Serie A: Roma and Napoli keep title hopes alive
12:00 PM, May 21, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:00 PM, May 21, 2017

Roma and Napoli keep title hopes alive

Two goals each from Stephan El Shaarawy and Mohamed Salah kept Roma's Serie A title hopes alive on Saturday as they twice came from behind to win 5-3 at Chievo Verona, while Napoli also stayed in the running with a 4-1 home win over Fiorentina.

Roma's win takes them to 84 points with third-placed Napoli on 83, but stuttering leaders Juventus, on 85, will clinch the title if they defeat 18th-placed Crotone in their penultimate match on Sunday.

Roma showed some nerves despite last Sunday's 3-1 victory over the league leaders. Chievo, playing with the relaxed control of a side who have nothing more at stake this season, took the lead in the 15th minute when Lucas Castro slammed home a powerful volley from inside the box.

El Shaarawy is enjoying a strong end to the campaign, and he scored in his third consecutive Serie A game when he latched onto a hopeful ball from Federico Fazio in the 28th minute, rounded Stefano Sorrentino and finished calmly.

Roberto Inglese restored the hosts' lead nine minutes later when he met Valter Birsa's cross to head past Wojciech Szczesny, but the impressive Salah cut inside to send a curling 20-metre effort past Sorrentino.

El Shaarawy added his second with a low shot after being picked out by Kevin Strootman, before Salah made sure of victory with another delightful effort following a fine exchange with Edin Dzeko.

Dzeko added a fifth from 25 metres before Inglese's second reduced the arrears for Chievo.

"There are times during a season when you work so hard to create that crucial moment that you're at risk falling down when you actually get there," Roma coach Luciano Spalletti told Italian broadcaster Mediaset Premium.

"It's really all up to us how. We have our last match at home, in front of our supporters and there will be a big party atmosphere to honour the squad."

Napoli have matched Roma for intensity and offensive flair this season, and turned on the style during a fine attacking display to outclass Fiorentina.

Kalidou Koulibaly opened the scoring in the eighth minute when he tapped home from close range, before Lorenzo Insigne doubled the hosts' lead with a cool finish after being played in by Dries Mertens.

Mertens, making up for an earlier horror miss, added a third just before the hour mark when hapless visiting stopper Ciprian Tatarusanu failed to clear his lines after a corner. Josip Ilicic responded for the visitors three minutes later.

Any hope of a Fiorentina comeback ended when Mertens, creating space after an audacious piece of skill to evade Gonzalo Rodriguez, tapped home his second after Marek Hamsik's shot was parried into his path.

"We can't wait to start a new season so we can challenge to win some silverware," said Hamsik. "It's been an extraordinary campaign, but the only disappointment is our place in the table.

"We definitely dropped some points when we shouldn't have done, but we're building a great future."

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