Francesco Totti scored a celebratory goal, but Roma were unable to beat 10-man Sampdoria thanks to a Maarten Stekelenburg howler.
The Giallorossi were finally able to play again after Sunday’s game with Cagliari was called off due to fears over crowd trouble. Sardinian President Massimo Cellino urged fans to attend the fixture that was due to be behind closed doors, prompting the FIGC to hand Roma a 3-0 victory. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo and Dodo were still injured, but Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi returned from their lay-offs.
Sampdoria’s 100 per cent record was ended by a 1-1 home draw with Torino at the weekend, when Maxi Lopez was so angered by refereeing decisions that he kicked the referees’ locker room door and earned a two-match ban. Juan Antonio, Andrea Poli and Fernando Tissone were still sidelined, so Nicola Pozzi stepped into the starting XI.
Eder wasted a good chance in the opening 120 seconds, firing over from a promising position. Mattia Destro also failed to make the most of a dreadful Sergio Romero clearance.
Totti’s wayward cross shot almost turned into a goal, as it looped to hit the crossbar, then Romero got down well at full stretch to deny Lamela’s angled drive with one hand and Alessandro Florenzi’s volley was deflected wide.
Samp lost Pozzi to injury and wasted another chance on the counter with Eder firing over.
Roma took the lead in somewhat chaotic circumstances. Destro was sent clear by a through ball and was only able to fire it at the on-rushing Romero’s stomach, but the move continued and Florenzi’s scuffed pass fell to Totti for a precise finish from nine yards. It was a fine way to celebrate, as Totti turns 36 tomorrow.
Destro trapped a long ball forward only to half-volley straight at Romero. Straight after the restart Enzo Maresca received his second yellow card for taking down Lamela mid-dribble, leaving Samp with 10 men for the entire second half.
Nonetheless, Sampdoria equalised thanks to a howler from Maarten Stekelenburg! The goalkeeper had beaten away an Eder free kick, but was very timid on a Berardi cross seconds later and allowed Gianni Munari to tap in from six yards.
Despite playing with 10 men, Sampdoria nearly took the lead when Icardi sprung the offside trap to go clear on goal, but Leandro Castan performed a stunning comeback to sprint after him and slide in for a clean tackle.
Icardi went on another one-on-one counter-attack, but this time Nicolas Burdisso got the decisive challenge, as Roma poured forward leaving huge gaps at the back.
In stoppages Federico Balzaretti’s header at the back post forced a stunning reaction save from Romero with the last kick of the game.
Sent off: Maresca 47 (S)