Roma were grateful to a stroke of luck, as they lead Istanbul Basaksehir 1-0 at half-time in the Europa League thanks to an own goal.
The Giallorossi rotated the squad following a 4-2 win over Sassuolo, the first success for Coach Paulo Fonseca, with Leonardo Spinazzola moved into the right-back slot. Cengiz Under was injured and unable to face his former club, along with Chris Smalling, Diego Perotti and Davide Zappacosta. The Turkish team travelled without Robinho, Gokhan Inler and Martin Skrtel.
It took 45 seconds for Nicolò Zaniolo to force the first save with his snapshot, while Fredrik Gulbrandsen had the ball in the net a long time after the offside flag had been raised.
The visitors started to control possession early on and Mehmet Topal nodded over from a free kick, then Pau Lopez had to come tearing out to stop Guldbrandsen going clear on a ball over the top.
Javier Pastore’s ferocious strike from distance stung Mert Gunok’s gloves and Justin Kluivert went for goal rather than set up teammate Edin Dzeko on Leonardo Spinazzola’s cross.
Roma took the lead with a stroke of luck just before half-time, as Spinazzola’s cross wasn’t heading towards anyone in particular when it bounced off Junior Caicara’s hip and ricocheted into the net from six yards.
Roma 1-0 Basaksehir (Half-Time)
Junior Caicara og 42 (R)
Roma: Pau Lopez; Spinazzola, Fazio, Juan Jesus, Kolarov; Cristante, Diawara; Zaniolo, Pastore, Kluivert; Dzeko
Istanbul Basaksehir: Günok; Junior Caiçara, Ponck, Tekdemir, Clichy; Aleksic, Mehmet Topal, Kahveci; Visca, Gulbrandsen, Arda Turan
Ref: Estrada Fernandez (SPA)