x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Spalletti looking up after Rome derby win

The Roma coach Luciano Spalletti is hoping Sunday's derby win over Lazio will be the springboard to shoot them up the table.

ROME // The Roma coach Luciano Spalletti is hoping Sunday's derby win over Lazio will be the springboard to shoot them up the table. A Julio Baptista goal settled the city derby and gave Roma a much-needed victory after they had taken just one point from their previous five league games. "I hope we have left the crisis behind us," Spalletti said. "We played a good game against Lazio and we scored a goal. That was the difference to our other games."

Spalletti and his troops still have a long way to go with the Giallorossi just three points clear of the drop zone and 16 points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan. "I hope that after this performance, my players can find the confidence to express themselves better on the pitch," Spalletti said. "In these cases, you need important victories like this one to realise your worth." Lazio coach Delio Rossi felt his side could have won the game and rued his team's missed chances.

The defeat ended their run of three consecutive wins and saw them drop to fifth in the standings, five points off the lead. "We were very nervous in the first half," Rossi said. "I told my players during the interval to play with less tension and they did that. "We were distracted when Roma scored but they also made mistakes and we were unable to punish them because we created three or four goalscoring chances."

Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc reckons there is still all to play for in the Ligue 1 title race despite his side lose ground on Lyon with a 2-1 defeat to the French champions. Karim Benzema and Kim Kallstrom scored Lyon's goals in the final 12 minutes of the first half and Fernando Cavenaghi's strike nine minutes from time was too late for the visitors. Les Girondins have slipped to sixth spot after losing back-to-back away games and the nine-point gap to Les Gones now looks imposing.

But Blanc felt his team put on a good display and is not giving up. "As far as the content of the match is concerned, I think Bordeaux played well," he said. "I can't reproach my players. It was a player of great talent who broke the deadlock. That first goal was decisive for Lyon. "This gap isn't insurmountable. But to make it up, Lyon are going to have to lose some matches and Bordeaux win a lot of them."

* PA Sport