Borini inspires Roma win

Fabio Borini scores an early winner against Palermo to keep Roma's European hopes alive in Italy's Serie A.

    Roma were unconvincing in their victory over rivals Palermo but did enough to claim sixth spot [GETTY]

    Roma kept alive their European qualification hopes with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Palermo on Saturday.

    Fabio Borini scored the only goal of the game after just three minutes to push the capital-based club back above Inter Milan and into sixth spot.

    They still trail the European places by five points but it was just the tonic for beleaguered coach Luis Enrique following their derby defeat to Lazio last week.

    For Palermo, who have the best home scoring record in Serie A, as well as one of the worst away from home, it was a defeat that hits their own European qualification hopes, leaving them seven points adrift of Roma.

    Strong start

    Roma got off to a flying start when Erik Lamela teed up Borini after just three minutes to score.

    But the rest of the half took on a typical pattern for a Roma match, with the visitors enjoying lots of possession but lacking width and thrust.

    Lamela had another chance when he was played in on the left side of the area but his shot was saved by Emiliano Viviano.

    Palermo gave their fans few moments of excitement but one of those came from a wayward Fabrizio Miccoli cross that almost drifted in until Bogdan Lobont clawed it out from under his bar. The Romanian was called into action again at the end of the half to tip over a rasping effort from Andrea Mantovani.

    Palermo coach Bortolo Mutti brought on Josip Ilicic and Abel Hernandez at half-time and that gave the Sicilians greater attacking threat.

    Ilicic on one break forced Lobont into a low save while Hernandez sent a speculative volley just wide following good control.

    Lamela was a threat up the other end but at times guilty of trying to do everything himself, twice shooting off target when he could have tried to play in a better-placed team-mate.

    Lobont was also in the thick of things as Roma held out, coming out to block a Miccoli volley after he dropped a cross and then tipping over Ezequiel Munoz's shot on the turn.

    Inter win

    On Friday, Inter gave under-fire boss Claudio Ranieri a reprieve with a dramatic late 2-0 win at Chievo.

    Walter Samuel and Diego Milito struck in the final three minutes to end a run of nine games without a win and 10 games without keeping a clean sheet.

    Napoli thumped Cagliari 6-3 to move up to fourth in the table following a sixth straight win in all competitions.

    Leaders AC Milan host lowly Lecce on Sunday while second placed Juventus, who face a defensive crisis due to injuries and suspensions, are away to Genoa.



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