Roma had plenty of reason to celebrate after a routine 3-1 win over SPAL on Friday night that was nevertheless lit up by a number of positive developments.
Edin Dzeko broke the deadlock against the Serie A minnows to end his recent scoring drought, while academy graduate Lorenzo Pellegrini grabbed his first ever goal for his boyhood club midway through the second half to effectively wrap up the points.
Before that it was Kevin Strootman who had doubled Roma's advantage, with Federico Viviani grabbing the consolation for the visitors - who had been reduced to 10 men after barely 10 minutes after Felipe's last-man foul - after reacting first when Alisson Becker saved his initial penalty.
Beyond that there were also returns to first-team action for both Patrik Schick and Emerson Palmieri, as coach Eusebio Di Francesco saw his squad options bolstered just as the campaign enters a busy period.
Roma now turn their attention to Tuesday's Champions League match against Qarabag, where qualification for the knockout rounds can be secured with a win.
Cengiz Under was named in the attack alongside Edin Dzeko and Stephan El Shaarawy, with Patrik Schick starting the night on the bench.
Alessandro Florenzi captained the side, with Lorenzo Pellegrini and Maxime Gonalons also coming back into the side after being on the bench for last weekend's draw with Genoa.
4' - Early chance for the visitors. A dangerous cross into the box is headed over by Paloschi from six yards out.
8' - Great chance for Roma. Dzeko nods the ball down brilliantly for Cengiz, but the forward has to stretch to beat the defender to the ball and fires his shot into the side-netting.
10' - RED CARD! With an assist from VAR, the referee dismisses Felipe after he pulls down Dzeko as the striker threatened to run clean through on goal!
12' - Two chances in quick succession for Roma. Gomis tips over El Shaarawy's long-range effort, and from the ensuing corner Dzeko heads his effort narrowly wide.
19' - GOAL! A classic Edin Dzeko goal! El Shaarawy lifts an inviting ball in behind the defence, and the striker chests it down before shooting across Gomis and finding the net via the inside of the far post! 1-0!
24' - Close again! Dzeko meets Kolarov's corner but cannot quite direct his header on target!
30' - Another good effort for Dzeko - this time he shifts the ball onto his left foot before hitting a powerful low drive that Gomis nervously watches flash past his post.
32' - GOAL! IT'S TWO! Reward for the pressure! Cengiz's thumping strike is parried away by Gomis, El Shaarawy reacts first and flicks the ball across to Strootman who runs onto it and thrashes home emphatically! 2-0!
37' - CLOSE AGAIN! Dzeko reads the backpass and runs onto it, but Gomis makes the stop!
44' - Cengiz cuts inside and hits a powerful dipping shot that Gomis struggles to deal with...
48' - Florenzi shoots narrowly over with an ambitious strike from distance.
53' - GOAL! What a moment for the academy graduate! Kolarov swings the ball in and Lorenzo Pellegrini muscles the defender out of the way to power a header home! He's delighted! 3-0!
56' - Goal. SPAL get one back. Mora goes down in the box, and the referee awards the penalty. Viviani converts the first attempt, but is forced to re-take it. Alisson saves the second, but Viviani follows in and smashes home. 3-1.
79' - Chance for Schick! He meets Florenzi's inviting free-kick... but heads wide!
83' - SAVE! Gomis denies Pellegrini a second goal of the night with a good stop from a free-kick!
84' - CLOSE AGAIN! Schick meets the inswinging corner and flicks it on, but at the far post a stretching Gerson prods the ball over the bar!
90'+2 - Close again! El Shaarawy feeds Gerson who squares across goal, but neither Dzeko or Pellegrini can get on the end of it!
Key match statistics
Social media reaction
“I really wanted that first goal, for obvious reasons. It was a nice moment, better than I could have even asked for. It was a good win, and an important one after the draw in Genoa.“It’s always great to score, but to do it here at the Olimpico, in front of our Curva, makes it even more special.”
“If you have 37 shots and 80% possession, it means you're in the game. Having said that, we do need to cut out certain mistakes. You don't need to touch an opponent with his back to goal when the only way they're going to score is with a superb piece of skill. Games are never easy to win. Today it was about getting the three points so that we're ready for Tuesday's game against Qarabag.”
Eusebio Di Francesco
Roma now go away to prepare for an important game at the Stadio Olimpico, as they host Qarabag in the final Champions League group stage match - with a place in the knockout rounds up for grabs.
The Giallorossi's next league encounter comes a week on Sunday, as they travel to face Chievo Verona.
ROMA 3-1 SPAL
Goalscorers: Dzeko (19'), Strootman (32'), Pellegrini (53'); Viviani (56')
Roma: Alisson; Florenzi, J. Jesus, Manolas, Kolarov (Emerson); Gonalons (Gerson), Pellegrini, Strootman; Cengiz (Schick), Dzeko, El Shaarawy.
SPAL: Gomis; Cremonesi, Vicari, Felipe, Lazzari, Rizzo, Viviani, Grassi, Mattiello, Paloschi, Bonazzoli.