SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 20 - 18 Jan 2014 (17.00 UK)
Roma 3 - 0
Destro 6 (R), Strootman 36 (R), Ljajic 78 (R)
Stadio Olimpico

Mattia Destro, Kevin Strootman and Adem Ljajic were on target as Roma crushed Livorno 3-0 on Coach Attilio Perotti’s debut.

Rudi Garcia rested the likes of Francesco Totti, Douglas Maicon and Radja Nainggolan, while Daniele De Rossi, Adem Ljajic and Leandro Castan returned from suspension. Livorno made their debut under new Coach Attilio Perotti, having sacked Davide Nicola after one point from eight games. This was his first Serie A game in a decade, as he had retired from management to become technical director. Perotti made some surprise changes, dropping Nicola favourites Andrea Luci and Emerson.

It took just six minutes to break through, as Ljajic crossed from the right and Gervinho’s wayward back heel flick turned into an assist for Mattia Destro to tap in from six yards. It was his fourth goal in six Serie A games, but the Ivory Coast international was right on the brink of the offside trap in the build-up. This was also not the best way for Livorno goalkeeper Francesco Bardi to mark his 22nd birthday.

Mehdi Benatia attempted a spectacular overhead kick from a corner, but it was over the bar, then Ljajic and De Rossi combined to set up Destro and force a reaction save from point-blank range.

Gervinho had another great scoring opportunity when he burst to the by-line, but Bardi managed to stop it going in at the base of the near post with a combination of legs, buttocks and hands.

Benatia nodded off target from a corner and Kevin Strootman fired at Bardi from a promising position.

Roma were absolutely dominant and doubled their lead with Strootman. Destro had been ready to complete his brace when chipping over the goalkeeper, but he was denied by a Nahuel Valentini goalline clearance and Strootman pounced on the rebound.

Gervinho missed an open goal from six yards with his diving header from a Vasilis Torosidis cross. Destro thought he had made it 3-0 before half-time, but it was disallowed as Castan was offside and jumped over the shot, blocking Bardi’s view. Strootman smashed a fierce strike just wide in stoppages.

Dodo surged between four Livorno jerseys only to eventually fire wide of the near stick, while Ibrahim Mbaye threw himself at Miralem Pjanic’s shot to force it wide.

A Ljajic screamer flashed just off target, then the ex-Fiorentina man dribbled between two defenders to force Bardi into another decisive save from point-blank range. From the resulting corner, Dodo fired over the bar.

Roma were not as dominant as in the first half and De Rossi risked an own goal when he came sliding in to intercept a Borja pass, fortunate that it bounced into the arms of Morgan De Sanctis.

Ljajic finally got his goal with a splendid daisy-cutter from just inside the box that flew into the near bottom corner. Nainggolan provided the assist.

Bardi denied substitute Totti a fourth by sticking out his leg to parry a snapshot, again set up by Nainggolan. 


Roma: De Sanctis; Torosidis, Benatia, Castan, Dodò; Pjanic (Nainggolan 69), De Rossi, Strootman; Ljajic, Destro (Totti 79), Gervinho (Florenzi 66)
: Bardi; Valentini, Rinaudo, Ceccherini (Lambrughi 76); Piccini, Benassi (Mosquera 81), Biagianti, Duncan (Borja 46), Mbaye; Greco; Paulinho
Ref: Russo