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Roma seal win from own goal at Genoa

dpa logodpa 8/01/2017 Alberto Cagliano

Roma have opened the year with a narrow 1-0 win at Genoa thanks to a late own goal

Roma have opened the year with a narrow 1-0 win at Genoa to move within one point of Serie A leaders Juventus.

An own goal from Armando Izzo on 36 minutes secured victory for the Giallorossi, who were mainly untroubled.

The Rome side are now on 41 points from 19 games at the mid-season mark. Juve sit on 42 ahead of their Sunday night game against Bologna - plus a game in hand against struggling Crotone set for early February.

Genoa goalkeeper Mattia Perin injured himself when he saved an early Edin Dzeko volley and was replaced by Eugenio Lamanna, who had no chance when defender Izzo deflected a low cross from Bruno Peres into his own goal.

Roma striker Dzeko volleyed against the post in the 58th minute but the visitors then needed a late save from Wojciech Szczesny against Luca Ocampos.

"This win means a lot, considering the big teams [AC Milan and Juventus] who lost here," Roma captain Daniele De Rossi said.

"The way we reached it was very positive. We were careful and I think we conceded only one shot in the game. We had to work had and we made it. I am very happy because it was a very tough game."

Milan also had a hard time edging underdogs Cagliari 1-0 from a late goal by Carlos Bacca. The Colombian, who had not scored in the past seven games, finished off a scramble to help the Rossoneri retain fifth place.

The Sardinia guests then had Bruno Alves dismissed for fouling Bacca in injury time.

Elsewhere, Atalanta won 4-1 at Chievo with a brace from captain Alejandro Gomez; fourth-place Lazio saw Ciro Immobile strike on 90 minutes to end a two-month drought with a 1-0 defeat of Crotone; while Sassuolo and Torino drew 0-0.

Earlier Sunday, Croatian winger Ivan Perisic scored a brace as Inter rallied to a 2-1 victory over Udinese.

Jakub Jankto put the hosts ahead and team-mate Rodrigo De Paul hit the post, but Perisic then levelled on the stroke of half-time and nodded the winner off a free-kick three minutes from time.

The Nerazzurri have now won four straight games as they are seventh on 33 points. Udinese are 10th on 25.

The Juve game completes the first round after a two-week Christmas break while Pescara v Fiorentina was cancelled due to snow.

On Saturday, third-place Napoli edged Sampdoria 2-1 and Empoli beat Palermo 1-0.

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