'Er Pupone,' on his return, converted two penalties for a vital win over a battling Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico...
Coach Luciano Spalletti welcomed back a number of injured and previously suspended including captain Francesco Totti, Simone Perrotta, and Daniele De Rossi.
Meanwhile, Sinisa Mihajlovic was able to count on bomber Marco Di Vaio despite being a doubt before the match. However, mid-season acquisition Pablo Daniel Osvaldo was suspended.
Sergio Volpi found space on four minutes, but his long range range effort skimmed wide with Doni diving. Totti looked in good shape as he responded with a free-kick hat stung the palms of ex-Giallorossi keeper Francesco Antonioli.
Not long after, Roma had two appeals for handball in the area waved away by the referee as thee were applying a majority of the early pressure.
Eventually, the referee did point to the spot when Tonetto and Lavecchia collided on edge of the area, but it appeared the ball had already gone over the line for a goal-kick. Nonetheless, 'Er Pupone' converted the penalty to give his team the lead.
Lavecchia had picked up an injury when conceding the spot-kick and was replaced by Massimo Marazzina as the Rossoblu switched to a 4-4-2 formation.
On 25', the scores were level! A well-taken corner found Marazzina on the edge of the six-yard box and the veteran did not miss the opportunity.
Panucci immediately had the chance to regain the lead, but missed from point blank range after Matteo Brighi scuffed his shot. The game had become much more open and Menez dribbled two players before seeing his powerful effort cleared off the line.
Marazzina had a good chance to make it two five minutes before half-time, but he did not connect well with Bombardini's low cross from the left.
The half came to a close with Bologna hitting the upright! Di Vaio, who had been invisible thus far, flashed a low shot across the face of goal that nicked the base of the post!
Roma began the second half in an aggressive manner and Brighi's shot was pushed away.
I Lupi earned their second penalty of the match on 57 minutes, there was no doubt about this decision as substitute Julio Baptista was bundled over and Totti dispatched an excellent spot-kick into the top corner.
Volpi had been one of the Falsinei's most impressive players and his hard strike from a central position was well saved by Doni as Mihajlovic's men looked for a way back into the match. On 73' the visitors broke on the counter, but Di Vaio's shot from a good position was blocked.
The hosts seemed content to sit on their lead, moving forward solely on the counter. However, Brighi spurned an opportunity to ensure the points for his team when he failed to find a wide-open Totti.
Bologna were throwing men forward in search of an equalizer. Adailton dribbled the goalkeeper to a wide angle, but his cross back into the centre was headed away by John Arne Riise. A good free-kick was again cleared for a corner, as Totti was subbed off to rousing applause.
In the end, Bologna could not make their final few minutes of pressure pay off and the Giallorossi walked away with three points as they continue to chase fourth place.
Roma 2-1 Bologna
Goals: 12' Totti pk (R), 25' Marazzina (B), 57' Totti pk (R)
Bookings: 15' Bombardini (B), 58' Castellini (B), 62' Mutarelli (B), 76' Pizarro (B)
Roma (4-2-3-1): Doni - Motta, Mexes, Panucci, Tonetto - De Rossi, Pizarro - Perrotta (72' Riise), Brighi, Menez (46' Baptista) -Totti (90' Montella).
Bologna (4-5-1): Antonioli - Zenoni, Castellini, Moras, Lanna - Lavecchia (16' Marazzina), Mudingayi, Volpi, Mutarelli (78' Mingazzini), Bombardini (64' Adailton) - Di Vaio
Adam Scime, Goal.com