AMPOLI, Italy (AP) – Paulo Dybala scored a goal and set up another as Roma returned to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Empoli in Serie A on Monday.
Both teams went to the woodwork several times, while Roma missed a penalty and an Ampoli player was sent off late on.
Roma moved into fifth place, one point behind Napoli, Atalanta and AC Milan.
Jose Mourinho’s side were looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses: 4-0 to Udinese last weekend, and 2-1 to Ludogorets in the Europa League.
It almost got off to the best possible start but Dybala’s effort went just wide.
It took the lead 10 minutes later when Ampoli failed to clear a cross and it fell to Dybala on the edge of the area and he fired a powerful shot into the top left corner.
Ampoli almost equalized shortly after but Martin Striano’s header came off the left post.
The home side went in at half-time, as Petr Stojanovi’s cross slipped through a crowd of bodies for Filippo Bandinelli to head into the bottom right corner two minutes before the break.
Roma regained their lead when Dybala whipped in a cross from the right and Tammy Ibrahim hit the back post.
Roma should have doubled their advantage 10 minutes from full-time but Lorenzo Pellegrini fired the spot-kick over the crossbar, after Liberato Cacas had been penalized for bringing down Roger Ibanez in the area.
Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro hit the post for Ampoli but their chance to take something away from the game was cut short three minutes from time when the same player was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Chris Smalling.