A resilient Bianconeri played some impressive football in a game mostly dominated by Luis Enrique’s side, and were rewarded for their stalwart performance.Siena ran out 1-0 winners in a hard-fought clash with Roma at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Monday evening.
Emanuele Calaio's second-half spot kick was enough to secure victory for the hosts, and gain a much-needed three points to move them out of Serie A's relegation zone.
The opening 10 minutes saw both sides creating chances, with Roma winning an early free kick just outside the center of the area. Francesco Totti stepped up to take it, but the veteran attacker fired the ball straight at the wall. Five minutes later, Mattia Destro saw his shot from distance sail just the wrong side of Maarten Stekelenburg’s bar.
With 20 minutes gone, Calaio should have given the home side the lead when he latched onto Franco Brienza’s through-ball inside the visitors’ area. However, the Bianconeri’s top scorer could only drag the shot wide of the far-post and Enrique’s side was let off.
Soon after, Gianluca Pegolo produced an important save from an Erik Lamela free kick, stretching well to send the ball out for a corner.
Roma may have enjoyed more of the first-half possession, but it was the hosts who created the best goalscoring opportunities for their frontmen in the opening 45 minutes. Sadly for Giuseppe Sannino’s side, Destro and Calaio failed to capitalize.
The former was involved in the first chance of the second half, just a minute after kick off, but the young striker squandered another opportunity when he struck a weak shot straight at Stekelenburg.
Simon Kjaer endured a nightmare start to the second period when he was deemed to have fouled Destro in the 50th minute and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Calaio was lucky to score his 10th league goal of the season though, as Stekelenburg guessed correctly, narrowly missing the save as he dived to his left.
Enrique introduced Pablo Osvaldo and Bojan Krkic in the hope of boosting Roma’s attacking options, but the visitors struggled to create many clear chances. Meanwhile, Destro continued to trouble the opposition's defence as he linked up well with strike partner Calaio.
Siena continued to hold fast its backline and made it hard for the visitors to penetrate the defense. Sannino’s men looked more concerned in holding their shape as full time approached, but did occasionally hit their opposition on the counterattack.
The remaining 10 minutes saw the Giallorossi pushing for the equalizer with Federico Viviani, Bojan and Kjaer all having attempts on goal. It was not to be Enrique’s sides’ night, though, as the Bianconeri held on for what could be a vital three points.
A win for Siena sees the club move one place to 16th, but it now sits five points clear of the relegation zone and visits third-from-bottom Lecce for the early kickoff on Sunday. Roma, which remains in sixth place, one point above Napoli, hosts Parma on Sunday afternoon.