ROME (AP) " Substitute Diego Perotti converted two penalties before setting up another goal as likely title-challenger Roma produced a second-half outburst to beat visiting Udinese 4-0 in the Serie A opener Saturday.
It was a perfect start for the Giallorossi as they prepare for the return leg of the Champions League playoffs on Tuesday against Porto, following a 1-1 opening leg.
"It was really important to win and start well so we can approach the Porto match serenely," Perotti said.
Perotti's first spot kick came in the 65th after Edin Dzeko used a sharp change of direction to make defender Danilo fall on top of him.
Perotti played a part in drawing the second penalty, sending a through ball to Mohammed Salah, who sped past the defense, prompting Emmanuel Badu to tug him over.
Dzeko made it 3-0 from close range with his ninth Serie A goal in the 82nd and Salah finished things off two minutes later after taking a long pass from Perotti.
Roma has finished in the top three positions of the Italian league each of the last three seasons and is looking to prevent Juventus from winning a sixth consecutive title this campaign.
Juventus was hosting Fiorentina later in its opener.
Since joining Roma midway through last season, Perotti has scored five goals and provided seven assists in 16 Serie A appearances. More is expected of the Argentine this season after playmaker Miralem Pjanic transferred to Juventus.
Rested at the start with the Porto match in mind, Perotti replaced Stephan El Shaarawy early in the second half.
"I feel great with Roma. I feel the confidence of my teammates and the entire club," Perotti said. "I'm always thinking about helping the squad, even off of the bench."
Captain Francesco Totti, beginning his 25th season with Roma, never left the bench " and fellow Giallorossi stalwart Daniele De Rossi also did not play.
Salah and Dzeko produced several early chances before a sparse crowd at the Stadio Olimpico.
Dzeko had a tough time settling in at Roma last season after a prolific spell at Manchester City but he made a big impact in this match, touching the ball 10 times in the opposition's box, more than any other player.
Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf
This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings