Stephan El Shaarawy helps Roma up to third, AC Milan win
Stephan El Shaarawy scored twice as Roma moved up to third in Serie A thanks to a 3-1 victory at Empoli for their sixth league win in succession.
El Shaarawy opened the scoring with a stunning effort after just five minutes, picking the ball up in midfield and advancing towards goal before curling an exquisite shot into the top corner beyond the despairing dive of goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski.
Empoli got back on level terms in fortunate fashion after 22 minutes when Roma goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny attempted to punch clear a dangerous left-wing cross from Mario Rui, only to see the ball cannon into defender Ervin Zukanovic and loop tamely into the net.
However, it took the visitors just five minutes to get back in front thanks to their own slice of luck as Miralem Pjanic drilled a free kick straight into the wall, but saw the ball bounce straight back to his feet before firing through a crowd of players into the net.
El Shaarawy made sure of the win on 74 minutes after playing Mohamed Salah into the left-hand side of the area and being on hand to turn home the loose ball after Skorupski could only palm Salah's low shot into his path.
In the day's only other game, AC Milan closed to within a point of city rivals Inter after defender Luca Antonelli's goal was enough to see off Torino 1-0 at San Siro.
Keisuke Honda was unlucky to see his 26th-minute free-kick smash into the crossbar with Torino goalkeeper Daniele Padelli well beaten.
But the home side then scored the decisive goal just a minute from the interval when Juraj Kucka headed down from a corner and Antonelli was first to react, swivelling to fire home left-footed from the edge of the six-yard box.