Roma made the most of Genoa errors to take the 3-1 result at Marassi, even with several key players missing, and thanked a sensational Pau Lopez save.
The Giallorossi were in an emergency situation, as Alessandro Florenzi and Aleksandar Kolarov were suspended, with Nicolò Zaniolo, Diego Perotti, Javier Pastore, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Davide Zappacosta injured. Therefore, Leonardo Spinazzola started just days after Inter pulled the plug on his proposed exchange with Matteo Politano. Genoa missed Cristiano Zapata and banned captain Domenico Criscito.
It was a bright start from the Giallorossi, because Lorenzo Pellegrini moved towards the Cengiz Under cross from the right flank, but didn’t actually make contact, so it flew past everyone into the far bottom corner.
Edin Dzeko’s towering header was straight at Mattia Perin, then he only grazed another impressive Spinazzola cross.
Genoa finally got out of their shell after 35 minutes with a well-worked passing move, as Goran Pandev volleyed it back across the face of goal for Paolo Ghiglione, who got into a muddle from six yards and couldn’t finish it off.
Another Dzeko header whistled wide from Pellegrini’s corner, while the midfielder’s free kick sailed over the bar.
Roma doubled their lead with a goal that to all intents and purposes belongs to Spinazzola, as he cut inside down the left and his cross for Dzeko ricocheted in off Davide Biraschi’s stomach. Genoa had been defending with three men on the six-yard line, inevitably leading to a cramped and chaotic situation.
However, while the Giallorossi were still celebrating that goal, they conceded one at the other end. Davide Santon, Chris Smalling and Pau Lopez were caught out by a long ball from midfield, so Goran Pandev chipped it into the empty net.
Roma were fortunate it wasn’t 2-2 just after the restart, because Pau Lopez needed an extraordinary save to keep out Edoardo Goldaniga’s looping header. He had to arch his back at full stretch to claw it out from the near top corner.
Perin was also tested, palming a Jordan Veretout rocket into the path of Dzeko, who couldn’t keep the rebound down.
It was quite open, Barreca’s cross flashing in front of goal with Sanabria just unable to make contact, then Barreca blasted another over the bar.
Just as Genoa looked as if they were going to equalise, they gifted Roma a goal. Perin slipped and hit his clearance straight at Pellegrini, whose through ball released Dzeko to fire in from eight yards.
Pandev thought he'd made it 3-2 with the last kick of the game, but Pau Lopez was again exceptional with a save at the near post.
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