(Reuters) - Cagliari moved out of the Serie A relegation zone with a 3-2 win over Europa League semi-finalists AS Roma at the Sardegna Arena on Sunday, stretching their winning run to three games.
Leonardo Semplici’s side moved to 31 points and above Benevento into 17th place on goal difference. There are now three points separating both teams from Fiorentina in 14th.
Teams level on points are ranked by their head-to-head record at the end of the season, making Benevento's clash with Cagliari in two weeks' time hugely significant, after Filippo Inzaghi's side won their last meeting 2-1 in January.
Charalambos Lykogiannis fired the hosts in front after four minutes, but Carles Perez equalised before the break.
Cagliari pulled away with a swerving Razvan Marin strike and Joao Pedro header. Roma's Federico Fazio pulled one back with a header but the capital club failed to complete a comeback.
Pedro’s goal made him the first Brazilian to score at least 15 times in two consecutive Serie A seasons since AC Milan great Kaka between 2007 and 2009.
Roma, who visit Manchester United in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday, risk losing seventh place after picking up one point from their last three league games.
Paulo Fonseca’s side are three points ahead of Sassuolo, who have won four consecutive matches, with five games to go.
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Ken Ferris)