Thursday September 19 2019
EL: Inspired Roma sink Basaksehir

Nicolò Zaniolo created one for Edin Dzeko and scored another himself, as Roma flattened Istanbul Basaksehir 4-0 in their Europa League opener.

Follow all the action as it happens from this game and Cluj v Lazio on the LIVEBLOG.

Elsewhere in this group there was a surprise, as Austrians Wolfsberger won 4-0 away to Germans Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Giallorossi rotated the squad following a 4-2 win over Sassuolo, the first success for Coach Paulo Fonseca, with Leonardo Spinazzola moved into the right-back slot. Cengiz Under was injured and unable to face his former club, along with Chris Smalling, Diego Perotti and Davide Zappacosta. The Turkish team travelled without Robinho, Gokhan Inler and Martin Skrtel.

It took 45 seconds for Nicolò Zaniolo to force the first save with his snapshot, while Fredrik Gulbrandsen had the ball in the net a long time after the offside flag had been raised.

The visitors started to control possession early on and Mehmet Topal nodded over from a free kick, then Pau Lopez had to come tearing out to stop Guldbrandsen going clear on a ball over the top.

Javier Pastore’s ferocious strike from distance stung Mert Gunok’s gloves and Justin Kluivert went for goal rather than set up teammate Edin Dzeko on Leonardo Spinazzola’s cross.

Roma took the lead with a stroke of luck just before half-time, as Spinazzola’s cross wasn’t heading towards anyone in particular when it bounced off Junior Caicara’s hip and ricocheted into the net from six yards.

Pastore’s through ball released Dzeko and forced a great save from Mert Gunok at his feet, while Bryan Cristante tracked back to intercept a very dangerous Visca pull-back.

Roma thought they’d made it 2-0 when Zaniolo came sliding on to an Aleksandar Kolarov cross at the back post and Dzeko nodded in from point-blank range, but the Bosnian was offside.

Moments later, Dzeko ran clear on goal only to be denied by the on-rushing Gunok, but the goal was in the air and arrived within minutes.

It was all Zaniolo’s work, as the 20-year-old surged down the right, twisted Mehmet Topal inside out, drew the goalkeeper out and pulled back for Dzeko to tap in from six yards.

Roma stepped up the tempo and took control, Dzeko twice close to finishing off more good moves created by Pastore and Cristante, stopped at the last second from tapping in.

Dzeko turned assist-man instead, continuing a passing move from left to right so that Zaniolo could drill an angled drive into the far bottom corner.

Lorenzo Pellegrini blasted just wide on a Kluivert assist, then sent Nikola Kalinic clear, but the striker on his Roma debut wasted the huge opportunity by firing straight at the goalkeeper originally and on the rebound.

There was still time for one more goal, as Kluivert surged forward, cut inside on his left foot and placed a snooker shot into the far bottom corner with the last kick of the game.

Roma 4-0 Basaksehir

Junior Caicara og 42 (R), Dzeko 58 (R), Zaniolo 71 (R), Kluivert 93 (R)

Roma: Pau Lopez; Spinazzola, Fazio, Juan Jesus, Kolarov; Cristante (Veretout 72), Diawara; Zaniolo, Pastore (Pellegrini 64), Kluivert; Dzeko (Kalinic 74)

Istanbul Basaksehir: Günok; Junior Caiçara, Ponck, Tekdemir, Clichy; Aleksic (Azubuike 68), Mehmet Topal, Kahveci; Visca, Gulbrandsen (Demba Ba 77), Arda Turan (Crivelli 64)

Ref: Estrada Fernandez (SPA)

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