Rome, July 12, 2020 (AFP) - Genoa boosted their hopes of Serie A survival on Sunday with a 2-0 win over SPAL to climb out of the relegation zone and leave their opponents on the brink.
Goran Pandev's smart 24th-minute opener and a stunning Lasse Schone free-kick eight minutes after the break gave Genoa their first win since the league restart last month and moves them up to 17th.
Davide Nicola's side are two points ahead of 18th-placed Lecce, who visit mid-table Cagliari later on Sunday, and two points behind local rivals Sampdoria, who are away at Udinese.
Not even Iago Falque's first-half penalty miss at a boiling Luigi Ferraris Stadium could spoil a simple home win over SPAL, who are staring at relegation after their fifth defeat in six since top flight football returned in Italy.
SPAL took their place in Serie A in 2017 for the first time in nearly half a century but have mostly battled the drop since.
Coached since February by former Italy international Luigi Di Biagio, they are rooted to the bottom of the league on 19 points, 11 behind Genoa with six matches remaining.
Sunday's late game matches two of Italy's form teams, as Napoli host AC Milan with a spot in next season's Europa league at stake.
Elsewhere, Parma entertain Bologna after announcing their entire matchday squad had tested negative for coronavirus following a positive result for a staff member on Saturday, while Verona travel to Fiorentina. Inter Milan host Torino on Monday.