Serie A Week 33 - 15 Jul 2020 (20.45 UK)
Roma 2 - 1 Verona
Veretout pen 10 (R), Dzeko 45 (R), Pessina 47 (V)
Stadio Olimpico

Roma made it three victories on the bounce to go clear in fifth place, as Jordan Veretout converted a penalty and Edin Dzeko nodded in the winner, but Verona’s goal with Matteo Pessina was a spectacular back-heel.

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The Giallorossi had won two in a row, but this was a much tougher prospect against high-flying Hellas Verona. Federico Fazio and Antonio Mirante were late additions to the injury list with Chris Smalling and Davide Santon. Bryan Cristante and Henrikh Mkhitaryan returned from suspension, but Aleksandar Kolarov was placed into a three-man defence. Verona missed Giampaolo Pazzini, Claud Adjapong, Pawel Dawidowicz and Salvatore Bocchetti, and were still fuming after conceding a 97th-minute equaliser to Fiorentina.

Hellas last beat Roma in Serie A in 1996, managing five draws and 11 defeats going into this clash.

It was a chaotic start at the Stadio Olimpico, as Pau Lopez rushed off his line to get the ball before Mattia Zaccagni, but moments later Roma were awarded a controversial penalty for Alan Empereur’s challenge on Lorenzo Pellegrini. Coach Ivan Juric was so furious that he was sent off for dissent, but Jordan Veretout converted from the spot.

It went from bad to worse for Verona, as Marash Kumbulla also went off injured, so Davide Faraoni moved into defence instead.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan completed a give-and-go with Edin Dzeko to surge forward, but his angled drive struck the base of the near post.

Roma did double their lead deep into first half stoppages, as Leonardo Spinazzola pounced on a Sofyan Amrabat to burst down the left, his cross finding a trademark Dzeko header.

Verona did pull one back in some spectacular style, as Mattia Zaccagni ran down the left, pulled it back from the by-line and Matteo Pessina turned it in with a magnificent back-heel flick from five yards.

Hellas dominated the second half and pinned Roma back for long periods, but the Giallorossi remained dangerous on the counter-attack. Empereur slipped on 64 minutes, allowing Pellegrini to pull it back for Mkhitaryan, but an acrobatic Darko Lazovic cleared it off the line of an open goal, as Marco Silvestri was long gone.

Roma improved considerably after a triple substitution, and Silvestri had to parry a Gianluca Mancini right-foot rocket after his rare foray forward, but Dzeko turned over from a promising position set up by Leonardo Spinazzola.

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Roma: Pau Lopez; Mancini, Ibanez (Villar 92), Kolarov; Bruno Peres (Zappacosta 66), Diawara (Cristante 66), Veretout, Spinazzola; Pellegrini (Zaniolo 66), Mkhitaryan (Perotti 88); Dzeko
Verona: Silvestri; Empereur, Gunter, Kumbulla (Dimarco 19); Faraoni, Amrabat (Badu 83), Veloso (Stepinski 83), Lazovic; Pessina, Zaccagni (Salcedo 64); Verre (Eysseric 63)
Ref: Maresca