‘I Leoni ałati’ got off to a dream start when Mattia Aramu swung in a lovely free-kick and AC Milan loanee Mattia Caldara’s header nestled into the bottom corner. Shortly after, Roma appeared to have the chance to level when they were awarded a penalty after Tammy Abraham was clipped in the box. However, following a lengthy VAR check, the decision was overturned due to an offside in the build-up. Abraham then crashed an effort off the post before Jordan Veretout’s follow-up flew over the crossbar.
Despite doing most of the defending, Paolo Zanetti’s men should have strengthened their position following chances for David Okereke and Sofian Kiyine, and they were punished twice in quick succession in the closing stages of the half. First, Abraham’s header was clawed away by Sergio Romero but only into the path of Eldor Shomurodov, who coolly finished for his first ‘Giallorossi’ SA strike. Then, after Okereke had claimed for a penalty following a break upfield, Abraham received a cross from Shomurodov, outmuscled Pietro Ceccaroni and steered past Romero.
Roma continued to pile the pressure on after the teams re-emerged, with an outrageous acrobatic clearance off the line from Ridgeciano Haps preventing José Mourinho’s side from extending their lead. The newly-promoted outfit were then handed the most unexpected of boosts when Bryan Cristante caught Caldara after attempting a wild clearance in the box. Aramu made no mistake with the resulting penalty as Venezia scored more than once at home for the first time this season. Abraham skewed another shot wide and a topsy-turvy encounter took another twist when Ethan Ampadu’s long ball over the top caught out the entire Roma defence and Okereke raced clear, produced a step over and slid past Rui Patrício to spark wild scenes among the home fans.
Patrício had to be alert to repel further efforts from Okereke and Caldara before substitute Thomas Henry’s sidefoot volley hit the bar as the underdogs held out for a memorable triumph, moving up to 14th in the process. Roma meanwhile have just one win in six in all competitions heading into the international break.