Ljajic scores on debut as Roma beat Hellas Verona


Tue, Sep 03, 2013 - Page 18

Serbian Adem Ljajic scored on his debut for AS Roma on Sunday as Rudi Garcia’s side hit three unanswered goals past Hellas Verona, who had stunned AC Milan the previous weekend, inside 10 second-half minutes.

ACF Fiorentina also turned on the class, Giuseppe Rossi scoring a brace and Mario Gomez claiming his maiden Serie A goals, his second from the penalty spot in stoppage-time, in an entertaining 5-2 win away to Genoa that began with Alberto Aquilani’s 10th-minute opener.

“I want to thank the whole team, we all played superbly today, although we have to improve our defensive play,” said Gomez, signed from Bayern Munich in the summer.

AC Milan got the chance to test new striker Alessandro Matri, signed from Juventus last week, after Mario Balotelli had scored the Rossoneri’s third in a one-sided 3-1 win at home to Cagliari.

Robinho, starting in place of Stephan El Shaarawy, opened the scoring on eight minutes and although Marco Sau scored a screamer two minutes after Philippe Mexes had given Milan a 2-1 lead, Balotelli settled the nerves with a fine solo effort just after the hour.

AC Milan’s city rivals, Inter, were happy to emerge from the potential banana skin of a trip to Catania with all three points to remain second.

Inter had Rodrigo Palacio to thank for a 20th-minute opener after the Argentine striker tapped home Jonathan’s bullet pass across goal.

The Nerazzurri, looking to improve after a disastrous ninth-placed finish under Andrea Stramaccioni, saw Japan international Yuto Nagatomo score a first-time bullet header from Palacio’s cross on 56 minutes for his second goal in as many games.

Inter secured all three points 10 minutes from time thanks to Riccardo Alvarez.

In Sunday’s other matches, Atalanta BC defeated Torino 2-0, Bologna were held 2-2 by UC Sampdoria, US Sassuolo were thrashed 4-1 at home by AS Livorno and Udinese won 3-1 at home to Parma.

Additional reporting by staff writer