AS Roma 2-1 Lecce: Goals, highlights and report – Serie A 2022/23

The Lupi beat 10-man Lecce thanks to goals from Chris Smalling and Paulo Dybala, but lost the latter to an injury as he scored from the penalty spot

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An unconvincing AS Roma earned a 2-1 win over 10-man Lecce at the Stadio Olimpico in Serie A on Sunday evening, to move up to fifth place. The Giallorossi won courtesy of goals from Chris Smalling and Paulo Dybala, either side of a Gabriel Strefezza equaliser for the visitors.

Despite playing most of the game with 10 men following the dismissal of Morten Hjulmand early on, Lecce gave a good account of themselves, whilst the Lupi were left fretting over an injury suffered by Dybala.

Roma made a flying start to the match and were ahead after only six minutes, as Chris Smalling rose highest to head in from a Lorenzo Pellegrini cross and put the Giallorossi in control.

The English centre-back almost doubled his tally soon after when a loose ball in the box came to him, but his flick went over the bar from close range.

Lecce‘s task was made all the more difficult when captain Hjulmand was shown a straight red card for a lunging tackle on Andrea Belotti, after a VAR check.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Lecce drew level before the break after a corner fell to Strefezza after pinballing in the box, and the midfielder buried into the bottom corner.

Roma came flying out of the traps in the second half too and substitute Tammy Abraham made an instant impact, winning a penalty after being caught on the turn. Dybala stepped up and fired home to restore the lead, but the Argentine picked up an injury whilst striking the ball and had to be replaced.

Abraham came close midway through the half when he chested down a lofted pass and spun to shoot, but his effort deflected inches over the crossbar.

At the other end, Federico Di Francesco tested Rui Patricio from range as Lecce struggled to force an opening.

England international Abraham had the ball in the back of the net in stoppage time as he tucked away a counterattack, but Pellegrini was offside by some distance in the build-up. Nonetheless, Roma held on to secure a third league win in four.

AS Roma forward Paulo Dybala scores from the penalty spot against Lecce (@ASRoma_En)

Injury concern for Dybala

Despite securing the win, Roma coach Jose Mourinho will be sweating over the fitness of Dybala and wondering what cost the three points came out.

The marquee summer arrival from Juventus has made a strong start to life in the capital but his progress looks set to be hampered by a suspected thigh strain, as he pulled up after netting from the penalty spot.

With a crucial Europa League tie against Real Betis in midweek, and a clash against Napoli in Serie A just a fortnight away, the Giallorossi will be hoping Dybala makes a rapid recovery.