Roma frustrated by Empoli in goalless draw

Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko fired blanks as Roma was held to a scoreless draw at Empoli on Sunday, leaving champion Juventus four points clear at the top of Serie A.

Goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski pulled off a series of superb saves to help claim a share of the points for the host Empoli.   -  Getty Images

Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko fired blanks as Roma was held to a scoreless draw at Empoli on Sunday, leaving champion Juventus four points clear at the top of Serie A.

Roma travelled to the Castellani stadium looking to close the gap on a Juventus side which secured a 2-1 win over title rivals Napoli on Saturday when former Azzurri striker Gonzalo Higuain hit the winner in Turin. But Luciano Spalletti's men were frustrated throughout by an astute Empoli defence, and 'keeper Lukasz Skorupski pulled off a series of superb saves to help claim a share of the points for the host.

Roma's first scoreless stalemate of the season left it in second place at four points behind Juventus, which is aiming for a record sixth consecutive title this season.

Midfielder Daniele de Rossi admitted Skorupski, who made five appearances for Roma in 2013 before moving to Empoli, and Empoli's defence had made the difference. "It would be a mistake for any side to come here and think they can simply score by shooting once they get into the area," De Rossi told Sky Sport.

"Empoli defend very well. We had to settle for the draw but we accept it and hopefully we'll do better. Hats off to our ex-teammate (Skorupski)."

Napoli's defeat left it seven points adrift and Maurizio Sarri's men dropped to fifth place after AC Milan and Lazio held on against Pescara and Sassuolo respectively to move up to third and fourth.

  Dugout videos