Roma 2-0 Spezia: Chris Smalling gets on the scoresheet as Jose Mourinho’s men return to winning ways in Serie A to ease the pressure on their under-fire manager
- Chris Smalling and Roger Ibanez score in either half for Jose Mourinho’s side
- Teenager Felix Afena-Gyan was sent off in stoppage time for Roma for handball
- Roma had lost their previous two league games without scoring a goal
- Roma move level on points with Juventus but sit eight points outside the top four
- Spezia remain just two points above the relegation zone after 17 matches
Two goals from defenders earned AS Roma a 2-0 victory over Spezia on Monday, a result that saw Jose Mourinho’s side climb above Juventus into sixth place in the Serie A standings.
Looking to get back to winning ways after losing their previous two league matches, centre-back Chris Smalling headed Roma into a sixth-minute lead at the Stadio Olimpico.
English striker Tammy Abraham then hit the crossbar with an unorthodox chest towards goal as Roma pressed for a second, with the same player again going close early in the second half.
Chris Smalling (R) celebrates with his teammates after opening the scoring for Roma
The second goal came in the 56th minute, also from a corner, as Roger Ibanez headed home to put the game to bed.
The victory was tarnished somewhat when 18-year-old Roma substitute Felix Afena-Gyan was sent off late on after picking up two bookings as the hosts moved to 28 points from 17 games above Juve on goal difference. Spezia stay 17th on 12 points.
Roma (3-4-1-2): Patricio; Ibanez, Smalling (Diawara 64), Kumbulla; Karsdorp, Veretout (Bove 90), Cristante, Vina; Mkhitaryan; Mayoral (Afena-Gyan 64), Abraham
Scorers: Smalling, Ibanez
Booked: Vina, Kumbulla
Sent off: Afena-Gyan
Spezia (3-5-2): Provedel; Amian, Erlic, Nikolaou; Gyasi, Kovalenko (Agudelo 53), Sala (Kiwior 17), Maggiore (Bastoni 53), Reca; Strelec (Verde 53), Manaj
Sent off: None
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