AAP Soccer

Ranieri Serie A woe as Roma lose at SPAL

By AAP Newswire

Roma's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League have diminished as they surprisingly lost 2-1 in Italy's Serie A at relegation-threatened SPAL in Claudio Ranieri's second match back as interim coach.

A Mohamed Fares header and an Andrea Petagna penalty secured SPAL's first win at home in six months.

Diego Perotti had levelled from the spot.

"As I told the guys when I came in, now is the moment for them to prove they deserve what they earn, that they deserve to be at Roma," Ranieri said.

"Today we lost against a team of footballers who earn less and who are in dire straits.

"If Roma qualifies for the Champions League, there's a plan, otherwise quite a few will get a change of scenery."

Roma missed the chance to go level on points with fourth-place Inter Milan before their Sunday derby against third-place AC Milan while SPAL moved four points clear of the relegation zone.

Seventh-placed Torino also had a bad day as they crashed to a 3-2 home defeat to struggling Bologna, who moved out of the bottom three.

Erick Pulgar's own goal gave Il Toro an early lead but Bologna bounced back via substitute Andrea Poli and a penalty converted by Pulgar before halftime.

Riccardo Orsolini struck for 3-1 on the 65th minute but his team-mate Lyanco was sent off before Armando Izzo on the 89th nodded in for the guests, who had Ola Aina dismissed in stoppage time.

Fabio Quagliarella celebrated his first Italy call-up in four years with yet another league goal to help Sampdoria win 5-3 at Sassuolo.

It was Quagliarella's 21st league goal of the season, the 36-year-old two clear of Juventus's Cristiano Ronaldo and Milan's Krzysztof Piatek in the scorer's chart.

At Sassuolo, he set up the opener for teammate Gregoire Defrel in the 15th minute and got on the scoresheet himself in the 36th with a right-footed shot from just outside the area.

Jeremie Boga pulled one back for Sassuolo two minutes later but Karol Linetty immediately restored Samp's two-goal advantage with help from Quagliarella in the buildup.

Quagliarella also set up Samp's fourth, a volley from Denis Praet seconds after halftime, and Manolo Gabbiadini scored the fifth. Alfred Duncan and Khouma Babacar also scored for Sassuolo.