Roma kept alive their European qualification hopes with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Palermo today.
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 by 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 rocks their own hopes for a place in Europe next season, leaving them seven points adrift of Roma.
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 before tipping over Ezequiel Munoz's shot on the turn.