Roma vs. Bologna, final score 5-0: Roma run wild, reclaim spot at the top

Claudio Villa

Five goals from four different goalscorers at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night, as Roma easily dispatched Bologna to go top of Serie A once more.

Roma sure had an impressive first 25 minutes, going up 3-0 in that time. The giallorossi then took their foot off the gas for the remainder of the first half, but it mattered little, as Bologna could barely muster up the energy to string together a decent attack. Then, after a rejuvenating halftime cappuccino and toweling-off session, Roma returned to put two more past an unsteady, unstable and quite frankly crap Bologna back line.

The hosts had their lead by the eighth minute. Andrea Mantovani fouled Francesco Totti, but it was Miralem Pjanic who stepped up to take the kick. The Bosnia's sharp shot was on target, but Gianluca Curci got a palm to it. However, the goalkeeper, on loan from Roma, pushed it toward the onrushing players, teeing Alessandro Florenzi up perfectly for the opening goal.

Roma almost had their second just two minutes later, when Curci rushed out to stop a threatening Federico Balzaretti. The left back failed to get his second goal for the club, however, putting his shot just wide. Bologna did manage to get themselves into a good position shortly after, thanks to young Diego Laxalt, but the Uruguayan went down hoping for a penalty. Bologna failed to get past the first man with their resulting corner.

The failed corner resulted in a quick counterattack from Roma, with Florenzi flying up the right side. His short pass to Totti allowed Gervinho to get into a good position. The Ivorian received the ball from Totti, scared the wits out of Mikael Antonsson, and approached a visibly trembling Curci before smashing his shot past.

But Roma certainly weren't done. The third goal came courtesy of Mehdi Benatia, whose acrobatic finish off a cross from Totti was certainly worth the ooohs and ahhs from the crowd.

Bologna's best chance came in the 37th minute, when the rossoblu caught Morgan De Sanctis napping. Alessandro Diamanti could've given his side hope, but instead placed his shot just wide.

Stefano Pioli attempted to liven things up at the restart, putting on Lazaros Christodoulopoulos for Diego Pérez. The real enlivenment came from the weather, however, as thunder and heavy rains swept over the Stadio Olimpico. The slick surfaces made for tougher going, but Roma still managed to put in two more.

The first came from Gervinho again, in the 67th minute, coming off another fast break. This time the ball came in from Kevin Strootman, but the opposition was the same: Antonsson. Once again Gervinho sent the Bologna defender spinning, this time leaving him sprawling on the grass. And once again, the goal was absolutely lovely, nestling into the top right corner.

And the second? The fifth goal of the night came from birthday boy Adem Ljajic, who came on for Gervinho just after his second goal. Ljajic got on the end of a pass from Pjanic, easily took the ball past a disheartened Bologna defense -- this time it was Mantovani who couldn't stop the attack -- and put in his shot from a difficult angle. The fifth and final Roma goal looped over Curci's head and settled softly into the back of the net.

Bologna did manage to get in a few shots in the second half, the most notable being in the 74th minute. anagiotis Kone tried his luck from 35 yards, but it was easy enough for De Sanctis to tip it over the bar. The rossoblu just couldn't make their way into the area, with Serie A's most impressive defense determined to block their way.

AS Roma: De Sanctis; Torosidis, Benatia, Castan, Balzaretti; Pjanic, De Rossi, Strootman (Taddei 67); Florenzi (Borriello 78), Totti, Gervinho (Ljajic 65)

Goals: Florenzi 8'; Gervinho 17'; Benatia 25'; Gervinho 62'; Ljajic 85'

Bologna: Curci; Garics, Antonsson, Mantovani, Morleo; Pazienza (Krhin 64), Pérez.(Christodoulopoulos 46); Kone, Diamanti (Bianchi 79), Laxalt; Cristaldo

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