Jeers ring out as Roma loses 2-0 at home to Sampdoria
MILAN (AP) — Roma’s season went from bad to worse as it lost 2-0 at home to Sampdoria on Monday to leave Rudi Garcia’s team in danger of losing out on second place in Serie A after Lazio won 2-0 at Torino.
Lorenzo De Silvestri and substitute Luis Muriel scored to inflict Roma’s first home league loss of the season amid loud jeers at the Stadio Olimpico, and the hosts’ misery was compounded by Seydou Keita’s late red card.
Roma had started the year battling with Juventus for the title but has fallen 14 points behind the defending champion.
Lazio recorded its fifth successive win earlier to cut the gap to its fierce city rival to just one point and pull three points clear of Napoli in the race for the Champions League spots.
“For an hour we didn’t have any luck with our attacking play, we should have scored,” Garcia said. “Then, because of our error, they scored. I’m not worried because as long as we have chances it means that the team’s play is creating opportunities. But we need to be more clinical.
“We need to find that incisiveness in front of goal immediately because we have a game on Thursday and we don’t have time to mope. Nothing is lost in the league. It’s true that this defeat has allowed other teams to close the gap, but we have to pick up the points we have lost on the way.”
Elsewhere, two late goals helped Fiorentina come from behind to beat AC Milan 2-1. Fiorentina and Samp moved a point behind Napoli, while Milan remained 10th.
Roma hosts Fiorentina on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie.
Roma was looking to get back to winning ways after five successive league draws at home and things looked promising in the first half as Sampdoria goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano was forced into a series of fine saves to keep the home side at bay.
Samp took the lead against the run of play on the hour mark when Samuel Eto’o held off two Roma players to pull back from the byline for De Silvestri and the former Lazio defender fired into the bottom right corner.
Muriel doubled Samp’s lead in the 78th, four minutes after coming off the bench. He sped forward and his initial effort came off the post but Roma failed to clear and Muriel hit the target at the second time of asking.
There was more misery for Roma as Keita was cautioned and then immediately shown a second yellow card and sent off after sarcastically applauding the referee.
The midfielder was distraught and his teammates struggled to get him off the pitch.
Torino was hoping to get back to winning ways ahead of its crucial Europa League tie after back-to-back defeats in Serie A and Europe.
But Felipe Anderson broke the deadlock in the 71st minute, with another great counter which saw him dribble his way through three players before driving into the bottom left corner.
The Brazilian doubled his tally seven minutes later after running onto Miroslav Klose’s pass and beating Daniele Padelli from a tight angle.
Milan had won just one of its past five matches but looked set to pull off a surprise victory after Mattia Destro redirected Giacomo Bonaventura’s wayward shot in the 56th minute.
However, Fiorentina — which had hit the bar in the first half with a Jose Maria Basanta header — turned the game around in the 83rd when Gonzalo Rodriguez headed home Joaquin’s cross before the Spaniard got on the scoresheet himself in the final minute with another header.
It was the first time Milan had lost at Fiorentina in nearly 10 years.