Roma battled for a 3-2 Serie A victory over Genoa to give beleaguered coach Eusebio Di Francesco a lifeline at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday despite goalkeeper Robin Olsen’s early blunder.
It ended Roma’s five-match winless streak dating back to a 4-1 triumph over Sampdoria on November 11 and lifted Di Francesco’s side to sixth- two points behind AC Milan in the final Champions League berth. Napoli earlier beat Cagliari 1-0 in Sardinia to pull back to within eight points of leaders Juventus, who won their derby against Torino by the same scoreline on Saturday thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty.
Roma got off to the worst possible start in a tense atmosphere among the 29,000 crowds in Rome where fans had a silent protest in the club’s management and transfer strategy. “I have to congratulate the lads for how they played in a very surreal environment, for them it was not easy,” said Di Francesco. Earlier, Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik’s superb injury-time free-kick kept Carlo Ancelotti’s side eight points behind Juventus.
Milik scored the winner in the 91st minute with a perfectly curled effort which left Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno with no chance. Ancelotti had rung the changes after Napoli’s Champions League exit to Liverpool but the visitors struggled in an attack against the well organized Sardinians.
(Ariaudo 43-og, Berardi 58)
(Mirallas 40, Simeone 59, Dabo 78)
(Fazio 31, Kluivert 45, Cristante 59)
(Piatek 17, Hiljiemark 33)
From Online Sources