Daniele De Rossi gave Roma a precious victory at Marassi, despite being largely dominated by Sampdoria, which puts them within a point of fourth place.
This was a head-to-head for European places and both were coming off disappointing results. Omar Colley, Gianluca Caprari, Albin Ekdal and Edgar Barreto were out injured, with Bartosz Bereszynski suspended. The Giallorossi missed Alessandro Florenzi, Davide Santon and Javier Pastore, with Stephan El Shaarawy only fit for the bench, but Kostas Manolas returned from suspension with Patrik Schick facing his former club.
Quagliarella almost scored a stunner in the opening minutes, his spectacular volley flying inches over the bar from outside the penalty area.
The visitors fought back, Lorenzo Pellegrini nodding over from a Nicolò Zaniolo cross, then Justin Kluivert cutting inside for a low drive smothered by Emil Audero.
Mirante showed why he has pushed Olsen on to the bench, as he made a desperate flying save to keep the Gregoire Defrel curler out of the far top corner.
Quagliarella knocked back a free kick from the by-line only for Lorenzo Tonelli to volley well over from eight yards, then Bryan Cristante’s curler flashed just wide.
Quagliarella’s long-range strike was deflected off target by Cristante’s shin and Audero smothered a Zaniolo back-heel flick at the feet of Schick, but Aleksandar Kolarov was booked and will be suspended against Udinese.
On the stroke of half-time, Audero had to come bravely a long way outside the penalty area to hoof the ball away, as Schick was going clear on goal. Sampdoria dominated possession in the first half with over 60 per cent.
Rick Karsdorp whipped in a fine cross for Schick’s towering header inches wide of the near top corner. However, Karsdorp suffered what seemed to be a muscular injury in the process and limped off.
Roma had a double chance, a cross only grazing Schick’s head and Zaniolo firing over from a tight angle, but Saponara’s scorcher flew inches over the bar.
Samp really went for it, introducing Manolo Gabbiadini and Jakub Jankto, and Quagliarella’s ferocious free kick was not far off target.
Kolarov got a decisive block to stop Gabbiadini’s left-foot finish from 12 yards arrowing into the far bottom corner, then the ex-Southampton man couldn’t get on the end of a Jankto cross.
Zaniolo’s volley was charged down, with the same fate befalling the Cristante follow-up, but the deadlock was finally broken on 75 minutes.
Kolarov’s corner found a Schick header, kept out by a sensational one-handed Audero save, but Daniele De Rossi bundled the rebound over the line at the back post. A VAR check confirmed he was onside and the goal was given after a short delay.
Samp had the ball in the back of the net, but the whistle had already gone for Joachim Andersen’s push on De Rossi.
Zaniolo almost scored directly from the corner flag in the final minutes, cracking his inswinger on to the near post.
Moments later, Gabbiadini missed a sitter, leaning backwards for a free header well wide from eight yards. It was a stoppage-time siege with every Samp striker available on the pitch, but with the final kick of the game Defrel rolled across for exhausted Quagliarella, who flung himself at the ball under pressure from Juan Jesus, but there was no penalty foul.
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk