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Roma stutter at Empoli in Serie A

dpa logodpa 30/10/2016

Roma have drawn 0-0 with struggling Empoli in Serie A and are now four points behind leaders Juventus.

An unimpressive Roma have been held to a scoreless draw at struggling Empoli to slip four points behind leaders Juventus in the Italian Serie A season.

The champion Zebras won 2-1 against Napoli on Saturday as AC Milan went third, a point behind Roma, by beating Pescara 1-0. Lazio are fourth after a 2-1 defeat of Sassuolo.

In Empoli, Roma's top-scoring attack failed to beat their former goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski and stayed rooted on 26 goals along with missing a fifth straight win.

Skorupski, who plays with Empoli on loan from the Giallorossi, made two great saves on a header from Edin Dzeko and a Mohamed Salah shot in the first five minutes.

Dzeko tried two more headers without luck in the first half and after the break Skorupski grabbed a diving header from Kostas Manolas.

He then parried two late Stephan El Shaarawy efforts to gain the Tuscany hosts a point, though they remain in the relegation zone on goal difference.

"It was one of those days when you have your chances but do not score," Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan said.

"We must stay positive and we will get more points in the next games. Their goalkeeper was very good. Possibly we could have won without him on the pitch."

Milan edged fourth-last Pescara thanks to a free-kick from Giacomo Bonaventura, who on 49 minutes found the low left corner by firing under the jumping wall.

M'Baye Niang had come close for the Devils nodding onto the post in the first half and Carlos Bacca also struck the woodwork.

Lazio also scored after the break from Senad Lulic's flick and a close-range volley from Ciro Immobile, who is now on nine goals and one behind the league-best of Dzeko, before Gregoire Defrel pulled cut the deficit on 57 minutes.

Promoted Crotone found a first win edging Chievo 2-0 from a penalty by Marcello Trotta and a late Diego Falcinelli goal but stayed last on five points.

Earlier on Sunday in Bergamo, Atalanta beat Genoa 3-0 with a brace from Jasmin Kurtic to move sixth on 19 points. Genoa sit ninth on 15 with a game in hand.

Fiorentina are seventh after beating Bologna 1-0 on Saturday.

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