ROME, Italy :Stephan El Shaarawy orchestrated both goals for AS Roma as they snapped a three-match winless streak in Serie A with a 2-1 home win over Hellas Verona on Saturday, securing newly appointed manager Daniele De Rossi a perfect start.
After 19 minutes, Roma broke the deadlock as El Shaarawy made a run into the box before passing to the unmarked Romelu Lukaku, who scored his ninth league goal of the season.
Six minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead as El Shaarawy flicked a cross towards Lorenzo Pellegrini at the back post and the midfielder volleyed into the roof of the net.
Verona had a chance to get back into the match shortly after the hour mark when they were awarded a penalty for a handball on Diego Llorente, but Milan Djuric’s spot kick went wide.
They finally pulled one back in the 76th minute when Michael Folorunsho unleashed a curled shot from around 30 metres, catching Roma keeper Rui Patricio off guard as the ball slipped through his gloves.
Roma are eighth with 32 points, while 18-placed Verona sit in the relegation zone with 17 points.
“We must celebrate victories and recreate enthusiasm here, so even though the team did not play very well in the final 25 minutes, they showed heart, determination and brought home the result,” De Rossi told DAZN.
“I really liked the first half, but if you do the same moves without the right pace, without moving the ball quickly and without remembering why you are doing it, then you are going to struggle.”
The atmosphere at the crowded Stadio Olimpico was mostly vibrant and supportive as fans gathered to witness the start of a new era following the departure of coach Jose Mourinho.
The 60-year-old Portuguese manager was sacked earlier in the week after the club won only one of their last six league matches. Many supporters held up banners thanking Mourinho for his contribution to the club.