(Reuters) - AS Roma became the first team to win their opening 10 Serie A games of the season when they overcame bottom side Chievo 1-0 thanks to Marco Boriello’s late header on Thursday.
The defiant visitors defended resolutely and physically for more than an hour and looked capable of denying Roma the record until striker Boriello broke the deadlock in the 67th minute.
Roma, under new coach Rudi Garcia who took over at the start of the season, have 30 points, five clear of Juventus and Napoli with more than a quarter of the campaign completed.
Chievo have taken only four points from 10 games but made life unexpectedly difficult and frustrating for the hosts.
The packed their defense, harried Roma in midfield and stood over the ball at free kicks to stop them being taken quickly.
Roma, who have conceded only one goal all season, were missing talismanic striker Francesco Totti and Ivorian forward Gervinho and they struggled to make chances against the wall of yellow shirts.
Tempers flared several times until the home side finally broke through when Alessandro Florenzi ran on to Miralem Pjanic’s pass, weaved his way through a crowded area and chipped the ball up for Boriello to head in at the near post.
Chievo could have equalized when Roma goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis failed to hold Luca Rigoni’s long-range effort but Alberto Paloschi was offside as he closed in for the rebound.
Garcia has transformed Roma from the erratic, bickering outfit who limped home in sixth place last term and lost to arch-rivals Lazio in the Coppa Italia final.
They will try for an 11th consecutive win when they visit Torino in their next match on Sunday.
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris