Andriy Shevchenko’s arrival was not enough to stop Genoa extending their winless run in Serie A to 10 games, as Felix Afena-Gyan’s late brace secured AS Roma a 2-0 victory at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Roma made the brighter start and thought they got the goal which their early endeavour deserved following Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s brilliant strike, but his goal was disallowed as it struck Tammy Abraham’s hand on route to flying past Salvatore Sirigu. This was thanks to some superb eagle-eyed vision by referee Massimiliano Irrati – a decision supported by VAR. Eldor Shomurodov was next to come close for ‘I Giallorossi’, but the former Genoa man blazed a sliding effort over the bar after being superbly teed up by Stephan El Shaarawy, in an otherwise cagey first half.
José Mourinho’s men began the second half on the front foot, but their frustrations in front of goal were summed up by Mkhitaryan’s neat turn on the edge of the box and his subsequent rash shot over the bar. Roma were failing to make their possession and chances count in this scrappy contest, as further opportunities went begging for Lorenzo Pellegrini and Mkhitaryan. Rui Patrício was largely a spectator down the other end of the pitch, but he needed to be alert when Johan Vásquez whipped in a dangerous cross towards Stefano Sturaro, who got tangled up with El Shaarawy, but still managed to force the Portuguese shot-stopper into a save.
Mkhitaryan added an assist to his positive performance, as he made a driving run forward and teed up substitute Afena-Gyan to score his first-ever senior goal for Roma with a cool and composed finish from a tight angle in the 82nd minute. But his second was even better with a stunning strike from distance in stoppage time to announce himself on the big stage in emphatic fashion.
Watch the goals below:
Mourinho’s side held on for all three points and extended their unbeaten run against Genoa to 15 games, moving up to fifth in the process. Meanwhile, ‘I Rossoblù’ are still waiting for their first home win of the season and stay in 18th place.
By: Kwaku Oduro