Just only truly commanding performance out of the reduced slate of games over the weekend and it belong to Roma, which needed to quash a lot of doubts surrounding them after a three-game losing streak and did it in the best possible way, by deep-sixing an in-form opponent such as Lecce.
Paulo Fonseca trotted out Bruno Peres at right back, with Cengiz Under, picked over Carles Perez and Justin Kluivert, in front of him on that flank, while Lorenzo Pellegrini returned at no.10 with Bryan Cristante back in the XI and Aleksandar Kolarov, after ceding some playing time to Leonardo Spinazzola, manned the left defensive flank.
The home team came out very aggressively, making things clear pretty early by creating a flurry of chances in the early going and stopping the opponents’ counters at their infant stages. Pellegrini was the recipient of the first of many spicy passes by Edin Dzeko, but he did not coordinate properly from inside the box and skied the shot. The duo connected with reverse roles few minutes later, but the Bosnian forward could not find a way to finish from point-blank range with two defenders draped all over him.
They deservedly got the lead at the 13th minute as Henrikh Mkhitaryan stripped Jacopo Petriccione deep, fed a cutting Cengiz Under on the run and the Turk put it in the bottom right corner with a daisy-cutter. Dzeko sent one over the bar from good position later on, then Pellegrini aimed too widely on a square ball from the base line after shaking free in the middle of the box.
Peres had a boneheaded giveaway but Chris Smalling got in the way of Zan Majer’s dangerous shot. On the other end, Dzeko and Mkhitaryan combined and the Armenian attacker five-holed Mauro Vigorito, who came out a little late, from the left-hand portion of the box, making it two-nil.
The Salentini were a bit more energetic at the beginning of the second half and Marco Mancosu, with a free kick, and Giulio Donati tried to challenge Pau Lopez from distance. However, Roma quickly stymied their aspirations: at the 69th minute, Kluivert slid it to Kolarov in the box, the fullback found Dzeko on the six-yard box line and the veteran tucked it home after the goalie had rejected his first attempt.
Gianluca Lapadula hit the post with a terrific volley, but the guests did not manage to bag a consolation goal. On the contrary, Kolarov scored on an assist by Carles Peres after trailing the action, helped by a poor saved by Vigorito.
Roma return to winning ways in resounding fashion, replied to Napoli that had prevailed on Friday and temporarily moved closer to Atalanta, which did not play this weekend. The rout led to a gargantuan fantasy haul: Kolarov paced his teammates with nine points, followed by Mkhitaryan (8) and Lopez (7). Dzeko and Under both accumulated six, Peres and Smalling five for the clean sheet, Mancini one because of a yellow card, Peres two for an assist, like the remaining midfielders.
Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re up for it play www.fantasyseriea.com now!