Dzeko goal, assist helps bump Roma into 4th

The Associated Press

Roma’s Aleksandar Kolarov (11) celebrates with Edin Dzeko (9) after their side scored against Chievo Verona in Italian Serie A action on Friday.

The Associated PressROME (AP) — Edin Dzeko is hitting top form at the right time for Roma.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina forward scored one goal and set up another on Friday as his side won 3-0 at bottom club Chievo Verona.

Dzeko, who also hit the crossbar, has now netted twice in three league matches, having failed to find the net in his previous nine.

Stephan El Shaarawy opened the scoring in the 9th minute and Dzeko doubled Roma’s lead in the 18th with a delightful goal, feinting past one defender on the byline before nutmegging another and firing an angled drive into the corner.

The two scorers then combined for Roma’s third goal 6 minutes into the second half. El Shaarawy raced down the left on the counter and picked out Dzeko, who set up Aleksandar Kolarov.

El Shaarawy also hit the woodwork after being set up by Dzeko.

Roma is fourth in Serie A, the final Champions League qualifying berth. AC Milan can move back above the capital side, though, with a win over Cagliari on Sunday.

“Every year the fight for a top-four finish is hard, maybe this year there are more teams in the running,” Dzeko said.

Roma on Tuesday meets Porto in a Champions League round-of-16 first leg.

“For how he made the whole team play today, Edin deserved another goal. I hope he’s keeping it for the Champions League,” coach Eusebio Di Francesco said.

Chievo remained nine points from safety.

Villarreal winless in 10 matches

MADRID (AP) — Villarreal remained winless in 10 consecutive Spanish league matches after a 0-0 draw at 14th-place Valladolid.

The visitors, who are used to finishing much higher in the standings, stayed second from bottom with three victories from 23 games.

It was Villarreal’s second straight draw since re-hiring coach Javi Calleja in place of Luis Garcia Plaza, less than two months after he was fired.

“We have to keep trying,” goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo said. “I think we played a disciplined match and there are positive things we can take from it.”

Villarreal faces two tough matches next: at home against Sevilla and away to Atletico Madrid.

Balotelli strikes as Marseille wins

DIJON, France (AP) — Mario Balotelli’s second goal in three games helped Marseille to a 2-1 win at Dijon in the French league.

The Italy striker, who joined last month from Nice, turned the ball in from close range in the 57th minute after winger Florian Thauvin headed on a corner from the right.

Marseille’s second straight victory moved the side up to fifth ahead of this weekend’s matches, and also took some pressure off coach Rudi Garcia following a poor run of results.

While Balotelli was the team’s most dangerous player, a handling error from veteran goalkeeper Steve Mandanda led to Dijon’s 18th-minute opener.

Although Mandanda covered his near post to smother defender Fouad Chafik’s long-range shot, he did not push the ball away far enough and midfielder Jordan Marie followed up to drive it home.Speech

Click to play


+ -

Generating speech. Please wait...

Become a Premium Member to use this service.

Become a Premium Member to use this service.

Offline error: please try again.