(Reuters) – AS Roma climbed into fourth spot with a 1-0 win at basement team Sampdoria thanks to an early penalty by midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini in Serie A on Monday.
Roma now have 22 points from 10 games, and sit four points behind pacesetters Napoli who they host on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho’s side went ahead in the ninth minute when Pellegrini fired the spot kick, awarded for handball by Alex Ferrari, past goalkeeper Emil Audero.
The game picked up pace after a pedestrian first half in which Sampdoria did not pose a serious danger to Rui Patricio’s goal and Roma did not push hard to increase their lead.
Roma had the chance to score again in the 56th minute when striker Andrea Belotti collected a pass inside the box but Audero kept out his low strike.
Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo then wasted two opportunities when he fired straight at the Sampdoria keeper from close range and then sent the ball just wide of the far post.
He eventually found the back of the net in stoppage time but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Sampdoria, who stay bottom on three points, next travel on Monday for a relegation clash at second-bottom Cremonese, who have also yet to win a league match this season.
(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)