After drawing the Derby della Capitale 0-0 with Lazio last week, Rudi Garcia elected to make just two changes to his Roma side, Radja Nainggolan and Mattia Destro replacing club legends and derby stalwarts Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti. Sinisa Mihajlović also made two changes to his side that beat Cagliari in their last match, Michele Fornasier and Stefano Okaka dropping out and Shkodran Mustafi and Paweł Wszołek coming in.
It was clear Mihajlović had set his charges the task of pressing Roma and frustrating their attempts to play quick passes and early on, this proved to be an effective strategy as the hosts struggled to create any clear cut chances, the Sampdoria defence holding admirably firm.
The pressing couldn't last and sure enough, after about 25 minutes the visitors became increasingly rag-tag with Roma able to start to create real chances, the first of which saw Kevin Strootman spot the clever run of Gervinho to feed him in behind the dozing Mustafi, but although the Ivorian was able to lift the ball over goalkeeper Angelo Da Costa, Daniele Gastaldello made it back to clear off the line.
Mattia Destro, restored to the side after sitting the derby out, had two agonising opportunities as first Miralem Pjanić, then Alessandro Florenzi, crossed from the right, the first time the ball sailed inches past his outstretched boot and the second it was taken off his head by the deftest of deflections from Mustafi.
An errant Angelo Palombo backpass allowed Kevin Strootman a golden opportunity to put the hosts ahead however he shot straight at Da Costa when alone in the area but a minute before the half time whistle, Destro finally connected with a cross, heading the hosts into a deserved lead given all of the pressure they had put on.
Nine minutes after the break and the advantage was doubled, as Miralem Pjanić cleverly hit a dipping, swerving free-kick into Da Costa's right hand corner from 30 yards, the Brazilian goalkeeper getting nowhere near the ball.
Three minutes later and it was 3-0, Destro getting his second as Gervinho squared for him in the box and his expert touch took him away from Daniele Gastaldello before crashing a shot beyond Da Costa from eight yards.
With a three goal lead, Roma were then comfortable and an Angelo Palombo effort that had to be saved by Morgan De Sanctis aside, Sampdoria barely even threatened. Insult was added to injury as Daniele Gastaldello was sent off late on for his second yellow card following a late challenge on Radja Nainggolan as Roma restored the gap to Juventus above them to nine points.
Roma: De Sanctis; Maicon (Romagnoli 55'), Benatia (De Rossi 73'), Leandro Castan, Torosidis; Nainggolan, Strootman, Pjanić; Florenzi, Destro (Michel Bastos 82'), Gervinho
Goals: Destro (44', 57) Pjanić (54')
Sampdoria: Da Costa; De Silvestri, Palombo (Obiang 64'), Gastaldello (red 80'), Regini; Mustafi, Krističić; Gabbiadini, Soriano (Fornasier 84'), Wsołek (Okaka 56'); Eder