Roma moved up to fourth place in Serie A on Monday after grinding out a 1-0 win at bottom club Sampdoria, where former president Massimo Ferrero was escorted out of the stadium by security.
An early Lorenzo Pellegrini penalty was enough to see Roma leapfrog Udinese and city rival Lazio and move to within four points of Serie A leader Napoli. José Mourinho’s side hosts Napoli next weekend.
Sampdoria was four points below safety after collecting just three points from 10 matches.
Ferrero had not been to Sampdoria for more than a year, since shortly before his arrest for fraudulent bankruptcy that forced him to step down as president. His appearance was met by jeers and insulting chants and he eventually left about 15 minutes after kickoff, escorted by security to protect him from unhappy supporters.
Roma was already 1-0 up by then as, with the help of the video assistant referee, it was awarded a penalty after Samp defender Alex Ferrari handled Tammy Abraham’s cross. Pellegrini buried the penalty into the top left corner to give the visitors a ninth-minute lead.
Substitute Nicolò Zaniolo thought he doubled Roma's advantage in stoppage time but it was disallowed for offside.
Fiorentina drew at fellow struggler Lecce 1-1 in a result that did neither side any favors, with both hovering close to the relegation zone.
Fiorentina inched five points clear of the bottom three. It was two points ahead of Lecce.
Both goals came either side of halftime. Lecce took the lead two minutes before the break following great work near the left byline from Joan Gonzàlez, who crossed for Assan Ceesay to fire into the far bottom corner.
But Christian Kouamé headed in the equalizer off the right upright three minutes into the second half.
Lecce defender Antonino Gallo was sent off in stoppage time following two yellow cards in as many minutes.