Second-placed AS Roma extended their Serie A winning streak to an impressive eight games by beating fourth-place Fiorentina 1-0 at the Artemio Franchi on Saturday. Radja Nainggolan's first half strike was enough to seal the points for the giallorossi, who close league leaders Juventus' gap at the top to eight points. Fiorentina stayed fourth, but are now just a couple of points above Inter Milan.
Nainggolan's goal came midway through a frantic first half in which Roma should've taken the lead even earlier than they did. Adem Ljajić got in behind the Fiorentina defence and squared the ball for Gervinho inside the first 10 minutes, though the Ivorian fired wide of the open goal in his own inimitable style.
Roma's initial danger looked like it was fading as Fiorentina took control and slowed the tempo of the game, though the viola were only lulled into a false sense of security. After 26 minutes Ljajić produced some magic against his former club, drawing in defenders with some fancy footwork before springing Nainggolan free to slide the ball into Neto's goal for 1-0.
The hosts responded with a string of opportunities of their own, with Juan Cuadrado and Josip Iličić both firing over the bar with attempts from distance. However, the giallorossi defence did a good job of protecting Morgan De Sanctis' goal with a string of important interventions before the halftime whistle.
Unfortunately for the hosts, they didn't have any more luck once the second half was underway. Save for a few more shots peppered towards the Roma goal, the viola never really threatened, with Roma retreating into a disciplined midfield five when out of possession. Their best opportunity frustrating fell to centre-back Stefan Savić with just over 20 minutes to go, though the Montenegrin fired over from point-blank range on Iličić's deep free-kick.
Fiorentina: Neto; Pasqual, Savić, Rodríguez, Tomović; Valero, Pizarro, Aquilani (Vargas 81'); Cuadrado, Matos (Matri 46'), Iličić (Joaquín 73').
AS Roma: De Sanctis; Dodô (Torosidis 86'), Castán, Tolói, Maicon; Nainggolan, De Rossi, Pjanić; Ljajić (Bastos 80'), Totti (Florenzi 75'), Gervinho.
Goals: Nainggolan (26').