Tammy Abraham fires Roma to victory over Atalanta


English striker Tammy Abraham’s first-half goal was enough to earn AS Roma a 1-0 win over Atalanta on Saturday, with Gian Piero Gasperini’s side missing the chance to climb into the top four of Serie A.

Roma had the better of the opening exchanges with Gianluca Mancini heading against the crossbar early on – before Abraham calmly slotted home his 13th Serie A goal of the season in the 32nd minute.

The visitors never really looked like getting back into the contest, with Roma holding on for the second successive 1-0 win given to them by an Abraham goal, as coach Jose Mourinho served the final game of his two-match touchline ban.

Atalanta’s miserable afternoon was made complete as Marten de Roon was sent off in stoppage time after receiving two bookings in quick succession for vigorously protesting against a Roma free-kick. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was then also sent off for Roma, but by then the game was won.

The result meant Mourinho’s sixth-placed side moved level on 47 points with Atalanta in fifth. Both teams are three points behind Juventus ahead of their match against Spezia on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Udinese pulled clear of the relegation zone after they beat Sampdoria 2-1 in a match where all the goals were scored inside the first 13 minutes.

Juventus bolster top-four push with win over Spezia

A first-half goal from Alvaro Morata was enough to give Juventus a 1-0 victory at home to Spezia in Serie A on Sunday as they tightened their grip on a Champions League spot.

In a game where both sides struggled for rhythm, Juve looked nervy at times but coach Massimilano Allegri praised his side’s grit by winning ugly.

“We needed to have scored a second in the first half. After the break we were tired, we came from intense matches and I couldn’t make changes,” Allegri told DAZN.

“But in order to reach our objectives, this team needs to win ugly and suffer and that’s what we did.”

The hosts, who went close on the quarter-hour mark through midfielder Arthur Melo, took the lead after 21 minutes when the Brazilian latched on to a poor clearance from Spezia goalkeeper Ivan Provedel, picking out Manuel Locatelli on the edge of the box before the Italian fed Morata, who netted his first league goal since December.

Emmanuel Gyasi and Kevin Agudelo were both denied by Wojciech Szczesny from close range after the break as Spezia sought a way back into things.

Morata, meanwhile, missed a gilt-edged chance to seal the victory in stoppage time at the end of the game as Juventus held on to secure the win.

Juve move onto 53 points in the fourth and final Champions League spot, where they sit six points above fifth-placed Atalanta, who have played a game fewer.

Defeat is a fourth-consecutive for Thiago Motta’s side, who are 16th — four points and two places above Venezia in the third and final relegation berth.

Giroud goal sends AC Milan back to Serie A summit with a win over Napoli

Olivier Giroud’s second-half goal sent AC Milan back to the top of Serie A as they battled to a 1-0 win away at Napoli on Sunday.

Victory means that Stefano Pioli’s table-toppers now have 60 points, two ahead of city rivals and reigning champions Inter – who have played a game fewer – and three more than Napoli in third.

Chances were few and far between in a nervous encounter, with the hosts only managing two shots on target throughout the 90 minutes at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

After a low-key first-half in which neither side really threatened, Giroud netted the only goal of the game as he turned in Davide Calabria’s cross-shot four minutes after the break.

Adam Ounas curled one wide for Napoli and Hirving Lozano dragged an effort wide late on as they tried in vain to find an equaliser.

Theo Hernandez and Alexis Saelemaekers were denied by smart saves from Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina on the counter in the closing stages as they sought to seal the victory.


Courtesy: Reuters

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