ROME: AS Roma clocked up a third successive Serie A win by beating Verona 2-1 on Wednesday, getting off the mark with an early penalty which infuriated their opponents.
The referee ruled that Alan Empereur fouled Lorenzo Pellegrini but Verona claimed their player got the ball and coach Ivan Juric was ordered from the touchline for dissent. Jordan Veretout converted the spot-kick in the 10th minute.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan struck the foot of the post before Edin Dzeko headed a second in first-half stoppage time, the Bosnian's 15th goal of the season.
Matteo Pessina pulled one back with a clever backheel two minutes after the restart and Verona dominated for spells in the second half but Roma held out for a win that kept them fifth with 57 points from 33 games. Verona are ninth with 44.
Fiorentina scored three first-half goals and missed a penalty on the way to a 3-1 win over Lecce which almost certainly ended any doubts about maintaining their top-flight status.
Federico Chiesa gave the visitors a sixth-minute lead before Erick Pulgar had a weak penalty saved by Gabriel four minutes later.
Rachid Ghezzal curled a free kick over the wall in the 38th minute and Patrick Cutrone added another after being sent clear by Chiesa.
Lecce replied with a late Yevhen Shakhov goal and stayed 18th, inside the relegation zone, with 29 points, one less than Genoa. Fiorentina are 13th with 39 points.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)