Sko­rup­ski hero­ics sees Roma lose ground on Juve

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Roma was thwarted time and time again by Em­poli goal­keeper Lukasz Sko­rup­ski, who is on loan from the cap­i­tal club, as it was held 0-0 yes­ter­day and failed to keep pace with Serie A leader Ju­ven­tus.

Sko­rup­ski flew to fin­ger­tip an Edin Dzeko header out from un­der the cross­bar in the open­ing min­utes and pulled off an­other spec­tac­u­lar save mo­ments later to keep out Mo­hamed Salah’s strike.

The Poland in­ter­na­tional’s hero­ics con­tin­ued through­out the match and when he was fi­nally beaten, late on, Manuel Pasqual was on hand to clear Dzeko’s header off the line. Sko­rup­ski also fin­ger­tipped a Stephan El Shaarawy vol­ley over the cross­bar in stop­page time.

If Em­poli man­ages to es­cape rel­e­ga­tion it will owe a great deal to Sko­rup­ski and his de­fense, as Gio­vanni Mar­tu­sciello’s side has scored just two goals in 11 matches this sea­son - the fewest in Europe’s top five leagues.

Roma is four points be­hind Ju­ven­tus, which beat Napoli 2-1 on Satur­day. Em­poli moved level with 17th-placed Pescara, four points be­hind Sam­p­do­ria which hosts In­ter Mi­lan later.

AC MI­LAN 1, PESCARA 0

AC Mi­lan is emerg­ing as a se­ri­ous chal­lenger for the ti­tle and a fourth suc­ces­sive home win saw it leapfrog Napoli into third place, five points be­hind Ju­ven­tus.

And it again had teenage goal­keeper Gian­luigi Don­narumma to thank.

While fel­low young­ster Manuel Lo­catelli stole the head­lines in last week­end’s win over Ju­ven­tus, Don­narumma pulled off sev­eral stun­ning saves to pro­tect his side’s lead. The 17-year-old kept Le­dian Me­mushaj’s strike from go­ing into the top cor­ner shortly af­ter the hour with a fly­ing one-handed save and was again at full stretch to deny Gian­luca Caprari late on. Gi­a­como Bon­aven­tura scored the only goal of the match, four min­utes into the sec­ond half, plac­ing a cheeky free kick un­der the wall as it jumped and into the bot­tom left cor­ner. Mi­lan also hit the wood­work in each half, through a M’Baye Niang header and a Car­los Bacca close-range strike.

CRO­TONE 2, CHIEVO VERONA 0

Bot­tom club Cro­tone recorded its first ever Serie A vic­tory although there was an un­seemly spat over who was to take the penalty that led to the first goal.

Lucas Cas­tro brought down Djamel Mes­bah on the stroke of half­time and Mar­cello Trotta con­verted, af­ter ar­gu­ing with Diego Fal­cinelli over who was to take the spot kick and shov­ing each other. Fal­cinelli got on the score­sheet in stop­page time with a pow­er­ful strike to seal the re­sult and spark rap­tur­ous cel­e­bra­tions in the sta­dium. Cro­tone moved onto five points, two from safety.

Lazio is just a point be­hind Mi­lan af­ter a hard-fought 2-1 vic­tory over Sas­suolo. The cap­i­tal side broke the dead­lock in con­tro­ver­sial cir­cum­stances five min­utes into the sec­ond half. Sas­suolo goal­keeper An­drea Con­sigli palmed away Keita Balde Diao’s cross but it ric­o­cheted into the back of the net off Se­nad Lulic, who was in an off­side po­si­tion. Lazio dou­bled its lead four min­utes later when Stefan Radu flicked on a cor­ner for Ciro Im­mo­bile to vol­ley in at the back post. Gre­goire De­frel got Sas­suolo back in the match two min­utes later but it couldn’t find the equal­izer. Ear­lier, Ata­lanta com­fort­ably beat Genoa 3-0 with a first-half dou­ble from Jas­min Kur­tic and a late goal from Papu Gomez. — AP

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