Edin Dzeko, Mohamed Salah, Leandro Paredes and Radja Nainggolan thunderbolts allowed Roma to steamroller Torino 4-1 and retain second place.
This was a fascinating clash between two of the Capocannoniere candidates, Edin Dzeko and Andrea Belotti. The Giallorossi were in action on Thursday night, crushing Villarreal 4-0 in the Europa League, so Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Rudiger were rested. The Granata missed Joel Obi, Leandro Castan, Carlao and Luca Rossettini, but Adem Ljajic and Iago Falque returned to face their former club.
The team visited Alessandro Florenzi in hospital before the game after his second ACL surgery, ruling him out for four to five months. They also had his number, 24, on their sleeves to show he was with them on the pitch.
It took just 10 minutes to break through, as Dzeko curled a low right-foot effort into the far bottom corner from the edge of the box, surprising his former Manchester City teammate Joe Hart.
Moments later Radja Nainggolan’s volley was straight at Joe Hart, then the second goal as Dzeko knocked down a cross for Mohamed Salah’s volley at the near post.
The Egyptian international nearly had a second, his curler thumping the far upright after he sprinted past Antonio Barreca.
After that initial flurry, Toro emerged from their shell and started to push forward, as Lukic volleyed a poor clearance inches past the post and Wojciech Szczesny had to smother at the feet of Marco Benassi.
Dzeko’s chest and volley was over from a tight angle after the restart, then Lukic’s cross was just beyond Baselli at full stretch.
Roma were under more pressure, but extended their lead to 3-0 with a stunner from Leandro Paredes, hitting his thunderbolt volley sweet and low into the bottom corner, giving Hart no chance.
Dzeko should’ve made it four, but at the end of a powerful run he blasted over. Maxi Lopez made his comeback after weeks of Sinisa Mihajlovic saying he was overweight and the Argentine made his point with a goal, a precise angled drive swept past Szczesny into the far bottom corner.
There was still time for Radja Nainggolan to get a fourth, as Francesco Totti laid it off perfectly for him to drill home with the inside of the right boot from the edge of the box, another powerful finish.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk