispossessed him only to fire a shot that hit the post.
The home side thought they had netted the equaliser when Jordan Veretout scored a screamer from the edge of the box just after the hour mark, but the goal was ruled out after the VAR showed a Carles Perez’s handball in the build up.
From that moment on, the Blucerchiati produced two more moments to cause Roma concern but were denied by Mirante.
Right after the break both sides went close to scoring, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s shot flashed just wide, while Mirante did well to parry Fabio Depaoli’s attempt.
The hosts eventually levelled the score after 64 minutes when Lorenzo Pellegrini delivered a perfect long ball that Dzeko smashed in through a delightful left-footed volley as the ball fell over his shoulder, replicating equally impressive goals against Chelsea and Torino respectively in his time at Roma.
The Giallorossi almost completed their comeback shortly after, but Aleksandar Kolarov saw his precise freekick smack the upright.
As time went on, a draw looked like the most likely outcome but Dzeko proved the difference between the two teams as he produced another fantastic volley, this time after picking up a long pass by Bryan Cristante, which gave Roma all the three points.