Roma saw Federico Fazio controversially sent off after just 32 minutes, but they still ran riot with a 4-0 victory away to dismal Udinese.
The Giallorossi continued to deal with the injury crisis, ruling out Lorenzo Pellegrini, Bryan Cristante, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Nikola Kalinic, Juan Jesus, Amadou Diawara and Davide Zappacosta, although Cengiz Under returned for a spot on the bench. Udinese’s confidence was rock bottom after a 7-1 defeat to Atalanta, here missing Jens Stryger-Larsen and suspended Nicholas Opoku.
Javier Pastore drilled wide and Kevin Lasagna’s shot was charged down by Chris Smalling, but Roma were gifted the opener when Samir slipped as he was trying to intercept the Aleksandar Kolarov pass, allowing Nicolò Zaniolo to go clear on goal. Remarkably, that was the first ever goal in a Roma jersey that Zaniolo had scored outside the Olimpico.
The game took a very strange turn when the referee maintained Federico Fazio had fouled Stefano Okaka on a clear scoring opportunity. It was just outside the area and it’s questionable whether that was even a foul, as Okaka went over very easily as they were shoulder-to-shoulder. The Giallorossi were furious and it took several minutes of arguing before Fazio left the field and VAR surprisingly did not overturn the decision or consider it a serious error.
Despite going down to 10 men, Roma doubled their lead after the restart, a corner flicked on to find Chris Smalling unmarked at the back post.
Moments later, it was 3-0, as Udinese were carved open by a classic counter-attack and Justin Kluivert cut back to commit Samir, drilling in at the near post.
It ought to have been 4-0, but Dzeko prodded one chance wide from eight yards, then saw Musso keep out another with an outstretched boot at the near post.
There was a fourth soon enough, as Rodrigo Becao handled in the box and Aleksandar Kolarov converted the penalty.
Mato Jajalo almost got a consolation goal late on, but Pau Lopez was equal to the angled drive.
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Sent off: Fazio 32 (R)