HT: Roma sit on lead with Chievo

Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko scored well-taken early goals, but Roma have been sitting on their lead against waves of Chievo attacks.

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Robin Olsen, Kostas Manolas, Cengiz Under and Diego Perotti were injured for the visitors, with Lorenzo Pellegrini sitting out a one-match ban, but Bryan Cristante and Steven Nzonzi returned from suspension. Chievo missed Sergio Pellissier, Marco Andreolli and Nenad Tomovic.

Chievo only beat Roma three times in 35 previous meetings, but these sides drew here 0-0 last season and at the Olimpico earlier this term the Flying Donkeys fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.

Stefano Sorrentino had to be at full stretch to fingertip Nicolò Zaniolo’s low drive round the base of the far post, but moments later a El Shaarawy sprung the offside trap on a through ball and kept his cool to lob the goalkeeper from a tight angle.

Dzeko created his second goal out of nothing, as he dribbled down the right, cut back at the by-line to confuse one defender, then nutmegged the other with a left-foot finish that rolled into the far bottom corner. It was the Bosnian’s 83rd goal in a Roma jersey, matching the career tally of Marco Delvecchio.

Chievo fought back and the Filip Djordjevic snapshot was deflected to skim the upright, while Federico Barba shrugged off Rick Karsdorp for an effort charged down and Antonio Mirante was alert to rush out and intercept Emanuele Giaccherini’s inspired pass for Djordjevic.

This was only Mirante’s third game of the season in all competition, but he performed a stunning save on Djordjevic’s header from point-blank range after Mattia Bani had knocked on a corner.

Roma were visibly sitting on their 2-0 lead and Ivan Marcano got just enough on Mariusz Stepinski’s effort to allow Mirante to smother.

Chievo lost Nicolas Frey to a thigh strain, although he had been an unexpected pick to start the match, having barely featured this season.

Chievo 0-2 Roma (Half-Time)

El Shaarawy 9 (R), Dzeko 19 (R)

Chievo: Sorrentino; Frey (Depaoli 39), Bani, Rossettini, Barba; Leris, Diousse, Hetemaj; Giaccherini; Stepinski, Djordjevic

Roma: Mirante; Karsdorp, Marcano, Fazio, Kolarov; Cristante, Nzonzi, Zaniolo; Schick, Dzeko, El Shaarawy

Ref: Abisso

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