Roma ended the year of 2016 on a high after a well fought deserved 3-1 home win over Chievo. Roma dominated from start to finish, but were their own downfall conceded a goal from the run of play.
Jonathan De Guzman gave Chievo the lead with a header, But Roma hit back with two goals in six minutes from Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko, Roma added a third in added time from a Diego Perotti penalty.
Just 26 seconds into the game and the visitors had the first opportunity, Chievo broke from deep and the ball fell to Roberto Inglese who hit a wild effort wide of the upright. Edin Dzeko had Roma first opportunity of the game after 10 minutes when some nice build up play down the Roma right hand side by Bruno Peres found Dzeko who turned his defender and curled a cross-come shot past the far post.
A deep corner from Bruno Peres found Stephan El Shaarawy lurking on the edge of the area, the winger hit a first time volley which was awkwardly parried away by Stefano Sorrentino in the Chievo goal. Mohamed Salah then went close for Roma to open the scoring, excellent work down the left by El Shaarawy and Emerson, the Brazilian full back crossed in for Salah who blasted over the bar from inside of the area. Bruno Peres teased his defender with quick footwork and worked in a cross from the right hand side which found Salah who headed over from the penalty spot
Chievo wasted an absolute golden chance to open the scoring after 21 minutes, a deflected cross fell into the path of Jonathan De Guzman who fluffed his lines and only could squirm his effort wide of the post. Roma went up the other end on a quick counter attack and Stephan El Shaarawy had a low curled effort well saved by Sorrentino.
Roma then went close to opening the scoring from a set piece, Radja Nainggolan took aim from at least 30 yards out which was parried away by Sorrentino. The ball bounced around the Chievo defence as Rudiger and Fazio were both denied. Bruno Peres was inches away from giving Roma the lead, a set piece on the edge of the area. Bruno Peres stepped up and curled a lovely effort which agonisingly past the upright.
Roma peppering the Chievo goal in the first half were denied again, Edin Dzeko took aim from distance and his effort was awkwardly saved by Stefano Sorrentino with his legs. Chievo took the lead against the run of play after 36 minutes where a cross in from the right hand side found a on rushing Jonathan De Guzman who got in front of Bruno Peres and headed home with a diving header.
Roma equalised just before the half time interval and what a strike it was. A free kick was awarded just outside of the area, Stephan El Shaarawy stepped up and curled a lovely effort past the outstretched Stefano Sorrentino.
A very entertaining first half, Roma dominated from the get go in possession and with shots on goal. But was their own worst enemy by defending poorly out wide from crossing and was made to pay by Jonathan De Guzman, Bruno Peres poor mistake of marking was pounced on. But Roma done well to dust themselves down and deserved the equaliser before half time with a brilliant free kick by Stephan El Shaarawy. The 3-4-3 formation is working well going forward but looks a bit weak when Chievo hit Roma on the counter attack. Chievo had defended well in the first half, defending in numbers blocking off Roma attacks and will be hard done by to go in level at half time.
Roma took the lead just 6 minutes into the second half and it all came down the hard work and persistence from Stephan El Shaarawy. El Shaarawy worked well down the Roma left crossed in for Dzeko which was blocked but the rebound fell to Dzeko who tapped home from close range. Bruno Peres nearly added a third and was inches away from doing so, the Brazilian wing back took aim from outside of the area and his angle drive whistled past the upright.
Edin Dzeko came very close to added a third, a cross in from the right from Bruno Peres found the Bosnian striker who hung in the air and his header struck the bottom of the right hand post. Dzeko then moments later wasted another chance and it was the same combination, Bruno Peres paced down the right hand side and crossed in for Dzeko who fluffed his lines from inside of the area with a wayward effort.
Edin Dzeko now missed a hat-trick of chances to put this game to bed, Stephan El Shaarawy played a lovely through ball to Dzeko, one on one with Sorrentino was denied from point blank range and deflected wide for a corner. The resulting corner from Bruno Peres found Dzeko and his back header went wide of the upright. That header was Dzeko 9th opportunity of the game.
Roma missed a double opportunity on 90 minutes to put this game out of reach of Chievo. Edin Dzeko was denied brilliant by Stefano Sorrentino who parried his chipped effort into the path of Diego Perotti who fired over wildly from close range.
Roma finally added a third in added time from the penalty spot, Diego Perotti was fouled and calmly added a third rolling the penalty into the bottom corner sending Stefano Sorrentino the wrong way.
This was a much needed for Roma after an early scare in the first half from Chievo who took the lead on the run of play. It was an assured performance in the second half but wasteful, Roma wasted so many chances in the second half to put this game to bed. There was always that nagging thought in the back of the mind that Chievo were going to grab an equaliser and escape Rome with a point. But thankfully in stoppage time Roma managed to a third goal from the penalty spot and close the gap to Juventus to 4 points.
Also with this year, Roma ended the year unbeaten at home in Serie A and this season won every game at the Stadio Olimpico including an away game against city rivals Lazio.
This was Stephan El Shaarawy best game for Roma this season, he was a constant threat down the Roma attacking left hand side, caused the Chievo defence a lot of problems. Ended the game with a goal and an assist. Emerson Palmeri who started the season poorly with a red card against Porto has ended the year strong and has put in an excellent case to keep the left back/wing back role his own.
Written by Scot Munroe