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Roma beats Genoa 1-0 to move into Champions League places

Gianluca Mancini’s bullet header helped Roma beat Genoa 1-0 to move back into fourth place in Serie A on Sunday.

Mancini scored the only goal of the match in the 24th minute as Roma moved a point above fifth-place Atalanta, which visits Serie A leader Inter Milan on Monday. The top four from Serie A qualify for next year's Champions League.

Second-place AC Milan was playing at Hellas Verona later.

Roma's Gianluca Mancini, top left, scores his side's opening goal during the Serie A soccer match between Roma and Genoa at the Rome Olympic Stadium Sunday, March 7, 2021. (Alfredo FalconeLaPresse via AP)

Genoa remained seven points above the relegation zone after its second loss in three matches. It had only lost one of the previous 10 since Davide Ballardini replaced Rolando Maran as coach.

Roma dominated and broke the deadlock when Mancini rose highest in the middle of the area to head a Lorenzo Pellegrini corner into the top right side of the net.

Roma almost doubled its lead in the 67th but Gonzalo Villar’s effort was deflected onto the right post by Genoa midfielder Ivan Radovanović.

Roma's Gianluca Mancini celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Serie A soccer match between Roma and Genoa at the Rome Olympic Stadium Sunday, March 7, 2021. (Alfredo FalconeLaPresse via AP)

The hosts did have the ball in the back of the net shortly after. Pedro’s backheeled flick came off the left post and Borja Mayoral turned in the rebound but it was ruled out for a narrow offside.

Genoa fought hard for the equalizer until the end but struggled to create opportunities of note.

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Roma's Gianluca Mancini, left, scores his side's first goal during a Serie A soccer match between Roma and Genoa at Rome's Olympic stadium, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP PhotoAlessandra Tarantino)

Roma's Chris Smalling, right, reacts after missing a scoring chance during a Serie A soccer match between Roma and Genoa at Rome's Olympic stadium, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP PhotoAlessandra Tarantino)