The race for the Champions League places in the Italian top flight is wild, with five teams all within five points between fourth and eighth, plus four more teams within four points below that.
Roma took an early advantage heading into the weekend, topping Chievo Verona 3-0 to move fourth in the Serie A table. They were 2-0 up just 18 minutes in behind goals from Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko, and former Manchester City wing-back Aleksandar Kolarov added the cherry on top.
El Shaarawy’s opening goal was a beauty, beating three defenders by himself before finishing with a tight-angled dink over a charging Stefano Sorrentino off his line. It’s his third goal in the last four league matches, returning strong after missing all of December with a bicep injury. Then, nine minutes later, Dzeko also worked that left side of the Chievo defense, cutting back away from the byline and firing a low, left-footed strike.
The two then combined to build Kolarov’s second-half goal, with El Shaarawy bursting down the flank and feeding Dzeko with his back to goal, who laid off to a charging Kolarov for the finish. El Shaarawy also hit the post in the 83rd minute as Roma looked to add more.
Roma’s win was huge, jumping into fourth over Lazio who topped Empoli on Thursday. AC Milan must wait until Sunday to respond as they host Cagliari, while Atalanta is also in reach as they entertain SPAL. Sampdoria hosts Frosinone as they remain just out of striking distance, while Fiorentina and Torino have some work to do to get back in the race.