AS Roma defender Chris Smalling scored and then provided two assists as his side thumped bottom-of-the-table Brescia 3-0 in Serie A on Sunday.
Brescia left Mario Balotelli on the bench after coach Fabio Grosso said the maverick striker had not put in enough effort in training during the week.
Even so, they almost took a first-half lead when Emanuele Ndoj’s shot was pushed away by Roma goalkeeper Pau Lopez and Alfredo Donnarumma went close after being allowed a free header at a corner.
Roma, fourth with 25 points, took full control after halftime and Smalling, on loan from Manchester United, broke the deadlock when he headed in from a corner in the 49th minute.
Eight minutes later, the Englishman headed down Justin Kluivert’s cross for his fellow centre defender Gianluca Mancini to volley home and he provided another headed assist for Edin Dzeko to add the third in the 66th minute.
In between, Nicolo Zaniolo, who scored his first Italy goals in their 9-1 thrashing of Armenia on Monday, had a goal disallowed after the ball went out of play in the buildup and Florian Aye had a consolation effort for Brescia ruled out for handball. Promoted Brescia have seven points.
Marseille overcome 10-man Toulouse to go second in Ligue 1
Olympique de Marseille needed two late goals to beat 10-man relegation strugglers Toulouse at the Stade Municipal and return to second place in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Toulouse defender Steven Moreira was shown a straight red card for a rash challenge at the end of the first half after his initial booking was upgraded following a video assistant referee (VAR) review.
But Marseille struggled to make their numerical advantage count until Dario Benedetto and Nemanja Radonjic found the net inside the final 15 minutes.
The result moves Andre Villas-Boas’ side back into second on 25 points, eight behind league leaders Paris St Germain, while Toulouse remain 19th on 12 points.
Earlier on Sunday, Monaco’s Islam Slimani went from hero to villain when he scored the opener before conceding a penalty and getting sent off as Bordeaux came from behind to win 2-1 and move into third at the Stade Matmut-Atlantique.
Slimani fired in the opener for the visitors after 15 minutes but Bordeaux drew level through Pablo, who rose the highest to head in from a corner and level the score before halftime.
The hosts completed their comeback thanks to a moment of madness from Slimani, who raised his arm while in the wall to block a free kick, resulting in a Bordeaux penalty and his second yellow card of the afternoon.
Nicolas de Preville stepped up to fire in the spot kick and send Paulo Sousa’s side to third in the table on 22 points.
Claude Puel maintained his unbeaten record as Saint-Etienne manager as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Montpellier at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
The two sides occupy fifth (22 points) and sixth (20) place respectively.