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Serie A Weekend Review: Roma and Napoli Both Drop Points

icardi-goalAn eighth draw in nine Italian Serie A matches saw Roma lose further ground in the title race but their goalless stalemate at Chievo will be remembered for the horrific injury suffered by Federico Mattiello.

The Giallorossi were unable to break Chievo down at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi and therefore sit eight points behind leaders Juventus, who host Sassuolo on Monday evening.

It was difficult for both sides to focus from 20 minutes onwards, however, after players witnessed young Chievo midfielder Mattiello suffer what appeared to be a lower leg break. The point boosted the hosts six clear of the drop zone but they have failed to score in three games.

Later, Mauro Icardi denied Napoli the victory that would have seen them close to within two points of Roma as his cheeky penalty earned Inter Milan a 2-2 draw. There were no goals in a frantic first half at the Stadio San Paolo but they began to flow after half-time as Marek Hamsik and Gonzalo Higuain boosted Napoli into a two-goal lead.

Rodrigo Palacio halved the deficit with 20 minutes remaining and a rash late challenge from Henrique saw the Napoli defender dismissed, allowing Icardi to force the draw with a ‘Panenka’ spot-kick. Rafael Benitez’s men are four points shy of Roma while Inter join Torino in a share of eighth place.

Earlier, Empoli held high-fliers Genoa to a 1-1 draw that extended their unbeaten run to six games. M’Baye Niang gave Genoa a 27th-minute lead but substitute Federico Barba levelled in the 66th minute for an Azzurri side who showed great fight in front of their home fans at the Carlo Castellani.

Udinese hit back from an early deficit to beat Torino 3-2 and clinch their first home victory since October 26. Fabio Quagliarella put Toro in front in the 15th minute but Udinese hit back with a goal from Antonio Di Natale and a Cristian Molinaro own-goal to take a 2-1 lead after 25 minutes.

The visitors were unlucky not to equalise in the 41st minute when Quagliarella saw his right-footed volley cannon off the post. Molla Wague extended Udinese’s lead early in the second half before Toro substitute Marco Benassi reduced the arrears in the 69th minute.

Palermo were held to a goalless draw at relegation-threatened Cesena, while debt-ridden Parma secured a point from a match ending with the same scoreline against Atalanta.