Roma got right back on track by demolishing Genoa 4-0 with a spectacular Alessandro Florenzi overhead kick and bizarre red card.
The Giallorossi need to rediscover themselves after a 3-0 hammering by Juventus marked their first defeat under Rudi Garcia and left them eight points adrift of the leaders. Daniele De Rossi, Leandro Castan and Adem Ljajic were all suspended with Federico Balzaretti still injured. Radja Nainggolan got his Roma debut in a midweek Coppa Italia victory over Sampdoria. Genoa had Alberto Gilardino banned with Alessandro Gamberini, Juraj Kucka and Mario Alberto Santana sidelined, but Cabral was thrown straight into the starting XI for his debut just days after arriving from Sunderland.
The last time the Grifone won in Rome was 1-0 in January 1990 with a goal by Carlos Aguilera. Thomas Manfredini charged down a Francesco Totti strike with his arm in the opening minutes, but he was protecting his face.
Nainggolan spun round Cabral to fire straight at the goalkeeper, but the hosts needed a moment of absolute magic to break the deadlock.
Totti’s free kick was deflected up into the air and Alessandro Florenzi watched it come down to hit a sensational overhead kick that ricocheted in off the inside of the post. It was an absolutely incredible goal for the Italy international.
Gervinho had a good chance on the counter-attack denied by Mattia Perin, then he set up Totti for a low drive that took a crucial deflection to wrong-foot the goalkeeper at the base of the near post.
Florenzi also set up the third goal on a classic counter-attack, his curling ball across from the right for Douglas Maicon to get between centre-backs and fire under the bar.
Mehdi Benatia made it 4-0 at the dawn of the second half with his fifth goal of the season, a glancing header on a corner from six yards.
There was a truly bizarre incident on the hour mark. Francelino Matuzalem was being substituted by Isaac Cofie and as he walked slowly off the field, he aimed an insulting gesture towards the Roma fans. The referee took action with a yellow card – his second – before the substitution had been completed, so Genoa went down to 10 men.
Nainggolan was still looking for his first Roma goal and forced another great save from Perin, while Miralem Pjanic skimmed the upright. Tin Jedvaj was given his Serie A debut and Mattia Destro blasted over after good work from Kevin Strootman.
Sent off: Matuzalem 59 (G)