AS Roma moved back into the Champions League qualification places after a 1-0 win over Sampdoria at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Matchday 10 of Serie A on Monday.
An early Lorenzo Pellegrini penalty was enough to settle the encounter, leaving the Blucerchiati rooted to the foot of the table.
Roma were given an early opportunity to take the lead when a VAR check confirmed that Alex Ferrari had handled a Tammy Abraham cross in the box after just six minutes, and Pellegrini stepped up to rifle the visitors ahead with an excellent penalty.
Abraham and Belotti combine for AS Roma
A tetchy first half saw the Giallorossi control possession but show little spark, whilst Sampdoria lacked the quality to test Roma, and a teasing Tommaso Augello cross found nobody in the box willing to attack it.
In a match of few clear chances, Roma had the best opportunity shortly before the hour mark when Andrea Belotti latched onto a flicked Abraham pass over the top, but his low shot was blocked by goalkeeper Emil Audero.
Substitute Nicolo Zaniolo ought to have doubled the advantage after being released following strong hold-up play by Bryan Cristante, but he was denied in a similar vein to Belotti.
Zaniolo came even closer late on after dispossessing Omar Colley at the back and racing clear, but his side-footed finish was sliced just wide of the far post.
The Italian international had the ball in the back of the net deep into stoppage time as Roma launched a quick counter, but he had strayed into Sampdoria‘s half before racing onto a Rick Karsdorp pass and rounding Audero, seeing his goal ruled out.
Sampdoria’s troubles deepen
Yet another defeat leaves the hosts stuck at the bottom of the Serie A table and the mood at Marassi was fraught, particularly upon the arrival of Massimo Ferrero at the stadium.
The Blucerchiati are without a win in the league this season and rarely looked like testing Roma goalkeeper Rui Patricio, as they remain the lowest scorers in Italy’s top flight on just five goals.
New coach Dejan Stankovic has shown signs of tightening up the team, but without a danger man in attack it threatens to be a season of misery for Sampdoria.