Napoli, Roma win to keep faint title hopes alive

AS Roma Team Presentation

Second-placed AS Roma beat visitors Torino 4-1 and Napoli, who are third, eased to a 3-1 victory at Chievo on Sunday to keep alive their faint title hopes and maintain some pressure on Serie A leaders Juventus.

Inter Milan reclaimed fourth place after Brazilian striker Gabriel Barbosa – nicknamed Gabigol – came on to score his first league goal as they snatched a 1-0 win at Bologna.

Roma’s win keeps them second on 56 points, seven behind Juve and two clear of Napoli, who bounced back from their midweek Champions League defeat at Real Madrid and extended their unbeaten league streak to 14 games with the Chievo win.

After Juve’s 4-1 victory at home to Palermo on Friday, the chasing duo knew they had to pick up three points to retain any semblance of pressure on the champions.

Both teams duly obliged, with Roma’s irresistible attack establishing a 2-0 lead over Torino inside 20 minutes following Edin Dzeko’s low 10th minute strike and Mohamed Salah’s sensational volley seven minutes later.

Leandro Paredes produced a sublime strike from distance in the 63rd minute and Maxi Lopez got a consolation goal for Torino six minutes from the end before Radja Nainggolan thundered home a long-range effort in the first minute of stoppage time.

“We had to deliver a response to Napoli and Juventus,” Paredes told Sky Sport Italia. “They both won this weekend and we couldn’t get this game wrong, so it’s lucky we took all three points.

“We had to change our mentality and we’re doing that, so we just need to stick to it now.”

At Chievo, Lorenzo Insigne opened the scoring for Napoli in the 31st minute with a delicious effort, cutting in from the left and curling a right-foot strike into the far corner.

Marek Hamsik then scored from close range after hesitant defending seven minutes before the break with Piotr Zielinski adding a third in the 58th with a calm finish from the edge of the box.

Riccardo Meggiorini pulled a goal back for the hosts but it could not stop Napoli moving on to 54 points.

In Bologna, Inter moved back level with Atalanta on 48 points and above Lazio after Barbosa settled a lacklustre contest with an 81st-minute winner.

The 20-year-old came on in the 74th minute and took just seven minutes to end his goal drought when he finished calmly after being picked out by Danilo D’Ambrosio’s cross.

In the late game, seventh-placed AC Milan moved on to 44 points after beating Fiorentina, who are eighth, 2-1 with goals from Juraj Kucka and Gerard Deulofeu.

Bottom club Pescara’s decision to reappoint Zdenek Zeman for a second spell in charge prompted an immediate change of fortune with a 5-0 triumph over Genoa as they ended a 22-game winless streak and picked up their second victory of the season.