An early Tammy Abraham back-heel finish proved enough to beat Udinese, but Roma saw Lorenzo Pellegrini sent off and he’s suspended for the derby with Lazio.
Both teams were trying to get back on track after their first defeats of the season. Matias Vina and Leonardo Spinazzola were still out, so Riccardo Calafiori again started at left-back and Henrikh Mkhitaryan returned. Ilija Nestorovski was injured and Jens Stryger-Larsen not 100 per cent fit.
In the opening five minutes, Mkhitaryan’s control and half-volley clipped the outside of the upright from the edge of the box.
Moments later, they rattled the woodwork again, a corner flicked on by Bryan Cristante for Nicolò Zaniolo’s header onto the back post from point-blank range.
Udinese had a huge chance when Roberto Pereyra pulled back from the by-line, forcing a desperate block in the six-yard box.
However, on the counter from that move, Calafiori ran half the length of the pitch and shrugged off Nahuel Molina to roll across for Tammy Abraham to anticipate Marco Silvestri from close range. The striker had in fact got ahead of the ball, so had to flick it in with his heel on the turn.
Udinese had another massive opportunity, as Gerard Deulofeu stung Rui Patricio’s gloves at the near post and only an extraordinary Gianluca Mancini interception prevented Pussetto nodding in from two yards.
Roma seemed to fall asleep and Udinese started to get back into the game. Destiny Udogie sprung the offside trap to fire his angled drive inches past the post and Brandon Soppy blasted just over.
Deulofeu tested Rui Patricio from a tight angle and no Udinese players were ready on the rebound. The Friulani had penalty appeals, but it struck Mkhitaryan on the ribcage more than the arm.
There was very bad news for Roma in the final minute, as Pellegrini received a harsh second yellow card for jumping with elbow raised on Lazar Samardzic. As it was a booking and not a straight red, VAR could not intervene. Worse than this match, it means the captain will be suspended for Sunday’s Derby della Capitale against Lazio.
Udinese tried to get something from this game, Rui Patricio tipping a Deulofeu free kick over the bar.
Roma 1-0 Udinese
Abraham 36 (R)
Sent off: Pellegrini 89 (R)