Goals from Paulo Dybala and Tammy Abraham earned AS Roma a 2-1 win in Serie A on Monday. Dybala opened the scoring with a long-range effort in the 17th minute after pouncing on a poor defensive clearance, his sixth league goal this season. After Empoli scored an equaliser through midfielder Filippo Bandinelli, who headed home in the 43rd minute from a Petar Stojanovic cross, Abraham fired home the winner in the 71st minute.
He latched onto a Dybala pass inside the six-yard box to earn Roma all three points. Both teams hit the woodwork numerous times, while Roma missed a penalty and an Empoli player was sent off late on. Roma should have extended their lead 10 minutes from fulltime but Lorenzo Pellegrini fired his spot-kick off the crossbar after Liberato Cacace was penalized for bringing down Roger Ibañez just inside the area.
Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro hit the post for Empoli but their chances of snatching something from the match diminished three minutes from time when the same player was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Chris Smalling. Roma moved up to fifth, a point behind the top three of Napoli, Atalanta and AC Milan. Jose Mourinho’s side was looking to bounce back from consecutive losses: 4-0 to Udinese last weekend, and 2-1 at Ludogorets in the Europa League.
They host second-placed Atalanta on Sunday while Empoli, who are 16th with four points, travel to Bologna on Saturday.
Victory for Osasuna
Osasuna defeated promoted Almería 1-0 in the Spanish league. It was the fourth win in five matches for Osasuna, the same number as Barcelona and Real Betis. Only defending champion Real Madrid has five wins. Chimy Ávila scored with a one-timer from near the penalty spot in the 28th minute.