Roma pip Cagliari to go third in Serie A

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Cagliari (Italy), May 7 (IANS) Young forward Cengiz Under’s early goal gave AS Roma a 1-0 win over Cagliari in a Serie A match here as the capital outfit moved closer to qualify for the 2018-19 football season’s Champions League.

After a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Sardegna Arena on Sunday, Roma moved to the third spot with 73 points from 36 games and need just a point from either of their final two league games to be guaranteed a spot in the Champions League.

Fourth-placed Lazio have 71 points, while fifth-placed Inter Milan have 69 points. But Lazio and Inter later face off, hence, Roma are in a comfortable position to finish among the top-four teams. Juventus (91 points) and Napoli (85 points) have secured the top two positions.

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On a day Lazio played a 1-1 draw with Atalanta, Roma made the most of their rival’s slip-up.

Young Turkish forward Under scored the only goal of the game just 15 minutes into proceedings, as his left-footed shot found home off the inside of the far post.

Later, Roma were forced to sit deep for large parts of the contest, their job not helped by their relegation-threatened opponents’ urgent need for points and their exertions in midweek.

Further obstacles came Roma head coach Eusebio Di Francesco’s way in the form of injuries — as central defender Kostas Manolas got injured in the warm-up, his replacement Elio Capradossi suffered cramps during the contest, and full-back Bruno Peres also got a knock.

But Roma overcame the various reshuffles to fend off their opponents.

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“We won ugly — a lot of teams struggle here against Cagliari. In terms of motivation and how ruthless they were, it was a great performance from the team,” Di Francesco was quoted as saying by Roma’s website.

Following the loss, Cagliari remained in the relegation-threatened 18th position with 33 points from 36 games.

–IANS

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