Roma stutter in Empoli
Roma’s gap with Italian leaders Juventus increased this weekend as the Giallorossi dropped two points away at Empoli, with their former player Skorupski putting in a goalkeeping masterclass to keep it 0-0.
Empoli XI: Skorupski; Veseli; Belusci; Costa; Pasqual; Krunic; Diousse; Croce; Saponara; Gilardino; Puciarelli.
Roma XI: Szczesny; Rudiger; Fazio; Manolas; Emerson; de Rossi; Paredes; Nainggolan; Salah; El Shaarawy; Dzeko.
Following Napoli’s loss to Juventus yesterday, Roma went into the game knowing it was a good opportunity to capitalize and gain an advantage on their Champions League rivals, and potentially stay in the title race with Juve.
In the opening few minutes, Edin Dzeko was denied his 11th goal in as many games by former Roma keeper Skorupski from Emerson’s cross. Minutes later, Salah also came close to scoring but was also kept out by the Pole.
Roma dominated possession and the chance creation in the first half, with Empoli’s first clear sight of goal falling to Pasqual, however he lacked the composure to break the deadlock.
Throughout the match, Skorupski was kept on his toes by the Roma front line. Early in the second half he was called into action again, as ex Empoli regista Leandro Paredes’ free kick was headed towards goal, but matched by Skorupski.
Ex Middlesbrough striker Massimo Maccarone came off the bench in the second half, and he almost made Roma pay for their misses as he caused trouble in the Giallorossi box, but his shot went just wide.
In the final minutes, Skorupski would again be required for the home side as he made phenomenal reflex saves on Stephan El Shaarawy.
With the final kicks of the game, Salah went to the ground appealing for a penalty, and while there did appear to be a slight touch on him the referee deemed he went down too easily and the Pharaoh was booked for simulation.
Roma had 22 shots in total, however thanks to what was surely a man of the match performance by Skorupski Empoli were able to salvage a point as the match finished 0-0.
The result means that Roma remain in second for this week, 3 points ahead of Napoli in third place but 4 points adrift of Juventus at the top of the pile.
Empoli remain in the relegation zone, and could be overtaken if Palermo win against Cagliari in the Derby delle Isole.
Roma’s next game is away at Austria Wien in the Europa League this coming Thursday.
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