Roma Beat Sampdoria to Move into Italy’s Top Four
Roma moved into Serie A’s top four on Monday with a 1-0 win at Sampdoria which left their hosts rooted to the bottom of the league.
Lorenzo Pellegrini’s ninth-minute penalty ensured Roma leapfrogged local rivals Lazio into fourth place, four points behind league leaders and Sunday’s opponents Napoli.
Jose Mourinho’s side earned a hard-fought win at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris without the injured Paulo Dybala, who will potentially be out of action for Roma until January.
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“It’s a very important result for us, because we showed character, intelligence and heart,” Mourinho told DAZN.
Samp’s seventh defeat of their 10 league fixtures was the first for coach Dejan Stankovic after replacing the sacked Marco Giampaolo earlier this month.
Former midfielder Stankovic, who resigned from the Red Star Belgrade job after they failed to qualify for the Champions League group stage, won the competition as a player with Mourinho at Inter.
“I’m also very happy to know that a club I like very much is being managed by someone who is like a little brother to me. I hope that we play here next season,” added Mourinho.
Stankovic’s team did little to merit anything from Monday’s match, which left them three points from safety.
Substitute Nicolo Zaniolo would have given Roma a more comfortable win had he not he not dragged wide from close range in the 77th minute after pinching the ball from Omar Colley.
There was more drama in the stands than on the pitch as former Samp president Massimo Ferrero had to be escorted from the stadium by security staff after unexpectedly showing up to watch the match.
Ferrero was forced to step down from his role at Samp after he was charged with fraudulent bankruptcy and spent time in prison.
Samp fans found out that Ferrero had arrived and tried to make get at him in the stands and according to media reports even in the hospitality centre, forcing his exit before the match finished.
Promoted Lecce moved three points clear of the relegation zone following their 1-1 home draw with 13th-placed Fiorentina.
Assan Ceesay pushed Lecce into the lead two minutes before the break but Fiorentina, who had two goals disallowed, took a point back to Tuscany thanks to Christian Kouame’s header two minutes after the restart.
The hosts finished the match with 10 men when deep in stoppage time Antonino Gallo, who had only just been booked, rugby tackled Jonathan Ikone.
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