Gervinho stars for Roma
Gervinho scored twice as Roma stormed back to the top of the Serie A table with a thumping 5-0 victory over Bologna.
Last Updated: 29/09/13 10:45pm
Gervinho scored twice as Roma stormed back to the top of the Serie A table with a thumping 5-0 victory over Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico.
The Giallorossi had already made history by starting their campaign with five straight wins but more pressing was the need to keep Juventus and Napoli underneath them after last season's top-two sides both won their weekend fixtures.
Winless Bologna were never likely to present a serious obstacle to Rudi Garcia's men and Roma sensed their fear, plundering a three-goal first-half lead through Alessandro Florenzi, Gervinho and Mehdi Benatia.
The eight million euro signing from Arsenal then fired his third goal in Giallorossi colours before birthday boy Adem Ljajic added gloss to the victory five minutes from time.
The first goal arrived after just eight minutes as Florenzi lit the touchpaper on a fantastic first-half display from Roma.
Gianluca Curci punched Miralem Pjanic's free-kick into the path of Florenzi, who stooped to head the ball home.
Francesco Totti, who turned 37 on Friday, served full-back Federico Balzaretti in space but his finish bobbled wide.
The Giallorossi would not mope for long, though, as Gervinho found his way past Curci in the 17th minute.
Bologna's defence froze as the Ivorian loped in from the right wing to steer a daisy-cutter inside the near post.
Roma goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis got a rare feel of the ball when Alessandro Diamanti tested his reflexes from a free-kick.
But when Gyorgy Garics made a clearance from Gervinho's effort in the 25th minute, Benatia arrived on the edge of the six-yard box to power in an unopposed scissor kick from the resulting corner.
Bologna would enjoy one solid chance before the break as Diamanti came within inches of pulling a goal back.
Kevin Strootman lost the ball in a dangerous position and, with De Sanctis caught unawares, he slipped the ball through Daniele De Rossi's legs only to miss the target.
Roma surged forward again following the restart and, after Totti hooked a Strootman pass wide, De Rossi tested Curci with a low shot from the edge of the area.
The rain began to fall heavily in the capital city, further dampening Bologna's spirits, but Roma were unfazed and made it 4-0 on the hour mark.
It was a second goal for Gervinho as the former Arsenal man jinked inside from the left to smash a curling finish under Curci's crossbar.
Perhaps with next Saturday's daunting game at Inter Milan in mind, Roma seemed to take their foot off the gas to allow Bologna some late joy in the final third.
Panagiotis Kone made De Sanctis touch the ball out for a corner before Diamanti's fierce strike cannoned off a defender.
Roma were always going to have the last word, though, and substitute Ljajic celebrated his 22nd birthday and a memorable night for his club with a fine angled finish at Curci's near post in the 85th minute.