ROME (Reuters) - Borja Mayoral scored twice including a wonderful long-range strike as AS Roma brushed aside bottom team Crotone 3-1 in Serie A on Wednesday to narrow the gap on second-placed Inter Milan to three points.
The Spanish striker was handed a rare start by coach Paulo Fonseca and took full advantage, guiding in the opener and firing an unstoppable long-range shot into the top corner inside the opening 29 minutes.
Mayoral also won a penalty which Henrikh Mkhitaryan converted to put the result beyond doubt before halftime.
Crotone defender Vladimir Golemic, who conceded the spot- kick, pulled a goal back with a second-half header, but it was far from enough to lift the Calabrian side off the foot of the standings.
The result continued Roma’s fine run of form, with five wins in their last six games.
The capital club remained third but moved up to 33 points, three behind Inter who suffered a 2-1 loss to Sampdoria and face Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
Atalanta moved above Juventus into sixth place with a 3-0 home win over Parma thanks to goals from Luis Muriel, Duvan Zapata and Robin Gosens. Champions Juve play leaders AC Milan later on Wednesday.
A third consecutive victory for the Bergamo club could spell the end for under-pressure Parma coach Fabio Liverani, whose job is under scrutiny after four consecutive defeats left them hovering one point above the relegation zone.
Lazio returned to winning ways as a Felipe Caicedo volley and Ciro Immobile’s 15th goal in his last 15 games secured a 2-1 win at home to Fiorentina.
Sassuolo moved back into the top four with a 2-1 win over Genoa and a stoppage-time equaliser from Tolgay Arslan earned Udinese a 2-2 draw at Bologna.
Torino stretched their unbeaten run to four games with a 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona, and Benevento came from behind to beat Cagliari 2-1 and move up to 21 points, the same amount they accumulated in total in their only previous Serie A campaign in 2017-18.
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, editing by Ed Osmond)