Spalletti delight after an exceptional performance

Luciano Spalletti hailed an “exceptional performance” as Roma defeated Pescara 4-1 on Monday night to remain in contention for the league – while also relegating the Serie A's bottom side.

Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan both scored at the end of the first half at Stadio Adriatico-Giovanni Cornacchia before Mohamed Salah added two more after the break.

The result kept Roma eight points behind league leaders Juventus with five games to go.

After the match, Spalletti told the club's official website: "Today was one of the most important wins of the season. We needed the three points and we needed to strengthen our self-belief and conviction.

"The lads produced an exceptional performance.”

He added: "Second place is something that these players deserve. We know that there are only five games left and we need to produce big results. We have some very tough matches against great sides coming up. Napoli have shown that they’re a fearsome opponent across the board.

"The most important thing is that we stay strong and relaxed and keep believing in our ability because that’s what enables us to beat anyone.

“It’s an exceptional achievement for us to finish second. I’m always wary of matches like tonight against Pescara. You have everything to lose, while your opponents have a calm mind and fresh legs. It can be tough – they counter all the time, you start thinking you’re in control, you try and nip at their heels and press high and all of a sudden they nick a goal."