Roma held by Empoli


Roma slipped four points behind Serie A leaders Juventus after they were held to a goalless draw at struggling Empoli.

Luciano Spalletti’s side had hoped to keep the distance between themselves and their title rivals to within two points following Juve’s win over Napoli on Saturday.

But their bid for a fifth consecutive league win was scuppered by a mixture of poor finishing and inspired goalkeeping from on-loan Lukasz Skorupski, who was playing against his parent club.

Giacomo Bonaventura’s second-half strike proved enough as AC Milan bounced back from a midweek defeat at Genoa with a 1-0 victory over Pescara at San Siro.

The home side took the lead four minutes after the break as Italy midfielder Bonaventura slotted his free-kick under the Pescara wall and into the bottom corner.

Ahmad Benali had the ball in the net shortly afterwards but the referee ruled it offside.

Second-half goals from Senad Lulic and Ciro Immobile saw Lazio extend their unbeaten run to six games as they edged to a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo at Stadio Olimpico.

Gregoire Defrel pulled one back for the visitors with more than 30 minutes still remaining but the hosts held on for maximum points to move up to fourth.

Goals from Marcello Trotta and Diego Falcinelli finally secured Crotone‘s first Serie A win of the season at the 11th attempt with a 2-0 triumph against free-falling Chievo.

Two first-half goals from Jasmin Kurtic paved the way for Atalanta to claim their third consecutive Serie A win with a 3-0 triumph over Genoa.

Papu Gomez scored the third six minutes from time when he finished off a swift counter-attack.

The pressure ramped up another notch on Inter Milan coach Frank de Boer after Sampdoria inflicted a fourth defeat in five Serie A games.

A midweek victory over Torino had lifted the gloom a little but Fabio Quagliarella’s 44th-minute goal saw Inter fall to a 1-0 loss.

Rodrigo Palacio almost salvaged a point in stoppage time but his shot hit the bar, with the ball narrowly failing to cross the line.

On Saturday, Gonzalo Higuain scored the winner against his former club Napoli as Juventus extended their winning home run to 22 matches.

It was Higuain’s first goal against Napoli since his move to Turin for £75million in July.

Leonardo Bonucci had fired Juve into the lead early in the second half when he lashed home a spectacular volley after Napoli had made a hash of clearing a corner.

Napoli responded quickly and were level four minutes later when Jose Callejon caught the Juventus defence flat-footed to calmly slot the ball beneath Gianluigi Buffon, but Argentina international Higuain had the last word, firing home a rebound inside the area in the 82nd minute.

Juve’s last league defeat on home soil was on the opening day of the 2015-16 season when they lost 1-0 to Udinese.

In the day’s other Serie A clash, Nikola Kalinic’s first-half penalty secured Fiorentina a 1-0 win at 10-man Bologna and extended their unbeaten run to five games in all competitions.

Bologna were a man down for an hour after defender Daniele Gastaldello had been shown a straight red card for hauling down former Blackburn striker Kalinic, who picked himself up to place his 31st-minute spot-kick into the bottom corner.



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