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.

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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)

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