Serie A: Roma beats Chievo, placing pressure to win on Juventus
MILAN (AP) Roma kept its faint Serie A title hopes alive with a 5-3 win at Chievo Verona in the penultimate round on Saturday.
It wasn't all plain sailing for Roma, which had to twice come from behind in Verona to earn a club record seventh consecutive away victory.
Roma moved to within one point of Juventus, which can wrap up an unprecedented sixth successive Serie A title with victory at home to relegation-threatened Crotone on Sunday.
The result also boosted Roma's chances of finishing second and going straight into the Champions League group stage, although Napoli can cut the gap back to one point with a win against Fiorentina later.
Stephan El Shaarawy and Mohamed Salah both scored twice for Roma.
Lucas Castro volleyed the home side into a surprise lead in the 15th minute after a Roberto Inglese header fell kindly for the Chievo winger.
Roma leveled shortly before the hour as El Shaarawy ran onto a Federico Fazio header from the halfway line and rounded Stefano Sorrentino, who rushed out to the edge of the penalty area, before depositing it into the empty net.
However, Inglese was left completely unmarked to head in Valter Birsa's cross and restore Chievo's lead.
It was all square again five minutes later when Salah cut inside the right side of the area and curled into the far side of the net, courtesy of a deflection.
After the break, Roma took the lead for the first time as El Shaarawy timed his run to perfection to spring the offside trap, run onto Kevin Strootman's lob and fire past Sorrentino.
Salah all but sealed the result 13 minutes from time, running onto Edin Dzeko's throughball and placing a precise finish into the bottom left corner.
Dzeko also got on the scoresheet with a splendid late strike. That took Roma's tally to 87 league goals, matching the club record it set in 1931.
Inglese headed in another consolation for Chievo, moments after Francesco Totti replaced Dzeko for what was likely his penultimate appearance. The Roma icon and World Cup winner is almost certain to retire after the season.
NAPOLI 4 FIORENTINA 1
Napoli ripped Fiorentina apart to ensure the fight for the automatic Champions League place goes down to the last match of the season.
Napoli moved a point behind Roma. The team which finishes third in Serie A has to go through a qualifying match.
Napoli visits Sampdoria next weekend, while Roma hosts Genoa.
Napoli got off to a great start in its final home match as it took the lead in the eighth minute. Marek Hamsik's header from a corner was saved by Ciprian Tatarusanu but Kalidou Koulibaly tapped home the rebound.
Dries Mertens threaded through for Lorenzo Insigne to fire into the bottom left corner for 2-0.
Tatarusanu did well to help keep the scoreline down but he was at fault in the 57th when he could only flap at Jose Callejon's cross which was nodded on by Insigne. Mertens bundled in the ball.
Fiorentina got back into the match on the hour mark through a delightful strike from Josip Ilicic, but Mertens restored Napoli's three-goal advantage four minutes later.