HT: Carles Perez breaks Roma duck

Carles Perez marked his first start in the Roma shirt with a well-taken goal, which at half-time is the difference with KAA Gent in the Europa League Round of 32.

Follow all the action as it happens from this game and Ludogorets-Inter on the LIVEBLOG.

The Giallorossi were in dire need of a boost after losing four of their last five competitive games, without a win in a month. January signing Carles Perez got his first start, with Aleksandar Kolarov and Jordan Veretout stepping in, but Javier Pastore, Amadou Diawara, Nicolò Zaniolo, Antonio Mirante, Davide Zappacosta and Merit Cetin were injured, while Bruno Peres was not on the UEFA list. Belgians Gent missed Roman Yaremchuk, but had striker Laurent Depoitre back after a month out of action.

Carles Perez made the perfect start, as he was sent clear by an Edin Dzeko through ball following Lustig’s error and kept his cool to sweep past the on-rushing goalkeeper.

Leonardo Spinazzola almost gifted an equaliser with his clearance on to Depoitre’s shin, but Pau Lopez was alert to smother the ricochet, then Roman Bezos drilled not far wide and the Sven Kums effort was deflected past the near post.

Roma were given a real let-off on 40 minutes, as they gave the ball away cheaply again in midfield to spark a three-against-two counter, but Gent failed to make the most of it, Vadis Odjidja firing over from the edge of the box.

Roma 1-0 Gent (Half-Time)

Carles Perez 13 (R)

Roma: Pau Lopez; Spinazzola, Fazio, Smalling, Kolarov; Veretout, Cristante; Carles Perez, Pellegrini, Perotti; Dzeko

KAA Gent: Kaminski; Lustig, Plastun, Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Mohammadi; Kums, Owusu, Odjidja; Bezus; Depoitre, David

Ref: Kabakov (BUL)

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/

Let’

Liveblog: Ludogorets-Inter, Roma-Gent

Join us for all the build-up and action as it happens from tonight’s Europa League knockout games, as Inter visit Ludogorets and Roma host KAA Gent.

If you are on a mobile device or tablet, then follow the Liveblog HERE.

We begin the Round of 32 at 17.55 GMT in Bulgaria, where Antonio Conte’s Inter travel to face Ludogorets Razgrad, the side that has won their domestic league title for eight years on the bounce and previously eliminated Lazio from this competition.

Christian Eriksen and Alexis Sanchez are expected to start, as the Nerazzurri aim to shake off their two consecutive defeats in the Coppa Italia and Serie A.

At 20.00 GMT, Roma also try to put recent poor domestic form behind them by welcoming Belgians KAA Gent to the Stadio Olimpico.

The injury crisis drags on for coach Paulo Fonseca, but it should be an opportunity for January signing Carles Perez to take centre-stage.

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/

Let’

De Sanctis: ‘Europa League Roma objective’

Team manager Morgan De Sanctis insists the Europa League “is an objective” for Roma as they go into the Round of 32 with KAA Gent.

The first leg kicks off at the Stadio Olimpico at 20.00 GMT, click here for the line-ups and LIVEBLOG.

“It’s evident that results have not been going the way we wanted since the start of the year, so we cannot be satisfied with this negative trend,” former goalkeeper De Sanctis told Sky Sport Italia and Roma TV.

“The coach was very clear, we must knock down the alibis and take responsibility. We must acknowledge that the Europa League is a new opportunity. We are Roma and the Europa League has to be an objective.

“Paulo Fonseca is really very intelligent and well-prepared. It’s very easy for the club and players to be in sync with him. We are united even in our suffering during a difficult moment that doesn’t repay the fans for their passion, nor represent the value of this squad.

“I experienced this sort of situation as a player, so we’ve got to earn our results, it’s all down to us. We are all up for debate, but have the chance to take it under control.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/

Let’

Thorup: ‘Tough moment for Roma’

KAA Gent coach Jess Thorup believes “Roma are among the strongest teams in Europe, even though they are going through a difficult moment.”

The first leg of the Europa League Round of 32 kicks off on Thursday at 20.00 GMT at the Stadio Olimpico.

“Playing in the Europa League is special for everyone,” said Thorup in his press conference.

“Roma are among the strongest teams in Europe, even though they are going through a difficult moment right now. It’ll be important to get an away goal, it won’t be easy to keep a clean sheet, but we must do what we do best: go on the attack, score goals and make a dream come true that nobody is expecting.

“We have an attacking mentality, that is our main strength. We’re aware that we are away from home and will probably have the minority of possession, so remaining solid and working as a unit is essential.

“Sometimes you can learn from mistakes and I feel we did that after losing the Belgian Cup Final in May. We became more of a team after that.”

Gent are unbeaten in the Europa League so far this season, earning three wins and as many draws in the group stage, beating Saint-Etienne and Wolfsburg.

“Naturally, I was in the stands to watch Roma’s last game against Atalanta. Looking at the individual talents, you can see why they are one of the best teams in Europe. Naturally, when you lose a few matches, the confidence starts to go.

“I am glad that people have faith in us and we believe qualification is possible, otherwise we wouldn’t even have made the journey. On paper, we shouldn’t have a chance, but football is not played on paper.”

Striker Laurent Depoitre is in the Gent squad, but Thorup would not be drawn on whether he will start tomorrow.

“He hasn’t played a full game for three weeks, so it’s one thing to be ready physically and another mentally. We’ll decide tomorrow if he’ll be in the starting XI, on the bench or in the stands.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/

Let’

Nela: ‘Roma turned Haaland down’

Roma “were offered the chance to sign Erling Haaland for €4m two years ago and turned him down,” reveals director Sebino Nela.

Haaland shot to fame at RB Salzburg and earned a €20m plus numerous bonuses transfer to Borussia Dortmund in January.

He is shattering records this season, scoring 39 goals in 29 games for the two clubs, including 10 in just seven Champions League outings.

“Roma were offered the chance to sign Erling Haaland two years ago for €4m,” revealed Roma Women’s director Nela to Radio Centro Suono Sport.

“He was proposed to Monchi by a former Roma player, but the club turned him down, so he went to Salzburg instead.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/

Let’