ROME, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Roma maintained their Serie A title
challenge as Radja Nainggolan scored his first Roma goal to give
the Italy capital side a 1-0 win at Bologna on Saturday.
The Belgium midfielder hit in the winner eight minutes before
the break after Mattia Destro nearly put the visitors ahead in the
18th minute when his shot from the edge of the box struck the
Nainggolan, a recent arrival from Cagliari, struck to break the
deadlock when was presented with the simple task of turning into an
empty net from point-blank range following excellent work from
fellow midfielder Miralem Pjanic.
Greece midfielder Lazaros Christodoulopoulos nearly equalised
for Bologna when he met a gilt-edged chance in the final minute of
injury time, but somehow managed to head substitute Davide
Moscardelli's cross off target as Roma clung on to move within six
points of leaders Juventus.
Roma head coach Rudi Garcia hailed his "very important victory"
at Bologna .
"It is a very important victory and that is all that matters,"
"The first half was under control, but in the second there were
many counter-attacks. We scored a great goal, then suffered too
much at the end of the game," he said.
He suggested that Juventus could slip up in their Turin derby
"Anything can happen in a derby. The levels of the two teams no
longer matter, as it's just the pride to win and not lose," he
"We've done our bit for this weekend and can watch what the
others do now. Will Juve slow down? I played in Europe many times
with Lille and know it takes up a lot of energy. It's tough after a
European fixture," he said.
His Bologna counterpart Davide Ballardini was frustrated at his
side's defeat to Roma owing to an avoidable goal.
"We can't concede a goal like that," he said. "In the first half
too Bologna were very organised and perhaps we were more aggressive
after the break, but overall it was a great performance."
"Beforehand a journalist said that for us to beat Roma would be
like climbing Mount Everest and I replied we could do it by playing
as a team, which is what we did tonight," he said. Enditem