AS Roma snapped out of a three-match losing streak with a 3-1 victory over Bologna FC on Saturday.
Vincenzo Montella took advantage of a poor defensive clearance to slot in from close range on 36 minutes. The home side continued to pile on the pressure but three minutes from half-time defender Vincent Candela was caught flat-footed, allowing Giuseppe Signori to volley in a Julio Cruz cross for the equaliser.
After the break, Roma kept up their relentless attack and were rewarded when defender Michele Paramatti handled a Cafu cross in the penalty area. Captain Francesco Totti's spot kick was saved by keeper Gianluca Pagliuca but Marco Delvecchio turned in the rebound.
Totti attempted to restore his credibility moments later, bringing out another fine save from the overworked Pagliuca, but on 73 minutes a rare mistake by the goalkeeper allowed substitute Antonio Cassano the easiest of tap-ins to secure a morale-boosting victory for Roma, now only two points behind seventh placed Bologna.
In the day’s other game, an inspirational Roberto Baggio ensured Brescia Calcio extended their unbeaten run to seven matches after a 4-1 demolition of struggling Piacenza FC. Baggio scored one goal, saw a shot cannon off the post and proved a constant menace to the Piacenza rearguard.
Brescia went ahead on seven minutes when midfield player Stephan Appiah blasted in Baggio's inch-perfect pass from just outside the box.
Ten minutes later, however, Piacenza pulled level when veteran striker Dario Hubner removed any doubts about his agility by scoring a spectacular overhead kick for his third goal of the season.
With only one point in 10 matches, Piacenza were in dire need of a win, but it Brescia’s command was total and all of the chances were created by the rampant visitors.
Baggio put his team back in the lead just past the half hour, minutes after team-mate Luca Toni had missed a clear chance, thumping in a volley that even forced the home faithful on to their feet.
Two minutes after the restart, Toni made up for his earlier mistake by slotting in a Baggio through-ball to make it 3-1. Baggio’s wicked free-kick then struck the post, before substitute Igli Tare sealed an emphatic victory seven minutes from time.
Piacenza remain third from bottom while Brescia continue their ascendancy. The Lombardian club are now 12th with 22 points, level with Empoli.
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