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Roma 2, Empoli 0: Match Highlights

The Giallorossi bounce back from their Coppa exit with a 2-0 win over Empoli.

AS Roma v Empoli FC - Serie A Photo by Silvia Lore/Getty Images

Just like that, Roma are back to winning ways following a 2-0 win over Empoli that sees Roma’s notoriety with set-pieces continue to grow and moves them back into a Champions League spot. Could you ask for a better result for Roma and Romanisti alike? For Roma, you’ve collected another three points and are third in the table, while for Romanisti, the Giallorossi won, and most importantly, it was a relatively stress-free win early in the weekend rather than a late Sunday nervy affair that has the heart racing.

With the match an absolute must-win for Roma, it was imperative that the Giallorossi start off on the front foot, and it didn't take long for Roma to take the lead as they won their first corner of the match in just the second minute, the subsequent ball from Paulo Dybala finding Roger Ibañez, who rose highest and made no mistake with his header to give Roma the early advantage.

Given Roma’s offensive struggles this season, this was a much-needed early goal against a strong Empoli side. And just four minutes later, in a near carbon copy of the first goal, Dybala’s corner attempt once again found a Roma player, this time Tammy Abraham rising highest to power it past the keeper.

The Giallorossi, smelling blood in the water, continued to push for a third to kill the game off, and Dybala nearly got on the score sheet himself, getting off a tight attempt in a box that was narrowly parried away, although La Joya had Tammy wide open and likely should’ve laid the ball off for the Englishman.

Continuing to push for a third goal, Roma’s very next corner attempt nearly went the way of the first two, this time with Tammy forcing the Empoli keeper into a fine save.

The momentum was entirely with Roma, but Empoli began to threaten as well as time began to wind down in the first half, an Empoli set-piece forcing Rui Patricio to stretch out and get just enough on the cross to prevent a clear shot on goal in what was Empoli’s best chance of the half.

AS Roma v Empoli FC - Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Roma picked up right where they left off to start the second, nearly scoring that elusive third goal but for Vicario making an excellent triple save against Dybala, Gianluca Mancini, and Abraham in quick succession.

Almost as if Vicario’s heroics were a signal to set up shop and call it a day, Roma began to take their foot off the gas, seemingly content to cede possession to Empoli and preserve their two-goal lead.

Sure enough, the rest of the match played out exactly as you would’ve expected under Mourinho’s Roma, with Empoli doing all they could to pull one back and having the majority of the possession, while Roma were more than comfortable playing behind the ball and have Tammy hold-up while in possession.

Ultimately the Giallorossi held out the rest of the way, securing a clean sheet and all three points, provisionally bumping them up to third place with their top-four rivals all still to play. New-boy Diego Llorente was even afforded a quick 60-second cameo to mark his Roma debut, and while likely not an ideal introduction from the player’s perspective, was a good opportunity to expose Diego to the Giallorossi faithful and the atmosphere of the Olimpico.

In case you missed any of the action, enjoy the highlights below. The official league highlights are available here.