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Chris Smalling scores as Roma return to victory over Spezia

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Rome Back to the winning ways in Series A after consecutive defeats with a routine 2-0 win over struggling Spezia at the Stadio Olimpico.

Losses to Bologna and title-chasing Inter this month have left Roma 11 points behind the top four, with Jose Mourinho faced the first minor crisis of his reign, when he took power in the summer.

But all tensions were quickly eased when the British duo Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham combined to open the scoring after seven minutes while Roger Ibanez was certain of victory before the hour mark.

A back header Abraham headed home Jordan Veretout, allowing the unappreciated Smalling to head past Spezia keeper Ivan Provedel.

Spezia undone another set-piece 11 minutes into the restart as Ibanez headed home from a corner, with the visitors never really threatening an upset as they remained 17th. , two points more than the relegation zone.

Felix Afena-Gyan had a goal scored in injury time and salt was rubbed into the wound as the Roma substitute received a second yellow card and his marching order for intentionally using his hand during the match. The situation built, with Mourinho appearing lethargic on the touchline, but his team rose to sixth after a trouble-free win.

There was also a late LaLiga drama at the Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla in Cadiz, who replaced Salvi who was sent off late after being locked in a 1-1 draw against Granada.

Santiago Arzamendia gave Cadiz the lead in the 32nd minute but Jorge Molina leveled the lead with just two minutes before Salvi was red in the second minute after a second foul.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/chris-smalling-roma-jose-mourinho-tammy-abraham-serie-a-b1975448.html Chris Smalling scores as Roma return to victory over Spezia

JACLYN DIAZ

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