ROME: Jordan Veretout's double helped AS Roma to earn a 3-1 victory over his former club Fiorentina in their season opener on Sunday, as Jose Mourinho got off to a winning start back as a Serie A coach in a match where both teams finished with 10 men.
Fiorentina goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski was given a straight red card for a foul on Roma new boy Tammy Abraham in the 17th minute, much to the bewilderment of the visitors' coach Vincenzo Italiano.
Roma made the numerical advantage count in the Stadio Olimpico when Henrikh Mkhitaryan broke the deadlock in the 26th minute, the hosts going into the interval in control.
The tide turned when Nicolo Zaniolo, starting his first Serie A match in more than a year following a long injury layoff, received his second yellow card and was dismissed just after the break, before Nikola Milenkovic levelled on the hour mark.
With the numbers evened up, Roma stepped up a gear, with Mkhitaryan squaring for Veretout to restore the hosts' lead, before the Frenchman made it 3-1 11 minutes from time.
"The referee got every decision right," Mourinho told DAZN. "VAR is there to spot every tiny error, which can at times be decisive in games.
"We have many different solutions but at this moment what I like is the spirit of the team; the defensive organisation is getting there.
"Fiorentina made it very, very difficult for us. Italiano deserves a lot of credit because he has his team playing very, very well so early into the season."
In Sunday's other late kick-off, goals from Lorenzo Insigne and Eljif Elmas gave Napoli a 2-0 win over Venezia in Naples, even though the home side had Victor Osimhen sent off in the first half.