Roma 4-0 Udinese: Match report, reaction and key statistics

Roma kicked off the new Serie A season with an emphatic 4-0 win over a shell-shocked Udinese at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Substitute Diego Perotti scored twice from the penalty spot to break the deadlock in what had previously threatened to be a frustrating afternoon for the Giallorossi - before Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah went on to complete a one-sided victory in the final 10 minutes.

It was a case of starting the new campaign as they finished the old one for last season's top-scoring side in Serie A, with a four-goal performance also a fitting way to celebrate the debut of Bruno Peres and the return to the Italian capital of Wojciech Szczesny.

Such a one-sided scoreline looked far from likely in the first half, as Roma struggled to create clear-cut chances of note. But Perotti entered the match shortly before the hour-mark and became pivotal almost immediately, converting twice in the space of 10 minutes from 12 yards as first Dzeko and then Salah were fouled in the box.

With the Bianconeri's dogged defence finally broken down the floodgates seemed to open - and Dzeko was the first to take advantage as he tapped home from close range after Radja Nainggolan had played him in with a trademark sliding pass.

Then, to the delight of a raucous home crowd, Salah was rewarded for his hard work during the game with the final goal - finding the back of the net at the second attempt from deep inside the Udinese box.

Team selection

Spalletti made five changes from the team that faced Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday - including handing a debut to full-back Bruno Peres at the first available opportunity.

The other new faces who came into the side included Wojciech Szczesny in goal, Emerson as the other full-back and Stephan El Shaarawy added to the attacking lineup.

Leandro Paredes was also selected in midfield - replacing Daniele De Rossi - meaning that, with Totti, De Rossi and Florenzi (injured) all watching on it was Kevin Strootman that wore the captain's armband.

Key moments

First half

10' - Zapata runs through on goal after work from Hallfredsson – but Szczesny saves with his feet.

15' – First real chance for Roma. Salah fires a low cross as the defender clears over own bar under pressure from Dzeko. No corner given.

30' – Dzeko lashes over with his left foot after a smart turn.

33' – El Shaarawy half-volleys straight at Karnezis after Dzeko chests ball into his path on edge of box.

36' – De Paul blasts speculatively wide for the visitors.

40' – Nainggolan into the side neeting at the near post from a low corner.

42' – CHANCE! Dzeko heads at Karnezis after good cross from Peres.

45' – De Paul volleys well over at the far post.

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See more images in our match gallery.

Second half

48' – Chance! Nainggolan agonisingly over again as he meets Salah’s cross a few yards out.

53' – Dzeko's first-time shot saved smartly by Karnezis after cross from Emerson.

57' – Substitution for Roma: Perotti replaces El Shaarawy

64' – Penalty! Dzeko gets behind defence, turns inside Danilo and is brought down by the defender!!

65 – GOAL! Perotti scores, going to the keeper's left as the keeper dives the wrong way! 1-0!

75' - Penalty! Salah's speed causes havoc in the Udinese defence, and Badu ends up bringing him down after Karnezis fails to claim Perotti's throughball!

75' - GOAL! Perotti does it again - going the other way this time! 2-0!

80' - Substitution for Roma: Manolas limps off with an injury, replaced by Fazio.

82' - GOAL! Dzeko wraps up the points as he taps in at the far post from Nainggolan's assist! 3-0!

84' - GOAL! Salah opens his account for the season with a close-range finish! 4-0!!

Key match statistics

See more match statistics in our match centre.

Fan reaction

Roma reaction

"It was very important to start with a win. After the draw against Porto it was crucial in terms of gaining confidence. Now we'll rest up ahead of Tuesday."I feel good, they've backed me 100% ever since I joined and that's massive. I came off the bench today and my first thought was how I could contribute." Diego Perotti
 "They were good in the first half, if you look at it tactically Udinese force you to run so many meters and make everything difficult for you. At first we were tense and hurried, we made the wrong decisions - but after the break it all went for the best." Luciano Spalletti

What's next?

Spalletti's side are back at the Olimpico on Tuesday, as they welcome FC Porto for the conclusion of their Champions League play-off tie. After drawing 1-1 in the first leg at the Estadio do Dragao, Roma know that they will progress with a win or even a goalless draw against the Portuguese side.

After that Serie A action resumes at the weekend, with the Giallorossi travelling to Sardinia for their first away match of the league campaign as they face Cagliari.

Roma 4-0 Udinese

Goalscorers: Perotti (p. 66', p. 75'), Dzeko (82'), Salah (84')

Roma: Szczesny; Peres, Manolas (Fazio), Vermaelen, Emerson (Jesus); Paredes, Strootman, Nainggolan, Salah, Dzeko, El Shaarawy (Perotti).

Udinese: Karnezis, Heurtaux (Angella), Danilo, Samir, Widmer, Badu, Hallfredsson, Fofana (Lodi), Ali Adnan, Zapata, De Paul (Penaranda).

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