Roma face two challenging fixtures ahead - the Champions League and Roma derby against Lazio [GALLO/GETTY]

David Pizarro provided the last-minute goal to give Roma a 2-1 win at Lecce in Italy’s Serie A on Friday.

Pizarro marked his return to the first team under new coach Vincenzo Montella in style, scoring a 90th-minute penalty, after suffering time on the bench under former manager Claudio Ranieri who had also tried to sell him during the January transfer window.

The result gives Roma a much-needed boost ahead of their European Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, and their Rome derby against Lazio the following weekend.

Familiar failings

However, the win failed to hide familiar failings by Roma, who again almost let a lead slip away before Lecce midfielder Gianni Munari handled Marco Borriello's header to give Pizarro a chance to score the winner.

Mirko Vucinic gave Roma the lead in the first half, but Lecce dominated the second and drew level midway through the second period through Guillermo Giacomazzi.

"We are delighted that we have taken seven points from the last three games,'' said Montella, who has steered his team to two wins and a draw since he took over.

"Especially the two wins we've had away from home.''

After a slow start, Roma increased the tempo of the game and Vucinic began causing the defence problems with his runs from the left.

Results & fixtures

Friday March 4
 Lecce 1-2 Roma

Saturday March 5
 Juventus v AC Milan

Sunday March 6
 Sampdoria v Cesena
 Bologna v Cagliari
 Chievo v Parma
 Fiorentina v Catania
 Inter Milan v Genoa
 Napoli v Brescia
 Udinese v Bari
 Lazio v Palermo

However, it was Borriello who had the first chance, but the striker blasted over the bar after racing beyond the defence in the 23rd.

Roma continued to press, Marco Cassetti firing a low shot wide and Rodrigo Taddei chipping over from the edge of the box.


Vucinic's pace allowed him to open the scoring. He shrugged off Andrea Rispoli on the halfway line, raced to the edge of the area and shot low past goalkeeper Antonio Rosati.

The hosts hit back. Ruben Olivera whipped a cross to the back post and Giacomazzi looped a header goalward, which goalkeeper Alexander Doni tipped out from under the crossbar.

"We played well and had a good rhythm, especially in the first half,'' Montella said.

"After half time, Lecce improved its organisation and didn't let us play.''

Lecce started the second half in determined mood. Daniele Corvia headed Giacomazzi's cross wide and Olivera flashed a volley narrowly past the post. Corvia then went close again with a volley, before Giacomazzi equalised in the 65th with a glancing header over Doni from Munari's cross.

It was Giacomazzi that gave away the penalty as Borriello headed Simone Perrotta's cross goalward.

The win means the Giallorossi stay sixth whatever happens in Saturday and Sunday's fixtures while Lecce remain a place above the drop zone.

Roma's first choice right back Marco Cassetti had to come off in the first half and could be doubtful for Tuesday.

Source: Agencies