REUTERS - 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 and move one point behind stuttering leaders Juventus.
The win takes Luciano Spalletti’s side up to 84 points but Juve, 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. Roma moved provisionally four points clear of third-placed Napoli, who must defeat Fiorentina at home in Saturday’s late kickoff to remain in the title hunt.
Reporting by Ed Dove, editing by Pritha Sarkar