Both Roman teams would have been deserving of a spot in this round, but there is place just for one club so La Lupa gets it as they obtained the same result as Lazio but on the road.
They approached the contest looking to build on a quality win over Milan last week and to take advantage of the tie between Napoli and Atalanta. Paulo Fonseca welcomed back Justin Kluivert from suspension and selected him over Diego Perotti, while Davide Santon got the nod over Alessandro Florenzi and Leonardo Spinazzola at right back.
After a pair of early incursions by Kevin Lasagna and Ken Sema, the Giallorossi got the lead at the 13th minute, as Samir whiffed on a long-ball by Aleksandar Kolarov, freeing up Nicolò Zaniolo in front of the goalie and the starlet five-holed the goalie to score. Zaniolo almost had his second at the 30-minute mark after a gorgeous cut by Kluivert, but his lefty strike was just wide.
The game could have had a significant turning point one minute later, as Federico Fazio downed Stefano Okaka just outside the box and the referee considered it a clear-cut chance, showing him a red card. In reality, Udinese never really exploited the one-man advantage.
In the second half, after Kolarov was denied by Musso on a free kick that was deflected, Chris Smalling bagged his first Serie A goal punching the ball home after it had bounced around a few times following a corner kick.
Roma sealed the deal at the 53rd minute, as Javier Pastore perfectly conducted a solo counter through the middle, found Kluivert and the Dutch winger slotted it home on the near post after duping a defender.
The Giallorossi put the finishing touches at the 64th minute, as Rodrigo Becao committed an evident handball on a cross and Kolarov drilled the penalty to further pad his impressive stats. Pau Lopez made his only save of the game late on a long-range attempt by Mato Jajalo.
Roma surpassed Napoli and entered the Champions League zone with their second win in a row. A rich haul in the fantasy point with the clean sheet being a contributing factor: Kolarov amassed 11 points, Smalling nine, Lopez seven, Davide Santon five, Javier Pastore four for the assist, like Justin Kluivert, Mert Cetin and Santon.
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