Gianluca Mancini’s thunderous strike moved Roma up to fourth place in Serie A with a 1-0 victory over Juventus at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
The centre-back’s rasping second-half drive sealed three precious points, boosting Roma’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
After a week dominated by off-field headlines for head coach Jose Mourinho and former Juve playmaker Pablo Dybala, the Giallorossi claimed what could prove to be a huge victory.
Defeat will be a bitter pill to swallow for Massimiliano Allegri’s Juve side after a performance in which they will feel they did enough to earn a point and Moise Kean was sent off in the closing stages, less than a minute after coming on, for kicking out at Mancini.
Knowing victory would edge them above Milan and into the top four on goal difference, Roma sought to impose themselves upon their visitors early on.
Yet Juventus were stubbornly defiant in front of a partisan crowd, and did their best to take the initiative themselves.
1 – Due to Gianluca #Mancini‘s goal, #Juventus have conceded a goal from outside the box in #SerieA for the first time since May, 1, 2022 (Aramu for Venezia). Bang.#RomaJuve
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) March 5, 2023
It was the Bianconeri who came closest to a breakthrough in the first half, when Adrien Rabiot saw his header saved by Wojciech Szczesny near the left post in the 43rd minute.
Emboldened by their support from the stands, the hosts broke the deadlock eight minutes after the interval, with Mancini letting fly from long range with his right foot and giving Szczesny no chance.
Juan Cuadrado almost levelled matters on the cusp of the hour with a superb free-kick that struck the post.
Juve were unable to salvage a point and Kean was shown a straight red card for lashing out at Mancini soon after coming on, adding insult to injury.
What does it mean? Week of uncertainty ends on a high note for Mourinho
The presence of Mourinho on the touchline for one of his side’s biggest games of the season had been in doubt after he was handed a touchline ban.
But with it suspended earlier this week ahead of the crucial encounter, Mourinho was back in the dugout, with his side rising to the occasion under his watch.
Roma demonstrated their Champions League credentials to leapfrog Milan, while Juve are down in eighth place.
Mixed reunion for Dybala
At the end of a week in which it was reported Dybala is to sue Juve for money owed during his time in Turin, the forward had a mixed match against his former employers.
No team-mate managed more than his two shots, but he was not at his best before being replaced by Tammy Abraham.
Di Maria frustrated in defeat
Dybala’s international team-mate Angel Di Maria endured a frustrating night as Juve fired a blank.
The winger had three attempts, including a fine strike in the 78th minute that Rui Patricio kept put, but was unable to prevent Roma from coming out on top.
Key Opta facts
– Roma were unbeaten in both of their Serie A meetings against Juventus for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign under Fabio Capello.
– This was Roma’s first Serie A win over Juventus since August 2020, having failed to secure victory in the previous five encounters.
– Mourinho’s side have won five Serie A home matches in a row in the same season for the first time since December 2017.
– Kean’s red card after 40 seconds was the fastest received by a substitute in a Serie A game since Giulio Migliaccio in a clash between Atalanta and Palermo on December 6, 2015 (32 seconds).
– Mancini scored his first Serie A goal in 728 days, with his previous one coming against Genoa back on March 7, 2021.
Both teams refocus on their Europa League last-16 first leg ties this Thursday, with Roma hosting Real Sociedad and Juventus welcoming Freiburg.
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