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Published: Saturday March 5, 2011 MYT 7:38:00 AM
Updated: Saturday March 5, 2011 MYT 7:39:20 AM

Pizarro's late penalty gives Roma 2-1 win at Lecce

MILAN (AP) — David Pizarro marked his return to the first team under new Roma coach Vincenzo Montella by scoring a 90th-minute penalty to give Roma a 2-1 win at Lecce in Serie A on Friday.

The Chilean was frozen out of the first team by former coach Claudio Ranieri, who tried to sell him during the January transfer window.

However, the win failed to hide familiar failings by Roma, which again almost let a lead slip away before Lecce midfielder Gianni Munari handled Marco Borriello's header to give Pizarro a chance to score the winner.

Mirko Vucinic gave Roma the lead in the first half, but Lecce dominated the second and drew level midway through the second period through Guillermo Giacomazzi.

"The coach said that Pizarro was the penalty-taker," Borriello said. "As he put the ball down, he asked me if I wanted to take it. I was ready, but then he changed his mind."

The victory means Roma is unbeaten in three games since Montella took over, but the team now has a tough week with the second leg of its Champions League last-16 match with Shakhtar Donetsk followed by the Rome derby against Lazio.

"We are delighted that we have taken seven points from the last three games," Montella said. "Especially the two wins we've had away from home."

After a slow start, Roma increased the tempo of the game and Vucinic began causing the defense problems with his runs from the left.

However, it was Borriello who had the first chance, but the striker blasted over the bar after racing beyond the defense in the 23rd.

Roma continued to press, Marco Cassetti firing a low shot wide and Rodrigo Taddei chipping over from the edge of the box.

Vucinic's pace allowed him to open the scoring. He shrugged off Andrea Rispoli on the halfway line, raced to the edge of the area and shot low past goalkeeper Antonio Rosati.

The hosts hit back. Ruben Olivera whipped a cross to the back post and Giacomazzi looped a header goalward, which goalkeeper Alexander Doni tipped out from under the crossbar.

"We played well and had a good rhythm, especially in the first half," Montella said. "After halftime, Lecce improved its organization and didn't let us play."

Lecce started the second half in determined mood. Daniele Corvia headed Giacomazzi's cross wide and Olivera flashed a volley narrowly past the post.

Corvia then went close again with a volley, before Giacomazzi equalized in the 65th with a glancing header over Doni from Munari's cross.

It was Giacomazzi that gave away the penalty as Borriello headed Simone Perrotta's cross goalward.

Standings Friday in Serie A:

Team GP W D L GF GA Pts

AC Milan 27 17 7 3 49 20 58

Inter Milan 27 16 5 6 49 29 53

Napoli 27 16 4 7 41 25 52

Lazio 27 14 6 7 33 23 48

Udinese 27 14 5 8 49 30 47

Roma 28 13 7 8 43 39 46

Juventus 27 11 8 8 41 32 41

Palermo 27 12 4 11 44 43 40

Cagliari 27 11 5 11 28 27 38

Genoa 27 9 8 10 25 27 35

x-Bologna 27 10 8 9 29 34 35

Fiorentina 27 8 10 9 28 29 34

Chievo Verona 27 7 10 10 27 29 31

Sampdoria 27 7 10 10 23 29 31

Catania 27 7 8 12 24 35 29

Parma 27 6 10 11 26 38 28

Lecce 28 7 8 13 31 50 28

Cesena 27 6 7 14 20 36 25

Brescia 27 6 6 15 22 35 24

Bari 27 3 7 17 14 41 16

x-penalized 3 points for failed tax and wage payments

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