Serie A: Roma close gap to Juve; Fiorentina, Napoli in 3-3 thriller

Angelo Carconi/ANSA via AP
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A roundup of Thursday’s action in Italy’s top flight…

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Roma 3-1 Chievo

The gap between runaway leaders Juventus (who now have a game in hand) and second-place Roma has been reduced to just four points, after the Giallorossi came from a goal behind to win 3-1 at home against 10th-place Chievo. Jonathan De Guzman put the visitors ahead in the 37th minute, but that advantage wouldn’t last long, as Roma blitzed the Mussi Volanti (Flying Donkeys) as soon as the second-half whistle had gone.

Stephan El Shaarawy equalized less than 60 seconds into the second half, followed in short order by Edin Dzeko (13th goal of the league season — tied-2nd-most in Serie A), just six minutes later, and Diego Perotti converted from the penalty spot to complete the scoring in the second minute of second-half stoppage time. Serie A will now take more than two weeks off for its annual winter break before returning to action on Jan. 7.

Fiorentina 3-3 Napoli

Napoli fell to three points adrift of Roma in the race for second, though it looked a near certainty that the gap would be four points after 92 minutes at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Lorenzo Insigne scored an absolute stunner to put the visitors ahead after 25 minutes, but Federico Bernardeschi brought Fiorentina level six minutes into the second half.

Dries Mertens, who scored four on the weekend, put Napoli back in front after 68 minutes, only to see Bernardeschi and Mauro Zarate fire Fiorentina into the lead inside the ensuing 13 minutes. Mexican national teamer Carlos Salcedo committed an undeniable foul inside the penalty area well into second-half stoppage time, and Manolo Gabbiadini converted the spot kick to rescue a point and keep the Azzurri within touching distance of the second and final automatic qualifying spot for the UEFA Champions League.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Cagliari 4-3 Sassuolo
Palermo 1-1 Pescara
Sampdoria 0-0 Udinese
Torino 1-0 Genoa

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Juventus 17 14 0 3 36 14 22 9-0-0 5-0-3 42
 Roma 18 12 2 4 39 18 21 9-0-0 3-2-4 38
 Napoli 18 10 5 3 40 21 19 6-2-1 4-3-2 35
 Lazio 18 10 4 4 32 21 11 6-1-2 4-3-2 34
 AC Milan 17 10 3 4 27 20 7 6-2-1 4-1-3 33
 Atalanta 18 10 2 6 27 21 6 6-0-3 4-2-3 32
 Inter Milan 18 9 3 6 28 21 7 6-2-1 3-1-5 30
 Torino 18 8 4 6 36 27 9 6-2-1 2-2-5 28
 Fiorentina 18 7 6 5 28 24 4 4-5-0 3-1-5 27