SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 31 - 7 Apr 2018 (17.00 UK)
Roma 0 - 2 Fiorentina
Benassi 7 (F), Simeone 40 (F)
Stadio Olimpico

Fiorentina earned a shock 2-0 victory at the Olimpico, their sixth in a row, and unlucky Roma saw their hopes of a top three finish badly dented.

The Giallorossi were unfortunate to lose the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final 4-1 in Barcelona this week, but Edin Dzeko’s away goal kept some slender hope alive. They had to focus more on ensuring they qualified for the tournament next season, but missed Cengiz Under and Diego Perotti, with Radja Nainggolan returning. The Viola were also chasing European places and on a run of five consecutive victories, but Federico Chiesa was suspended and Milan Badelj injured.

Fiorentina’s last Serie A win at the Olimpico was in April 2012, losing the next five visits in a row, but in that period they did get results here in the Coppa Italia and Europa League.

The crowd remembered Davide Astori, who died last month at the age of 31, as the Fiorentina captain had also played for Roma in 2014-15.

The visitors took a surprise lead with their first real chance, as a free kick was not cleared properly, Riccardo Saponara pulled back from the by-line for Marco Benassi, who unmarked on the penalty spot scuffed his finish into the far bottom corner through a sea of legs.

Kevin Strootman fought back, his scorcher palmed over the bar by Marco Sportiello, then the goalkeeper fumbled a cross and Edin Dzeko turned the rebound on to the near post from point-blank range.

Alisson Becker almost took the sweeper-keeper idea a bit too far, as he was caught in midfield by Saponara and was fortunate to see the shot charged down by Kostas Manolas.

Dzeko got away from Vitor Hugo to again test Sportiello from close range, a ball broke kindly for Gregoire Defrel and he hesitated, letting the chance go.

Fiorentina were more clinical and doubled their lead on the counter. Giovanni Simeone ran from midfield and showed strength to hold his position sandwiched between Manolas and Bruno Peres to prod the finish past Alisson.

Patrik Schick replaced misfiring Defrel at half-time and it turned into a siege, with the substitute’s delightful flick sending Nainggolan through only for Sportiello to parry one-on-one.

Schick’s looping header landed on the roof of the net from a corner, but Roma’s luck was exhibited in the 73rd minute. Schick nodded an Alessandro Florenzi cross on to the crossbar and on the resulting corner Federico Fazio did exactly the same thing, so they rattled the woodwork twice in 30 seconds.

Maxime Gonalons had another dreadful performance and Simeone pounced on his error, so Alisson needed to sprint out and tackle the striker practically in the centre-circle.

Schick went down after a tussle with German Pezzella, but seemed to just lean back on a defender who had moved out of the way.

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Roma: Alisson; Peres, Manolas (Kolarov 58), Fazio, Juan Jesus; Strootman (Florenzi 68), Gonalons, Nainggolan; Defrel (Schick 46), Dzeko, El Shaarawy
Ref: Fabbri