Gianluca Mancini’s stunning strike was enough to give Roma a 1-0 win over Juventus in Serie A on Sunday, despite the visitors hitting the woodwork three times. (More Football News)
Mancini struck early in the second half to help Roma move into fourth place in Serie A in a tight fight for the Champions League qualifying spots.
There was further misery for Juventus as substitute Moise Kean was sent off in the final minute, seconds after coming off the bench, for violent conduct.
Roma is above fifth-place AC Milan on goal difference alone after the defending champion lost at Fiorentina on Saturday. Head-to-head is the first tiebreaker at the end of the season. Juventus is 12 points further back. It was deducted 15 points at the start of the year for false accounting.
Roma coach José Mourinho was on the bench during the match against Juventus after his two-match ban was suspended.
Mourinho was banned after being sent off in Roma’s surprise loss to Cremonese but an appeal court suspended the decision until after hearing from the fourth official.
The game sprang into action moments from halftime as Roma goalkeeper Rui Patrício pulled off a great save to turn Adrien Rabiot’s header onto the post after a brilliant cross from Danilo.
However, it was Roma which took the lead eight minutes after the break when Mancini hit a rocket from 25 yards out into the bottom left corner.
Juventus almost leveled immediately but Juan Cuadrado’s free kick clipped the post.
The visitors had a third opportunity hit the woodwork late on and Mancini almost went from hero to villain as he risked scoring an own-goal when his defensive header off a corner from Juventus came off the left post.
Kean was shown a straight red card after he reacted angrily to being held back by Mancini, kicking the Roma defender in the back of the leg.
Inter Milan bounced back from last week’s surprise loss to Bologna by beating Lecce 2-0 to move back into second spot.
The Nerazzurri are two points above Lazio and three above Roma and Milan.
Inter took a while to get into the match at San Siro but broke the deadlock in the 29th minute as Robin Gosens raced down the left and crossed for Nicolò Barella, who feinted to shoot before rolling across to Henrikh Mkhitaryan to sweep the ball into the top right corner.
Barella also had a hand in Inter’s second, eight minutes after the break, as he sent Denzel Dumfries down the right. He crossed for Lautaro Martínez to fire in at the near post.
Lecce is nine points above the relegation zone.
Hellas Verona drew 0-0 at fellow struggler Spezia and had goalkeeper Simone Perilli to thank on his Serie A debut.
Perilli was standing in for Lorenzo Montipò, who was out with illness, and he made a sensational save with two minutes remaining to push Kelvin Amian’s effort over the bar.
M’Bala Nzola had also hit the post for Spezia, which remained three points above Verona and the bottom three.
Sampdoria stayed at the bottom of the table after drawing 0-0 at home to Salernitana.