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Dybala, Abraham strike in Roma Serie A win

Paulo Dybala has scored one and set up another as Roma returned to form with a 2-1 victory at Empoli in an action-packed Serie A match.

Both teams hit the woodwork numerous times on Monday night, while Roma missed a penalty and an Empoli player was sent off late on in Tuscany.

Jose Mourinho’s side were looking to bounce back from consecutive losses – a 4-0 league defeat away to Udinese last weekend, and 2-1 at Ludogorets in the Europa League.

Roma almost got off to the best possible start but Dybala’s seventh-minute effort came back off the right post.

They did take the lead 10 minutes later when the hosts failed to clear a cross and it came out to the Argentine at the edge of the area, and he fired a powerful shot into the top left corner.

Empoli almost levelled shortly after but Martin Satriano’s header hit the left post and stayed out.

The home side did go in at halftime level, however, as Petar Stojanovics cross went through a crowd of bodies for Filippo Bandinelli to head in to the bottom right corner, two minutes before the break.

Roma restored their lead when Dybala whipped in a cross from the right and English striker Tammy Abraham volleyed in at the back post.

The visitors should have doubled their advantage 10 minutes from fulltime but Lorenzo Pellegrini fired his spot kick off the crossbar, after Liberato Cacace was penalised for bringing down Roger Ibanez just inside the area.

Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro then hit the post for Empoli but their chances of snatching something from the match diminished three minutes from time when the Ivory Coast international was sent off for a dangerous tackle on former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.

Roma move up to fifth on 13 points after six rounds, one point behind the top three of Napoli, Atalanta and AC Milan, and behind Udinese on goal difference. Empoli remain winless and 16th after four draws and two losses.

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