Adem Ljajic netted on his Roma debut with Miralem Pjanic’s stunning chip and Douglas Maicon to sweep Verona aside 3-0.
Both sides started with impressive victories, as the Giallorossi won 2-0 in Livorno and Verona stunned Milan with a Luca Toni brace. Kevin Strootman recovered from a sprained ankle for his Serie A debut with Gervinho’s first start and new buy Adem Ljajic on the bench.
Verona had lost their last six consecutive Serie A visits to Rome and Alessandro Florenzi should’ve scored after two minutes. He was sent through clear on goal by springing the offside trap on Daniele De Rossi’s pass, but prodded wide of an open goal.
Rafael got down to palm a Miralem Pjanic snapshot round the post and beat away a long-range De Rossi strike too.
Romulo drilled just wide for Verona, but it was mostly Roma and Rafael performed another good low save on Francesco Totti’s free kick.
Totti’s delightful backheel flick nutmegged a Verona defender and Pjanic swept the ball across the face of goal, but Florenzi was unable to get on the end of it.
Rafael was again alert before the break to smother a Strootman angled drive from smart Totti through ball.
After the restart the game continued in much the same vein, as Florenzi’s header from a Totti cross was deflected over. It was his last contribution, as he made way for Ljajic’s Roma debut.
It was another summer signing who broke the deadlock, albeit with a large stroke of luck. Douglas Maicon got down the right and his cross took a huge deflection off Cacciatore to loop into the net over a helpless Rafael.
Pjanic doubled their advantage moments later with a sensational goal, as he feinted a shot from distance and instead chipped it delicately over Rafael to slot under the bar.
It was almost three goals in four minutes, but Rafael used his legs to deny Gervinho on the counter-attack and Federico Balzaretti fired over from a tight angle.
Ljajic marked his debut in the best possible way, unleashing a rasping shot from outside the penalty area that flew into the near bottom corner.
Gervinho fired straight at the goalkeeper for a second time from Totti’s assist, but Verona also threatened when Emil Hallfredsson’s screamer cracked against the crossbar.
Totti was again the provider to send Gervinho through, but this time the ex-Arsenal striker opted to roll across for Strootman to force a Rafael save.
Moments later Strootman was needed at the other end, performing a goalline clearance to deny Verona’s Daniele Cacia from a corner.