An almost flawless half of football gave Fulham an unlikely lead in the Stadio Olimpico.

Diomansy Kamara, whose early gesticulations to the bench might have suggested that he would need to be replaced, capped a bright start from Roy Hodgson’s side by winning a penalty when he was clumsily brought down by Marco Andreolli. The Senegalese striker, who has a fine scoring record against Roma, stepped up to take the spot-kick himself and sent Doni the wrong way.

Fulham saw plenty of the ball as their Italian opponents looked lethargic in front of a sparse crowd. Kamara headed wide at the far post and the runs of American Clint Dempsey were posing plenty of problems for the Roma defence. Dempsey certainly could have had a couple of goals before the break.

Roma were largely frustrated in their forays forward but both Philippe Mexes and striker Stefano Okaka Chuka sent headers wide of Mark Schwarzer’s goal. The home side had a penalty appeal correctly turned down late in the first half when Daniele de Rossi’s shot struck John Pantsil on the arm.