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Italy - Serie A
August 30, 2014
• Stadio Olimpico, Roma
Referee: M. Guida
• Attendance: 44353
R. Nainggolan 28'
Y. Gervinho 90'+
That's it from me, Harry Slavin. Thanks for joining me for this evening's action and be sure to check back in soon when we'll be bringing you more top Serie A action. Until next time though, it's bye for now!
FULL TIME: ROMA 2-0 FIORENTINA. A victory for Roma on the opening day of the Serie A season and a deserved one on reflection. They created the better chances and, eventually, took them as well. Fiorentina improved vastly in the second half but in the end it wasn't enough.
90' + 3'
Assist Radja Nainggolan
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
GOOOOAAALLL!!! GERVINHO SEALS IT!!! With the last kick of the game, the Ivorian has sealed the win as he rounds Neto. Nothing more than he deserves after a relentless display.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Alberto Aquilani
90' + 1'
We are into THREE minutes of added on time now. What have Fiorentina got left in the tank?
Ashley Cole has gone into the book for time wasting, it's good to see that he has picked the Italian tricks of the trade up quickly. Roma go in search of a killer goal but Ljajic flashes a shot wide.
Yellow Card Ashley Cole
De Sanctis is way off his line here! A ball over the top from Valero looks to play in Illicic and the Italian keeper has to be quick off his line to smash the ball out of play. Garcia is on the edge of the technical area urging his players to lift their performance. Can they hold out?
Alonso tries to join the attack now for Fiorentina as they begin to look out the kitchen sink. He gives possession away though cheaply and the hosts threaten to counter. Only a dithering Gervinho prevents a decent shooting opportunity.
It's fast approaching squeaky bum time for Roma and they aren't making things easier for themselves. They give a way a soft free kick deep in their own half and a cross into the area causes momentary panic is they fail to clear. Eventually a red jersey gets his head to the ball and the danger passes.
Illicic shapes to shoot again, and illicic misses the target again. He has given Fiorentina something extra in this half but his team-mates will be getting sick of the sight of him holding his head in his hands.
A ball over the top is intended to find Gervinho but Neto has read it well and is out of his goal sharply to diffuse any danger for Fiorentina. Chances haven't been as easy to come by for the hosts since the Ivorian missed those two great chances earlier in the half.
Here comes the third and final change by Rudi Garcia. Off comes Iturbe, who has been impressive on his debut. On comes Ljajic in his place for the final stages.
Just 15 minutes left then for Fiorentina to get back into this or for the hosts to hold out. The Roma bench is a hub of activity and it looks as though they may be about to make another change.
Florenzi, fresh off the bench, is up on the edge of the Fiorentina area trying to double his side's lead. He cuts in onto his right foot but drags his effort low and wide of Neto's goal.
Yellow Card Vasilis Torosidis
The Greek defender is booked for a foul on Joaquin as he hauls down the Spaniard from behind.
Illicic has had the visitors best chance but he won't improve their hopes of coming away with a point with efforts like this. A poor header out from the Roma defence falls straight to the midfielder but he snatches at his effort and sends it well over.
That will actually be the captain's last actions as he is brought off and Florenzi is brought on. It looks as though Garcia is looking to shore up his side defensively, ready to see out these last 20 minutes.
Roma have come off the boil a bit here and the crowd realise that their side needs to up their efforts once more. Totti tries to get an attack moving down the left flank and wins a corner.
Joaquin is on and immediately in the thick of the action. He waltzes his way down the left and cuts inside, weaving past a couple of red jerseys before smashing a shot low into the sidenetting. This has been a much better performance from Fiorentina in the second half.
Maybe they will go closer! Moments later Babacar has a glorious chance to level the scores as he picks up a knockdown from Rodriguez, but De Sanctis gets across his goalline at some speed to parry the ball away. Incredible stop from the Italian!
CROSSBAR! Fiorentina haven't come as close as this to an equaliser, and I'm not sure they'll get any closer. Illicic slams a free kick towards De Sanctis' goal and with the keeper getting nowhere near it, it smacks back into play off the woodwork.
Gervinho again with the chance! He has been a thorn in the side of La Viola all night but he needs to start taking these chances or his side may rue these misses. He is slipped in on the right-hand side of the box but Neto is out to make an important smothering stop.
Yellow Card Davide Astori
So unlucky for Gervinho! The Ivorian picks up the ball just inside the Fiorentina half and decides to take it for a walk. He has the defence in knots as he takes the ball wide but his eventual shot is deflected by a late block, providing Neto with a relatively comfortable stop.
A booking for Marco Alonso and it has been coming. Iturbe is clipped from behind once more and the referee is inclined to agree with him as he makes the point that is at least the third time for the former Sunderland loanee has dug into him this evening.
Yellow Card Marcos Alonso
Cole is high up the park on the left, but there is no one in support. His cross tries to pick out the late run of Iturbe but the towering Alonso reaches the ball easily ahead of the Argentine.
Hmm, Roma could've had a penalty you know. Boos echo around the Stadio Olimpico as Pjanic appears to be clipped in the area. He turns to look at the referee but there is nothing doing.
Another chance from a set piece for Roma. A cross deep into the area is knocked back across goal by Pjanic, but Savic is there to clear the ball before a host of red jerseys can pounce.
A one goal lead is always frail, and Roma have just been warned by their visitors. All the hard work from the first half is almost undone right at the beginning of the second period as Valero is given time on the edge of the area to let fly with a vicious half volley that is straight at De Sanctis.
Away we go then for the second half! The teams are as they were as Pjanic causes early problems for the Fiorentina defence. He thinks he has a throw in deep in the opposition half. The linesman tells him otherwise.
The sides are back out for the second half. Roma have won the last five meetings between these sides. Can they hold out and make it a sixth? We are about to find out.
HALF-TIME: ROMA 1-0 FIORENTINA. Roma have got their new season off to a promising start against Fiorentina at the Stadio Olimpico then. They've dominated possession and chances throughout the half and Nainggolan's effort is the least they deserve for an impressive first half display.
45' + 1'
We are into one minute of added on time at the end of the first half in Rome.
A sniff of a chance for Fiorentina as Tomovic gets down the right and delivers a low, inviting cross into the front post. Gomez is there but so are two Roma defenders who get the job done and clear the danger.
The change actually seems to have steadied the ship a little for the visitors. They haven't leaked any further chances and are containing their hosts in the middle of the park... for now.
Just five minutes left of a first half that Roma have bossed and Fiorentina will be happy to get in at the break just one behind at this rate. They have delivered little in this first half and look all over the shop, as demonstrated by the first half substitution.
More lovely link up play form the hosts as Totti, Torosidis, Iturbe and Gervinho all link up down the right before the No 10 Totti is played in by the Ivorian, only to scoop his shot high and wide.
A substitution for Fiorentina. It's an early one but necessary. Brillante is the player to have the ignominious honour of coming off. Illicic is the player on in his place.
Roma certainly have a lot of confidence in their right flank. Either that, or they sense a weakness in Marco Alonso. Juan Iturbe has seen heaps of the ball down that side and there aren't any signs of Fiorentina dealing with it.
Fiorentina are actually struggling to see a touch of the ball at the moment. They don't have the outlets in wide positions that Cuadrado would have afforded them to hit Roma on the counter and as a result, it is all pretty comfortable for the hosts at the moment.
Roma fans are now in full voice after that strike. It's no less than their play deserves and they are continuing to cause Montella's team problems as Nainggolan wins a free kick midway inside the opponents half.
Goal Radja Nainggolan
GOOOAAALLL!!! ROMA HAVE THE LEAD!!! It has been coming. ROma switch their attentions dow nthe left flank and Nainggolan slips in Gervinho. The Ivorian's effort is well stopped but the Swiss midfielder follows up to slam the rebound into an unguarded net.
The hosts have certainly settled and have La Viola on the back foot. They're concentrating their attacks down the right flank and are causing their opponents problems.
Another free kick in a promising position for Roma but this one is wasted. Iturbe picks himself up and dusts himself down to take it but he sends his effort well over the bar.
