HT: Belotti silences Roma

Andrea Belotti has given Torino a shock lead away to Roma at half-time, having already hit the woodwork, while Salvatore Sirigu made two big saves.

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The Giallorossi hoped to start 2020 on the right foot, having won four and drawn one to see out 2019 in fourth place. Federico Fazio, Justin Kluivert, Bryan Cristante, Davide Santon and Davide Zappacosta missed out, while Torino had Gelson Bremer and Cristian Ansaldi suspended, Iago Falque, Daniele Baselli and Simone Edera injured. Walter Mazzarri was back under pressure following a shock home defeat to SPAL.

Salvatore Sirigu was called into a very tricky save in the third minute, as Nicolò Zaniolo’s deflected effort looped up and had to be clawed away. Edin Dzeko then slipped at the crucial moment when sent clear by Zaniolo.

However, Torino came very close on eight minutes, as Andrea Belotti sprung the offside trap and his angled drive bounced off the inside of the far post with a fingertip save, then as the move continued, Lorenzo De Silvestri’s header was too weak to trouble Pau Lopez.

Aleksandar Kolarov’s half-volley flashed wide and his free kick was palmed over by Sirigu, but Sasa Lukic somehow failed to get a free header on target from six yards.

There was controversy on the half-hour mark, as Edin Dzeko went down in the box under pressure from Nicolas Nkoulou, but the incident never went to VAR because he was flagged offside – although he started his run inside his own half and could not have been offside.

Sirigu got down very quickly for a one-handed save at the near bottom corner, as Pellegrini hit it hard and low from 17 yards, then Kolarov was offside on the rebound.

In the final seconds of the first half, Torino took a shock lead. Belotti gathered down the centre-left side of the box and seemed to hesitate ready for a pass to Ola Aina, but instead used that distraction to smash it left-footed into the near top corner, taking everyone by surprise.

Roma 0-1 Torino (Half-Time)

Belotti 45 (T)

Roma: Pau Lopez; Florenzi, Mancini, Smalling, Kolarov; Veretout, Diawara; Zaniolo, Pellegrini, Perotti; Dzeko

Torino: Sirigu; Izzo, Nkoulou, Djidji; De Silvestri, Lukic, Rincon, Aina; Berenguer, Verdi; Belotti

Ref: Di Bello

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