ROME (AP) The rapid development of 20-year-old Turkey winger Cengiz Under is playing a big role in Roma’s revival.
Under scored his fourth goal in three matches and Roma won at Udinese 2-0 for its third straight win in Serie A on Saturday.
Roma moved into third place, two points ahead of Inter Milan, which lost at Genoa 2-0.
It’s a drastic improvement from where Roma was a month ago, when the Giallorossi were mired in a five-match winless streak that risked dropping them out of contention for the Champions League places.
“We’re getting back on track to where we were in the first half of the season,” forward Diego Perotti said.
Roma went ahead when Under unleashed a powerful, rising shot from beyond the area in the 70th.
Perotti sealed the victory in the 90th with an angled effort after Udinese gave the ball away near midfield.
Under is having a breakout month.
First, he scored after 43 seconds when Roma ended a five-match winless streak by beating Hellas Verona 1-0. Then he had a brace and also delivered an assist in a 5-2 win over Benevento last weekend.
All this after not being involved in any goals in his first 14 matches with Roma.
“He plays far more for the team than himself,” Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco said of Under. “His greatest strength is being able to prepare his shot with great speed, making him difficult to close down.”
Added Perotti, “He’s very humble and he doesn’t speak Italian yet but he’s well behaved and is a great kid. He deserves all of this.”
On Wednesday, Roma visits Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.
“We’ve got to make the most of the fact they’ve had a winter break and might not be match fit,” Di Francesco said of the Ukrainian side. “They have a lot of quality in attack and are dangerous, but we shouldn’t change our attitude.”
Inter’s defense was in shambles against Genoa.
The hosts took the lead before the break when a failed clearance attempt from Milan Skriniar ricocheted off of a stunned Andrea Ranocchia, who was charged with an own goal.
Then former Inter striker Goran Pandev was left unmarked to score from the center of the area midway through the second half.
Inter hasn’t won at regional rival Genoa in more than seven years.
Chievo Verona took a big step toward avoiding relegation with a 2-1 win over visiting Cagliari.
Emanuele Giaccherini and Roberto Inglese scored late for the hosts before Leonardo Pavoletti pulled one back for Cagliari.
Chievo moved up to 14th, level on points with Cagliari, eight points above the drop zone.