There was no repeat of last weekend's fairytale for Hellas Verona, who followed up their 2-1 win against AC Milan with a 3-0 defeat to AS Roma. The mastini put up stubborn resistance in the first half, though once it was broken in the second, the giallorossi ran out comfortable winners.
The tone for the first half was set in the third minute, when Roma winger Alessandro Florenzi managed to miss the best chance of the entire 45 minutes. Sent through by a Daniele De Rossi ball straight between the two Hellas centre-backs, Florenzi fired his shot wide of Rafael's far post.
It was the first in a string of attempts on the mastini goal, with centre-back Leandro Castán nodding a Maicon cross wide before Miralem Pjanić and Daniele De Rossi saw long-range shots kept out by the Brazilian goalkeeper. Hellas were occasionally dangerous on the counter, with right-back Rômulo charging forward and curling a speculative shot wide from distance, though these were just momentary breaks in the giallorossi's siege.
And yet, despite Roma's numerous attempts on goal -- with Francesco Totti forcing Rafael into another good save from a drilled free-kick after 27 minutes -- they struggled to carve out any clear-cut opportunities. Half chances or efforts from distance were what kept Rafael busy, and at halftime the scores were still deadlocked.
However, it didn't stay that way long into the second half, as Roma's control finally paid off -- albeit in hugely fortuitous circumstances. Just over ten minutes after the restart full-back Maicon was picked out by Totti after a surging run down the right, and pulled a low cross back across the box. En route to its intended target, the ball took a huge deflection off Hellas full-back Fabrizio Cacciatore, and into the back of the net.
Three minutes later and it was 2-0, though Pjanić's glorious second more than made up for the good fortune in Maicon's opener. Catching Rafael off his line from way outside the area, the Bosnian midfielder perfectly chipped the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net, and getting in his goal of the season entry in early.
It looked like the floodgates had opened, and Gervinho should've made it three after being sent through on goal. His low shot was straight at Rafael, who made the save. Instead, the honour of netting the third was reserved for debutant Adem Ljajić, who roared off the bench with a drilled shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Distaste over Erik Lamela's recent sale to Tottenham Hotspur was momentarily forgotten by the fantastic third.
Roma had opportunities to make their advantage even bigger before the final whistle, though Gervinho and Kevin Strootman both missed great chances to add a fourth. At the other end, Emil Hallfreðsson rattled Morgan De Sanctis' crossbar before Daniele Cacia had his effort cleared off the line, though it was too little, too late for Hellas.
AS Roma: Morgan De Sanctis; Federico Balzaretti, Leandro Castán, Mehdi Benatia, Maicon; Kevin Strootman (Rodrigo Taddei 87'), Daniele De Rossi, Miralem Pjanić (Michael Bradley 72'); Alessandro Florenzi (Adem Ljajić 52'), Francesco Totti, Gervinho
Goals: Cacciatore (og) 56', Pjanić 59', Ljajić 66'
Hellas Verona: Rafael; Fabrizio Cacciatore, Domenico Maietta, Vangelis Moras, Rômulo; Emil Hallfreðsson, Massimo Donati (Jacopo Sala 64'), Jorginho; Raphael Martinho, Luca Toni (Daniele Cacia 75'), Bosko Janković (Juanito Gómez 65')