MILAN (Reuters) – AS Roma captain Daniele De Rossi put them back in the hunt for a Champions League place when his goal earned Claudio Ranieri’s side a 1-0 win at Sampdoria on Saturday.
An even contest was heading towards a goalless draw until Aleksandar Kolarov’s outswinging corner was headed towards goal by Patrik Schick, goalkeeper Emil Audero saved but the ball bounced off De Rossi and into the goal.
Roma, who again left out-of-sorts goalkeeper Robin Olsen on the bench, had to wait nearly two minutes before the VAR system confirmed that De Rossi was onside.
Roma’s second win in five games under new coach Claudio Ranieri lifted them to sixth with 51 points from 31 games, one behind fourth-placed AC Milan who lost 1-0 at Juventus earlier on Saturday. The top four qualify for the Champions League.
Sampdoria were too careless in possession, with moves regularly breaking down in the last third because of wayward passes.
Nicolo Zaniolo struck the post for Roma direct from a corner in the 89th minute and Manolo Gabbiadini wasted a golden chance for Samp, heading wide from an unmarked position in the penalty area.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)