Roma close to within one point of Serie A leaders Inter Milan
(dpa) - Dogged chasers Roma cut their deficit from Serie A leaders Inter Milan down to one point Saturday thanks to a hard-fought 3-2 win over visiting Genoa.
The Rome side were reeling from a 2-0 beating suffered at home in mid-week against Manchester United and struggled against the mid-table hosts despite an early two-goal lead.
Sunday afternoon, Roma will root for Atalanta, who welcome Inter in Bergamo for a hot Lombardy derby.
Mirko Vucinic and Daniele De Rossi threatened with narrowly wide shots early in the game as Roma produced a breathtaking start that found a double reward by the 17th minute.
Brazilian Rodrigo Tattoo tapped in from close range on 13 minutes before the fumbling compatriot goalkeeper Rubinho, who again seemed to dither three minutes later as Montenegro striker Vucinic stunned him with a drooping shot from the distance.
League top striker Marco Borriello tried to beef up his 18-goal tally on 20 minutes with a fast drive saved by Alexander Doni, who ran minor risks in the remainder of the first half.
The second half, however, was much tougher for Roma's Brazilian custodian under the hammering attacks of Genoa.
Defender Domenico Criscito forced a great save on 50 minutes as if to fire a warning shot for Doni, who was beaten twice in the next 10 minutes.
Marco Rossi pulled one back with an easy flick after Doni managed to slap away a nasty drive from Borriello and one minute later Honduran Julio Leon drilled a smashing long-range drive by the post to the left of the diving Doni.
For several minutes, Roma seemed to lack the grit for a comeback, trying only a long range shot through De Rossi on 74 minutes.
Roma's efforts gathered steam and held Genoa in their midfield until Borriello floored Tattoo in the area causing a spot kick that De Rossi converted on 79 minutes.
AC Milan welcome lowly Cagliari later Saturday looking to continue their pursuit of a fourth available Champions League berth currently occupied by Fiorentina.
The Florence side lead Milan by four points ahead of a home game they play Sunday against lowly Reggina.