The AS Roma bandwagon shows no sign of slowing after the Italian side booked their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup by defeating Club Brugge KV 2-1 for the second time in a week.
Roma talisman Francesco Totti was rested for last week's first leg in Belgium and also missed out tonight after breaking his leg against Empoli FC. The injury, which could rule the Italian international out for the season, overshadowed the Giallorossi's record tenth successive Serie A victory, although second-half goals from Mancini and Cesare Bovo at the Stadio Olimpico either side of Gert Verheyen's strike for Club Brugge will have done much to lift spirits.
Damiano Tommasi could have given Roma an early lead but his flying header went narrowly wide of the far post. On the half-hour mark, Bovo's powerful strike on target was palmed away by Club Brugge goalkeeper Stijn Stijnen. Sven Vermant came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 40th minute when his 25-metre strike hit the crossbar with Roma goalkeeper Gianluca Curci well beaten.
The Italian high-flyers were more aggressive after the restart and their efforts soon paid off. Stijnen did well to clear Tommasi's strike on target but only as far as Mancini who fired the ball into the back of the net for a 55th-minute opener. However, Roma's joy lasted just five minutes as Verheyen took advantage of Curci's weak clearance to restore parity.
With 20 minutes remaining, visiting coach Jan Ceulemans made three substitutions in an attempt to turn around the tie - a move which proved to no avail as it was the hosts who went in front. Bovo's right-footed bullet from outside the area beat Stijnen to end Club Brugge's hopes and set up a meeting with Middlesbrough FC.