Yellow Card Gonzalo Rodríguez
Yellow Card Francesco Totti
Yellow Card Stefan Savic
FLASH POINT! An ugly challenge on the edge of the Fiorentina area from Savic scythes down Iturbe. It's a definite free kick and there's a spot of handbags as Pjanic jumps to his team-mates support. As do Roma's Totti and Fiorentina's Rodriguez who are also both booked.
...almost very dangerous! Pjanic picks out Totti from the free kick but the captain can't make a decent connection with the ball and the chance goes begging.
Totti is down and he's won a free kick on the edge of the Fiorentina area after being brought down by Alonso. This is a dangerous position for La Viola to defend...
More defending for Roma. This time it's Manolas who has to get across to send the ball out of play as a ball from Valero searches out Gomez. The visitors have weathered the storm and looking to get back into this now.
Torosidis comes up with an important interception as the visitors threaten to breach the home side's defence. Babacar would have been played through on goal there if it wasn't for the full-back's intervention.
A neat exchange between Gervinho and Totti almost unlocks the Fiorentina defence, but a sloppy backheel from the Ivorian is easily intercepted as he searches for the Roma captain bursting into the box.
An effort from Iturbe poses no threat to Neto's goal as he slams his effort high over the bar from distance. It has been an energetic start from the hosts but they've lacked that cutting edge so far. There has been less than 15 minutes mind you...
Cole is certainly getting in about on his debut and is looking for another free kick here as Savic comes in on him from behind but the referee isn't interested on this occasion.
The first shot of the game comes and goes and in all honesty it wasn't really worth waiting for. Vargas is a long way out and has a better option in the form of Babacar but decides to go it alone and gets his effort woefully wrong, firing well wide from distance.
Welcome to Serie A Ashley Cole! The full-back tries to turn away from Tomovic but gets clattered by the Viola man. The English veteran is back on his feet quick enough though.
Fiorentina try to mount their first meaningful attack down the right flank, however there is no room for Valero to create anything as he's boxed in by Torosidis.
De Rossi sends a lovely floated ball out to the right which finds new boy Iturbe. He just about squeezes past the challenge of Alonso but can't control the ball and inadvertently knocks it out for a goal kick.
Fiorentina get us underway in Rome! They are atacking from left to right in their away kit this evening. Roma, in their tradiitonal colours, are quikc to press their visitors, even deep in La Viola's own half.
The sides are out at the Stadio Olimpico. The Rome is air is filled with smoke and the sound of the Giallorossi's anthem. Football is back in Italy, and it feels as magic as ever!
Roma and the rest of the chasing pack are already playing catch up following Jventus' 1-0 win over Chievo earlier. Meanwhile the noise level has just been ramped up at the Stadio Olimpico as the stadium announcer takes over proceedings. We aren't far from kick off here.
A few new faces in the Roma side as Ashley Cole makes his debut in Italy's top flight, while Kostas Manolas comes straight into defence following his arrival from Olympiakos. No new faces for Fiorentina though, who are missing Rossi and Cuadrado through injury and suspension respectively.
FIORENTINA: Neto, Gonzalo, Savic, Alonso, Tomovic, Pizarro, Brillante, Vargas, Borja Valero, Gomez, Babacar.
ROMA: De Sanctis, Cole, Nainggolan, Iturbe, Totti, Pjanic, De Rossi, Astori, Gervinho, Torosidis, Manolas.
Unfortunately the Argentine isn't about to knock the goals in this evening, so who is? Well the team news is in so let's take a look at it now. We'll start with the hosts, Roma.
Speaking of streaks, it's probably apt to mention one man this evening. It's 20 years since Gabriel Batistuta embarked on the start of his goalscoring run - one that saw him score in each of his side's first ten games of the 1994/95 season. Batistuta, who played for both Fiorentina and Roma, was turning out for La Viola at the time and his incredible record still stands to this day.
Rudi Garcia got his side off to an incredible start last season as the capital club won each of their opening ten games in their hunt for the Scudetto. Their title challenge was ultimately derailed by a relentless Juventus, but the Frenchman will be hoping his side can get off to a similarly impressive start tonight.
Serie A is back and we have arguably the pick of the opening weekend's fixtures for you this evening as last year's runners up Roma welcome Fiorentina to the Stadio Olimpico. I'm Harry Slavin and I'll be here to take you through all the action.
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