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Torino eye Europe as Sampdoria, Fiorentina back to winning ways

Milan (AFP) – Alejandro Berenguer struck the only goal as Torino beat Bologna on Sunday to make it three wins in a week to close in on the Europa League places as Sampdoria came from behind to hammer relegation rivals Brescia 5-1.

Fiorentina got their first win since October against bottom club SPAL with German Pezzella scoring the only goal eight minutes from time.

Torino climb to seventh in the Serie A table, three days after being taken to penalties by Genoa before advancing to the Italian Cup quarter-finals.

Spaniard Berenguer finished off a cross from captain Andrea Belotti on 11 minutes as Torino move two points off sixth-placed Cagliari, who are in the last Europa League places.

Rodrigo Palacio missed two chances to equalise for Bologna with just the keeper to beat, leaving Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side in 12th position.

“Today’s victory is very important, because it gives us continuity,” said Belotti, after shocking Roma at the Stadio Olimpico last weekend.

Veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella scored a brace as Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria moved five points clear of the relegation zone with their thumping win over Brescia.

“We are starting to break away from the quicksand of the relegation zone, but it’s still there and we have to keep going,” said Ranieri, who next play title-chasing Lazio.

Jhon Chancellor nodded in after 12 minutes for Brescia.

But Karol Linetty volleyed in the equaliser on 34 minutes and provided the cross for Jakub Jankto to put the hosts ahead just before the break.

Last season’s top scorer Quagliarella gave Sampdoria a third from the spot for his first home goal this season, and added a second in injury time.

In Florence, Patrick Cutrone got his first start for Fiorentina since his move from Wolverhampton Wanderers this week, playing the final 15 minutes in the tight win over rock-bottom SPAL.

Pezzella struck later to give new coach Giuseppe Iachini his first win for 14th-placed Fiorentina who are now seven points above the drop zone.

Udinese beat Sassuolo 3-0 for their third consecutive victory to move level on points with Napoli in 11th position.

Stefano Okaka headed in after 14 minutes in Udine with Ivorian midfielder Seko Fofana providing the assists for Ken Sema and Rodrigo de Paul’s second-half goals.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s Serie A match between Verona and Genoa was delayed by 15 minutes in order to redo the uneven lines of the two penalty areas.

A pitch inspection at the Stadio Bentegodi along with referee Maurizio Mariani found that the lines marking the penalty box were visibly not straight.

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