Serie A Week 4 - 18 Oct 2020 (19.45 UK)
Roma 5 - 2 Benevento
Caprari 5 (B), Pedro 31 (R), Dzeko 35, 77 (R), Lapadula 55 (B), Veretout pen 69 (R), Perez 89 (R)
Stadio Olimpico

Roma were made to work hard for the three points, an Edin Dzeko brace, Pedro Rodriguez, Jordan Veretout penalty and Carles Perez solo run eventually beating Benevento 5-2.

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The Giallorossi had a stuttering start to the season and were still missing Chris Smalling, Rick Karsdorp, Javier Pastore and Nicolò Zaniolo. Benevento had six points from their opening three games and gave Iago Falque his first start, with Nicolas Viola and Gabriele Moncini out.

It was a shock opening at the Olimpico, because Benevento took the lead with their first attempt. Gianluca Caprari cut inside from the left and his shot from the edge of the area took a massive deflection off Roger Ibanez, looping up and over a helpless Antonio Mirante. It was a special goal for Caprari, who grew up in the Roma youth academy.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a couple of dangerous pull-backs and his header struck Foulon, but a VAR check found no evidence of handball.

Pedro Rodriguez curled wide, but the former Chelsea man also got the equaliser. Leonardo Spinazzola pulled back from the by-line for Lorenzo Pellegrini, whose shot was charged down, but the midfielder was alert to spot Pedro and on the rebound rolled across for his finish from 10 yards.

Roma turned the game on its head moments later thanks to an inspired bit of goalkeeping. Antonio Mirante gathered a free kick and immediately kicked it long for Mkhitaryan, whose slide-rule pass sent Edin Dzeko on goal, bending into the far bottom corner with the inside of the boot.

Mkhitaryan also found the back of the net in first half stoppages, meeting a Bryan Cristante ball across the six-yard box, but it was disallowed due to an earlier offside position from Spinazzola.

Benevento were allowed a path back into the game when Jordan Veretout had a poor first touch in the box and tried to make up for it with a lunge on Artur Ionita, catching the midfielder. Lapadula saw his penalty initially saved by Mirante, but was able to turn in the rebound to equalise.

Le Streghe tried to turn it around again, Mirante rushing off his line to deny Lapadula on a Roberto Insigne assist.

However, Roma received a penalty too, as Dzeko’s through ball sent Pedro sprinting forward and he intelligently flicked it on just before Lorenzo Montipò got there. Veretout was able to make up for his earlier error by converting this spot-kick for 3-2.

It was still wide open, Montipò using his feet to deny Dzeko a tap-in on a corner, then Ionita firing just wide at the other end.

Roma were more clinical and extended their advantage with a wonderful team move. Gonzalo Villar sparked the Mkhitaryan run and he waited for the right moment to roll across so Dzeko could sweep in undisturbed, behind the line of the ball to avoid the offside flag.

Mkhitaryan should’ve scored one himself on the Bruno Peres assist, but ballooned over from eight yards.

Instead, Carles Perez added the fifth with a magnificent solo effort, as he started the run from inside his own half, rode three tackles and drilled into the near bottom corner from the edge of the area.

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Roma: Mirante; Mancini, Cristante, Ibanez (Kumbulla 78); Santon (Bruno Peres 73), Pellegrini, Veretout (Villar 73), Spinazzola; Mkhitaryan, Pedro (Perez 78); Dzeko (Borja Mayoral 85)
Benevento: Montipò; Foulon (Maggio 86), Glik, Caldirola, Letizia; Ionita, Schiattarella (Hetemaj 82), Dabo (Improta 75); Iago Falque (Insigne R 46), Caprari; Lapadula (Sau 82)
Ref: Ayroldi

Saved penalty: Lapadula 55 (B)