MILAN (Reuters) - AS Roma’s Mohamed Salah scored twice in a 4-1 win at Pescara on Monday which kept alive their faint hopes of catching Serie A leaders Juventus and condemned their opponents to relegation.
Second-placed Roma are eight points behind Juve with five matches to play including a meeting between the pair at the Stadio Olimpico.
Bottom side Pescara are down after one season in the top flight as the defeat left them 15 points adrift of 17th-placed Empoli, the team immediately above the drop zone, but with a worse head-to-head record.
Roma moved four points clear of third-placed Napoli in the race for Italy’s second automatic slot in next season’s Champions League group stage.
The only sour note for Roma was that Edin Dzeko, Serie A’s joint leading scorer with 25 goals, reacted angrily to being substituted in the second half and refused to shake coach Luciano Spalletti’s hand.
Roma missed a host of chances before Kevin Strootman tapped in Stephan El Shaarawy’s pass to give them the lead in the 43rd minute and Radja Nainggolan added another two minutes later.
Three minutes into the second half, Salah curled home a delightful effort from the edge of the area and the Egyptian struck again on the hour, finishing off a counter-attack.
Ahmed Benali pulled one back for the Dolphins, who will play in Serie B next season, with seven minutes left.
His goal took the weekend’s tally to a remarkable 48 goals in 10 matches, the highest for a single round in Serie A since October 1992.
Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris