Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the hero of the hour, as he scored a hat-trick to fire Roma to a 3-1 win over Genoa on Sunday afternoon, per A.S. Roma.
The Giallorossi moved up to third in the fledgling Serie A standings thanks to victory at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, on a day when they were without Edin Dzeko.
But in the absence of the No. 9 it was Mkhitaryan who certainly stepped up to the plate – scoring the first Giallorossi hat-trick in just over four years to deliver the win.
His first came on the stroke of half-time, the Armenian putting Paulo Fonseca’s side ahead with a well-timed header from Jordan Veretout’s corner.
Genoa then equalised – through Marko Pjaca – early in the second half, as the game threatened to turn into something of a slog for the visitors.
Instead, Mkhitaryan redoubled his efforts: first running on to Bruno Peres’s cutback into the box to steer his side back in front, before clinching the result in the closing stages with a pinpoint volley from Pedro’s brilliantly measured cross.
With the international break now to come, Roma head into a two-week break with three wins in the last eight days.
“For my Nation! For my Roma,” Mkhitaryan tweeted after the game.
Edin Dzeko asked Henrikh Mkhitaryan to step up in his absence on Sunday – and the Armenian certainly delivered, per A.S. Roma.
With Dzeko sidelined after a positive Covid-19 test, Mkhitaryan scored a hat-trick against Genoa to deliver a 3-1 win for the Giallorossi – moving the side up to third in the Serie A standings.
After walking away with the match ball, Mkhitaryan was eager to give credit elsewhere for his star turn.
“I have to thank my teammates for such a great performance,” he said.
“We ran into a bit of difficulty in the second half, but in the end we showed our personality and we got the win.
“I spoke to Edin before the game – he told me I had to score today. And so that’s what I did.”
He added: “We need him to come back as soon as possible – we are a group, and every player is important.”
The result, which means Roma are still unbeaten on the pitch so far this season, puts the team among the frontrunners in Serie A heading into another international break.
“We have the quality, we have the potential to get to where we want to be,” Mkhitaryan added.
“We are working really hard and we will do everything we can to reach our objectives.”
“Micki, Pedro… they are players with a lot of experience. Micki knows how to play in a number of different roles, he’s a really clever footballer. Today he scored three important goals for the team and he worked really hard too – but the important thing is that we won,” said A.S. Roma manager Paulo Fonseca on Sunday, following the 3-1 away win over Genoa.