Eurozone: Ranieri resigns as Roma coach after dismal loss

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The Independent Football

Former chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri resigned as coach of Roma last night following their 4-3 loss at Genoa in a match they had led 3-0.

"I have always thought about the good of Roma," Ranieri said after the game. "After a match like that, I think it is right to give a signal. At the final whistle, I went into the dressing room to thank the team and I have decided to resign."

Headers from Philippe Mexes and Nicolas Burdisso put them 2-0 up at the break but as soon as Francesco Totti made it three, Genoa hit back through braces from Rodrigo Palacio and Alberto Paloschi. Cash-strapped Roma, who are in the process of being sold, lost 3-2 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League last-16 first leg on Wednesday.

Alexandre Pato scored the winner as Serie A leaders Milan beat Chievo 2-1. The forward came off the bench to fire home the decisive goal after Chievo's Gelson Fernandes had earlier equalised Robinho's strike.

In Spain, Lionel Messi was the hero for Barcelona on his 250th competitive appearance for the club as he scored a late winner to overcome a stubborn Athletic Bilbao side at the Nou Camp. Barcelona went ahead within three minutes through David Villa, but Bilbao levelled shortly after the break, when Andoni Iraola scored from the spot.

And just when it looked as if Pep Guardiola's side would have to settle for a disappointing draw, Messi popped up with a priceless winner to keep the Catalans five points clear of Real Madrid, who eased to a 2-0 victory over Levante on Saturday.