Roma flattened sorry Fiorentina 4-1 at the Stadio Franchi, with Lorenzo Pellegrini and Nicolò Zaniolo contributing a goal and assist each.
Vincenzo Montella saved his job and avoided a fifth straight defeat with last week’s stoppage-time Dusan Vlahovic equaliser against Inter, but this result will pile the pressure back on.
Federico Chiesa joined Franck Ribery on the treatment table, so teenager Vlahovic had to start with Kevin-Prince Boateng. The Giallorossi were in fourth place, with Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini returning to the squad, but Justin Kluivert, Javier Pastore, Davide Santon, Bryan Cristante, Antonio Mirante and Davide Zappacosta were still out.
Vlahovic had a strong start, his free kick landing on the roof of the net, then Pau Lopez needed a double save on both Vlahovic and Kevin-Prince Boateng.
Vlahovic also had the ball in the net with an angled drive, but only after he’d been clearly flagged offside.
However, Roma took the lead with their first real chance, a brilliantly-worked move by Lorenzo Pellegrini. He turned defenders and placed a pass over the top for Nicolò Zaniolo, who volleyed it back across for Edin Dzeko to tap in from close range.
Moments later, it was 2-0, as Aleksandar Kolarov curled a trademark free kick into the near top corner, leaving Bartlomiej Dragowski helpless.
Fiorentina did get back into it when Martin Caceres saw his shot deflected, turning into an accidental assist for Milan Badelj to turn in from eight yards.
It was wide open and moments later Diego Perotti brilliantly controlled a long Alessandro Florenzi ball, but Pol Lirola timed the interception perfectly, prodding it away as it was coming back down for the half-volley.
Vlahovic did well to turn Smalling and roll across for Boateng, but Gianluca Mancini made a decisive interception. Pau Lopez also rushed off his line to smother Gaetano Castrovilli’s inspired through ball at the feet of Erick Pulgar, with a similar move on Vlahovic.
Once again, Roma were more clinical in front of goal and extended their lead with Pellegrini. He completed a give-and-go with Dzeko, bending a precise low right-footed finish into the near bottom corner from the D.
Valentin Eysseric caused a slight panic in the Roma box during the final minutes, but Smalling managed to slow him down.
It still wasn’t over, as Dzeko flicked on a pass from the centre-circle to send Zaniolo running and he kept his cool to side-foot it into the far bottom corner with his left boot.
Vlahovic could’ve had a consolation in stoppages, but his free kick rattled the crossbar, while Pau Lopez denied Riccardo Sottil from distance.
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