Milik scores late as Napoli wins 1-0 at Cagliari
By DANIELLA MATAR
MILAN (AP) Arkadiusz Milik scored a stoppage-time goal to snatch a 1-0 win for Napoli at Cagliari on Sunday and prevent his team's title hopes from diminishing even further.
Milik had seen a late effort saved on Tuesday as Napoli was eliminated from the Champions League at Liverpool but he curled in a free kick in Sardinia to prevent the week from going from bad to worse for his club.
"I'm happy for Milik because he's a hard-working lad, a reference point for the group," Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "He's someone who always works with great focus and knows how to manage everything both in hard times and in better ones.
"We had a great reaction after the Liverpool match, but I was certain of it because I already saw it during the week."
Napoli remained second, eight points behind Juventus and six above third-placed Inter after both teams won on Saturday.
Ancelotti again rotated his squad and Napoli stars Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, Marek Hamsik and Jose Callejon all started from the bench.
Cagliari was unbeaten at home this season and had a number of chances in the first half before Napoli responded after the break.
Napoli went close on several occasions and Milik's header from Mertens' cross bounced off the crossbar and just the wrong side of the line for the visitors.
It appeared as if the match was going to finish in a draw before Milik curled in a wonderful free kick into the top right corner.
Roma twice came from behind to beat Genoa 3-2 and take some of the pressure off coach Eusebio Di Francesco.
Bryan Cristante scored what was to prove the winner in the 59th minute after a one-two with Justin Kluivert to end Roma's winless streak of five matches.
Kluivert - the son of former AC Milan and Barcelona forward Patrick - had scored Roma's second equalizer on the stroke of halftime.
Roma goalkeeper Robin Olsen gifted Krzysztof Piatek the opener before Federico Fazio leveled in the 31st. Oscar Hiljemark restored Genoa's lead almost immediately.
Roma was given a let off early in the second half following another Olsen mistake but Darko Lazovic's goal was ruled offside on video review.
Roma, which is through to the last 16 of the Champions League, moved up to sixth in Serie A.
Genoa was playing its first match under former Italy coach Cesare Prandelli - its third coach of the season. It remained five points off the relegation zone.
Giovanni Simeone has rediscovered his goalscoring touch, much to Fiorentina's relief.
Simeone hadn't scored in 10 matches before last weekend, but he netted his second goal in as many matches as Fiorentina fought back to beat Empoli 3-1.
It was Fiorentina's first win in nine matches and Empoli's first defeat since Giuseppe Iachini replaced Aurelio Andreazzoli as coach.
Rade Krunic gave Empoli the lead but Simeone set up Kevin Mirallas shortly before halftime for the equalizer and then put his side in front in the 59th when he headed in Cristiano Biraghi's cross.
Substitute Bryan Dabo sealed the result with the goal of the game, 12 minutes from time. Dabo, who had only been on the pitch for three minutes, intercepted a pass in his own half and went on a surging run before firing into the bottom right corner.
Empoli remained five points above the relegation zone.
Spal is also five points above the relegation zone after it could only manage a 0-0 draw at home to bottom club Chievo Verona.
Spal substitute Sergio Floccari hit the crossbar in stoppage time.
Frosinone remained 19th and five points from safety after losing 2-0 against Sassuolo.
Sampdoria beat Parma 2-0.
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Updated December 16, 2018