Roma went behind after 57 seconds, but fought back to beat Atalanta 2-1 thanks to Adem Ljajic and Radja Nainggolan.
The Giallorossi returned from international duty without Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Douglas Maicon, Leandro Castan, Federico Balzaretti and the suspended Francesco Totti. The hosts had scored only four goals all season and welcomed back Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez, but Yohan Benalouane, Giulio Migliaccio, Marcelo Estigarribia and banned Luca Cigarini missed out.
This was traditionally a fiery encounter with five red cards in the last seven editions at the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia.
Incredibly, it took just 57 seconds for Atalanta to break the deadlock – only their fifth goal of the entire season. Cristian Raimondi skipped past Ashley Cole to pull back from the by-line and Maxi Moralez fired in off the underside of the bar from six yards.
Daniele Baselli then smacked the crossbar on nine minutes when Morgan De Sanctis only flapped a cross for his volley.
Radja Nainggolan harassed Baselli off the ball to set up Miralem Pjanic for a curler that flashed inches wide. Moralez risked a red card when he hacked down Daniele De Rossi for not putting the ball out of play with Gomez down injured, but received a yellow.
Roma got their equaliser with a moment of magic from Adem Ljajic, who cut in from the left to curl a stunning finish into the far bottom corner, giving Marco Sportiello no chance. Pjanic had sparked the move with a long run from midfield.
The Giallorossi turned the game around completely before half-time with the perfect counter-attack. Nainggolan combined with Ljajic to side-foot in a low drive from just inside the area.
Vasilis Torosidis went off with a slight injury, giving 19-year-old Michele Somma his Serie A debut. A free kick was chipped to the back post for Guglielmo Stendardo, whose diving header was wide from five yards.
Daniele De Rossi was caught in possession in his own penalty area by Maxi Moralez, but the finish was wide when clear on goal. Moralez also curled a free kick over the bar, as Roma tried to hang on to their lead in the final stages. Destro just failed to get on the end of Alessandro Florenzi’s spectacular flick and in stoppages De Sanctis risked again when fumbling under pressure.
Richmond Boakye received a yellow card, then seconds later another for dissent.
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Sent off: Boakye 94 (A)