ROME — AS Roma notched up their first home league win for more than two months when they hammered Lecce 4-0 in Serie A on Sunday, helped by an inspirational performance from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Fifth-placed Roma, suffering from the inconsistency which has dogged them over the last few seasons, had lost their previous three league games while Lecce had won theirs, but they made surprisingly light work of the visitors.
Mkhitaryan set up the first goal in the 13th minute when he laid off the ball for Turkish International Cengiz Under to burst through the Rome defense and comfortably beat Mauro Vigorito.
Soon after it was Mkhitaryan himself who got on the scoresheet, the Armenian firing low and true after his run had been spotted by Dzeko.
The third came in the 69th minute from Dzeko who beat Vigorito at the second attempt and saw the offside flag go up before the goal was awarded thanks to a VAR review.
Aleksandar Kolarov completed the scoring as Roma won a league match at the Stadio Olimpico for the first time since Dec. 15. Lecce stayed three points clear of the relegation zone in 16th.
“Mkhitaryan is a great player, he makes the right decisions in the final third of the pitch and gives continuity to our attack,” said Roma coach Paulo Fonseca.
“It was an important game to win; for the team, for our confidence, for our mood heading into the next few games,” Mkhitaryan said after the match.
“It wasn’t easy, we need to rediscover the way we were playing in the first part of the season.”
You showed tonight that you are still in the fight for the top four…
“We believe we can do that but we have to take things game-by-game, to make sure we stay focused. Now we are focused on Gent in the Europa League, and then next weekend’s game against Cagliari.
Do you feel like the team has found itself again?
“I think that even in the game against Gent we showed we had recovered – but we need to keep working hard, getting better every day. It’s not enough to keep playing how we play, other teams learn quickly and we have to be able to adapt to different tactical approaches.”
How do you feel, fitness-wise?
“I feel good but I can still get sharper, I can still learn more – and that’s what I try to do in training every day.”