ROME, Italy, April 23 – Roma beat Chievo 1-0 at home on Saturday to keep their faint hopes of a top four finish alive with four games remaining.
Simone Perrotta scored the only goal of the game after just four minutes following a neat team move.
The victory keeps Roma in sixth-place and closed them to just four points behind city rivals Lazio in the final Champions League qualifying place, although the Sky Blues have a game in hand later on Saturday.
The goal came just four minutes in after captain Francesco Totti played Daniele De Rossi in behind a backline that was slow to move up and play offside, with the midfielder then pulling the ball back for Perrotta to fire home.
However, there was far from a celebratory atmosphere inside the Stadio Olimpico as home goalkeeper Doni, forward Mirko Vucinic and winger Jeremy Menez were initially jeered.
"These three points will help us kick on, now we’ll see how the other teams challenging for the Champions League do," said De Rossi.
"Vucinic and Menez reacted well to the jeers but it’s ridiculous having a go only at them and Doni because of how badly the season is going."
Vucinic didn’t help his cause by missing two gilt edged chances although but all three eventually won over the booing fans.
Frenchman Menez started for Roma despite a reported bust-up with coach Vincenzo Montella on Thursday and came closest to doubling the advantage by hitting the post in the second half.
Roma hit the woodwork a second time before goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino followed up with a point blank stop to deny Perrotta, but otherwise there was little to report from a low-key game.
Afterwards De Rossi gave his backing to Montella who is widely believed to be in place only until the end of the season.
"I read many names linked with the Roma job next season and they’re all interesting but Montella definitely deserves to keep working with us, he’s started well," said the Italy midfielder.
"I hear talk of some big names and it would be interesting to see how they would do in Rome but Montella also deserves the job."