Novara took a shock early lead at the Olimpico, but Roma came back with a vengeance to win 5-2 in the lunchtime kick-off.
The Giallorossi needed to get back on track after defeat to Milan, while Attilio Tesser’s men were battling to get out of the bottom two. Fabio Borini, Juan, Leandro Greco, Miralem Pjanic, Marco Cassetti, Nicolas Burdisso and the suspended Gabriel Heinze missed out, so Bojan Krkic got a rare start. Daniele De Rossi took over in central defence.
Novara had Marco Rigoni out on a ban, joining the injured Giuseppe Mascara, Francesco Marianini, Carlalberto Ludi and Da Silva, so Danish international Daniel Jensen started in midfield.
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo flashed a ball across the face of goal, but it was a little too powerful for Fabio Simplicio to get the final touch from a couple of yards. Bojan also just failed to get his head on a dangerous Marquinho cross.
Novara also threatened, as Simon Kjaer rather clumsily challenged Andrea Caracciolo in the box and was fortunate to see De Rossi clear up the danger.
Against the run of play, Novara took the lead out of nowhere with Caracciolo’s looping header that beat Maarten Stekelenburg by hitting the inside of the near post and bouncing back into the net. The Heron got in front of De Rossi and stooped to make contact with the Jensen cross from the left.
Roma equalised when Osvaldo unusually turned provider wide on the right and crossed for midfielder Marquinho’s soaring header from six yards, taking advantage of a rare slip-up in the Novara marking.
There was chaos in the Novara box soon after, as Samir Ujkani came tearing off his line to close down Osvaldo, then had to use his back to charge down the follow-up from Francesco Totti outside the area. The goalkeeper injured his thumb during the collision with Osvaldo, but was able to continue with strapping.
Bojan turned Santiago Garcia inside out before his cross was looped on to the roof of the net by another defender. From that corner, Osvaldo was able to shrug off Garcia and turned his header into the ground, bouncing past Ujkani at the back post.
Osvaldo thought he had completed his brace on 38 minutes, but this time the looping header from 10 yards soared over Ujkani and cracked against the crossbar.
Moments later Novara threatened to equalise from a corner, as Andrea Lisuzzo was just unable to get then final touch from point-blank range as the ball rolled amid a sea of legs. Another free kick was whipped into the box and Lisuzzo did get his header this time, but Stekelenburg was able to smother. Jeda was then halted for an incorrect offside decision.
Bojan got to the by-line and crossed for Marquinho at the back post, but Filippo Porcari came diving in with a crucial intervention. Osvaldo pounced on a misunderstanding between two defenders in the area and spun round to fire just over the bar.
Ujkani was still struggling with that hand injury, so made way for Alberto Fontana at half-time. Novara almost equalised within two minutes of the restart, as Caracciolo got in front of De Rossi to prod a cross towards the near bottom corner, forcing Stekelenburg into a save.
Jeda skipped past a confused Kjaer only to pull the angled drive inches wide of the far post after beating Stekelenburg.
However, less than a minute later Marquinho’s shot was beaten away by Fontana, but only into the path of Fabio Simplicio for an audacious chip from 15 yards. The Brazilian had also started the move to set up Marquinho and pounced on a defensive error in the clearance.
Totti’s snapshot whistled between the upright and Osvaldo’s diving header, while Stekelenburg plucked a Simone Pesce header out of the air.
Roma added a fourth with Bojan’s solo effort, as the young Spaniard sprinted down the left flank and flashed an angled drive into the far bottom corner from eight yards, nutmegging Fontana. Former Barcelona starlet Bojan revealed a message on his T-Shirt in support of Eric Abidal, who will undergo liver transplant surgery later this month.
Novara got one back when Taka Morimoto ran on to a Caracciolo through ball to toe-poke past Stekelenburg at the near post, but the replays confirm the Japanese international striker was marginally offside.
Goalkeeper Fontana almost gave away a shocking goal soon after, as he rushed a good 20 metres up the pitch, but was fortunate Erik Lamela’s shot at the empty net was denied by a desperate Lisuzzo goalline clearance.
In the final minute, Fontana flew to palm a Marquinho header out from under the crossbar. Lamela did get Roma's fifth in stoppages, as he burst into the box, cut back between two defenders to stroke the angled drive across Fontana into the far bottom corner.
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