Roma makes easy work of Sassuolo in key Serie A clash

Roma players celebrate their victory over Sassuolo in Serie A.

ROME (AP) Mattia Destro’s early goal was key and Roma was fortunate when a penalty kick for relegation-threatened Sassuolo was waved off in a 2-0 win Sunday.

The victory moved Roma within 11 points of Serie A leader Juventus, which was visiting third-place Napoli later. Roma also provisionally distanced itself from Napoli by nine points in the race for second and the last direct Champions League entry.

Destro scored in the 16th minute but Sassuolo thought it had a chance to equalize in the 35th when referee Nicola Rizzoli appeared to change his mind several times before denying the hosts a penalty for minor contact between Roma defender Mehdi Benatia and Nicola Sansone.

Roma substitute Michel Bastos sealed the result with a goal six minutes into added time.