Roma beats Spezia 2-0 to relieve pressure on Mourinho


ROME (AP)Roma relieved a bit of pressure on Jose Mourinho by beating relegation-threatened Spezia 2-0 in Serie A on Monday.

Chris Smalling and Roger Ibanez scored in separate halves for Roma, which moved into sixth spot. Although it is still eight points below fourth-placed Napoli and the final Champions League qualifying spot.

Spezia remained just two points above the bottom three.

Mourinho was already feeling the pressure at Roma after just two wins in his previous six Italian league matches, including a hefty 3-0 loss at home to Inter Milan last time out.

But his side got off to a perfect start when a corner was floated in from the right and Tammy Abraham nodded it on for Smalling to head Roma into the lead in the sixth minute.

Abraham almost doubled his side’s lead in first half stoppage time but he headed onto the bar. It was the fifth time he has hit the woodwork this season.

Roma did get its second 11 minutes after the break and it came after another corner, which Ibanez headed in.

The only negative note for Roma was that teenage forward Felix Afena-Gyan was sent off in stoppage time after receiving a second yellow card for a handball. That led to a goal that was disallowed.

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