Stephan El Shaarawy, Edin Dzeko and an Aleksandar Kolarov counter-attack allowed a clinical Roma to flatten Chievo, also hitting the woodwork twice.
Robin Olsen, Kostas Manolas, Cengiz Under and Diego Perotti were injured for the visitors, with Lorenzo Pellegrini sitting out a one-match ban, but Bryan Cristante and Steven Nzonzi returned from suspension. Chievo missed Sergio Pellissier, Marco Andreolli and Nenad Tomovic.
Chievo have only beaten Roma three times in 36 meetings now, but these sides drew here 0-0 last season and at the Olimpico earlier this term the Flying Donkeys fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.
Stefano Sorrentino had to be at full stretch to fingertip Nicolò Zaniolo’s low drive round the base of the far post, but moments later a El Shaarawy sprung the offside trap on a through ball and kept his cool to lob the goalkeeper from a tight angle.
Dzeko created his second goal out of nothing, as he dribbled down the right, cut back at the by-line to confuse one defender, then nutmegged the other with a left-foot finish that rolled into the far bottom corner. It was the Bosnian’s 83rd goal in a Roma jersey, matching the career tally of Marco Delvecchio.
Chievo fought back and the Filip Djordjevic snapshot was deflected to skim the upright, while Federico Barba shrugged off Rick Karsdorp for an effort charged down and Antonio Mirante was alert to rush out and intercept Emanuele Giaccherini’s inspired pass for Djordjevic.
This was only Mirante’s third game of the season in all competition, but he performed a stunning save on Djordjevic’s header from point-blank range after Mattia Bani had knocked on a corner.
Roma were visibly sitting on their 2-0 lead and Ivan Marcano got just enough on Mariusz Stepinski’s effort to allow Mirante to smother.
Chievo lost Nicolas Frey to a thigh strain, although he had been an unexpected pick to start the match, having barely featured this season.
Mirante made another fine reaction save on Djordjevic, who had wandered offside, but Roma got their third on the counter-attack against the run of play. El Shaarawy sparked the run and Dzeko set up Kolarov to drill home. He then turned to the Roma ultras who had been insulting him and sarcastically bowed.
Lucas Piazon, on loan from Chelsea, made his Serie A debut, but Sorrentino parried shots from Federico Fazio and Dzeko.
Chievo’s luck did not improve, as substitute Fabio Depaoli also limped off for January signing Ezequiel Schelotto. Dzeko came close to a fourth goal, but his ferocious left-foot effort cracked against the crossbar.
El Shaarawy also nearly completed his brace, thumping the upright from close range after a smart Dzeko roll across the six-yard box.
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