Roma flattened Chievo 4-1, including two goals after Juan Jesus had been sent off and Alisson saved a penalty, to retain third place.
The Giallorossi had to shake off the disappointment of their 5-2 Champions League semi-final defeat to Liverpool and prepare for Wednesday’s second leg, so Kostas Manolas, Alessandro Florenzi and Cengiz Under were rested with Kevin Strootman, Diego Perotti and Gregoire Defrel were injured. The Flying Donkeys arrived just two points clear of the relegation zone with Massimo Gobbi injured.
It was the visitors who had the first chance after six minutes, as Roberto Inglese found Lucas Castro completely unmarked in the box and his ferocious shot clipped the crossbar.
However, Roma took the lead when Radja Nainggolan – celebrating his 200th appearance in a Giallorossi jersey – shrugged off Ivan Radovanovic at the touchline and rolled it across for Patrik Schick to side-foot home from six yards.
It was almost 2-0 moments later, as a long free kick found Federico Fazio, whose looping header bounced off the inside of the far post.
Stephan El Shaarawy had the ball in the back of the net with a spectacular back-heel flick from eight yards, but he was flagged offside by a matter of centimetres – confirmed by VAR.
Stefano Sorrentino parried a Schick angled drive and Depaoli went off injured after a coming together with Aleksandar Kolarov, but Roma rattled the frame of the goal again with El Shaarawy’s right-foot curler.
The second goal was coming and Aleksandar Kolarov whipped in a cross from the left, as Dzeko got in front of Ivan Radovanovic to volley in with an outstretched boot from six yards.
After the restart, Sorrentino made a double save on Dzeko, but on 56 minutes Juan Jesus had his arm wrapped around Inglese’s chest and tugged him back as Alisson was ready to smother at his feet. The referee awarded a penalty and a straight red to the Brazilian for stopping a clear scoring opportunity.
After a very long wait to check it on VAR, Inglese stepped up and took a very central penalty, which was beaten away by Alisson.
Despite going down to 10 men, Roma extended their lead with two goals in as many minutes. First El Shaarawy scored a sensational solo effort, taking the ball from his own half, nutmegging Alessandro Gamberini and stroking it past the on-rushing Sorrentino from seven yards with the inside of his boot.
Then Dzeko curled a great left-foot strike into the far bottom corner from outside the penalty area for 4-0.
There was still time for Chievo to get a consolation goal, as Inglese made up for the penalty with a towering header from a corner.
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Sent off: Juan Jesus 56 (R)
Saved penalty: Inglese 59 (C)