David Pizarro scored a last-gasp penalty as Roma survived a scare from lowly Lecce to record a 2-1 win in the Serie A on Friday.
Roma, who have gone unbeaten since Vincenzo Montella took over as manager following Claudio Ranieri’s resignation, took the lead just after the half hour through Montenegrins striker Miko Vucinic.
The hosts looked to have stolen a point when Guillermo Giacomazzi snatched an equaliser in the 75th minute, but Pizarro broke Lecce hearts by converting from the spot in injury time following Gianni Munari’s foul.
Vucinic refused to celebrate after his 32nd-minute opener, though the former Lecce man had every right to after weaving his way to the edge of the area and somehow splitting three defenders and Lecce goalkeeper Antonio Rosati with a side-footed thrust into the bottom-right corner.
Lecce pushed hard for an equaliser and found it through Giacomazzi, the Uruguayan midfielder rising to meet Munari’s cross and looping a header under the crossbar 15 minutes from injury time.
But Munari went from hero to villain in the 89th minute, fouling in the area and allowing Pizzaro a chance to break his 12-month goal drought from the spot.
The Chilean playmaker was up to the task, stumping Rosati with a powerful drive into the right corner and ensuring Roma kept themselves in the Europa League places for another round.
Roma will remain sixth on the table through the weekend after improving to a five-point gap over Juventus in seventh, while Lecce could find themselves in the relegation zone if Cesena can win at Sampdoria on Saturday.