MILAN (AP) Stephan El Shaarawy scored twice as Roma eased to a 3-1 win at home to Udinese on Saturday to keep up the pressure on Serie A leaders Napoli and Juventus.
All the Roma goals came in the first half, with El Shaarawy pouncing after Edin Dzeko’s opener.
Roma moved three points below Napoli and Juventus, who will be trying to remain perfect later Saturday against Spal and Torino, respectively.
Capital side Roma had played a match less than most Serie A teams coming into the weekend, as its fixture at Sampdoria was postponed because of bad weather.
Dzeko seems determined to retain the Serie A top goalscorer award he won last year and he opened the scoring in the 12th minute.
Radja Nainggolan rode three challenges and managed to get the ball to Dzeko, who slotted into the bottom left corner for his fifth goal in three matches.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina forward turned provider on the half hour when he sent in a low cross for El Shaarawy to coolly flick into the roof of the net.
El Shaarawy doubled his tally on the stroke of halftime, taking advantage of confusion in the Udinese defense to finish off a counterattack he had started.
Udinese defender Jens Stryger Larsen appeared to have time to clear Diego Perotti’s cross but he hesitated in front of goal and El Shaarawy snuck up behind him to fire it into the net.
Roma could have extended its lead right at the end but Perotti’s penalty came off the left post after the Argentina defender had been tripped by Gabriele Angella.
Udinese, which had earlier hit the crossbar, got a late consolation through Larsen.
Source: Fox Sports