Serie A Wrap: Roma stumble again with draw

Roma once again faltered in their pursuit of Serie A leaders Juventus as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Verona.

Rudi Garcia's men are unbeaten in the league since the mid-season break but have now drawn five of those seven matches and are nine points off the pace in second.

Verona headed into the fixture having lost six of their past seven games and they were behind once more when Fernando Totti's drive from distance evaded goalkeeper Francesco Benussi.

But Roma would not return the three points they craved as Bosko Jankovic's header from Emil Hallfredsson's corner deflected off both Davide Astori and Seydou Keita before finding the net in the 38th minute.

City rivals Lazio bolstered their UEFA Champions League qualification hopes with a 2-1 comeback win over Palermo.

Having upset third-placed Napoli last time out, Palermo took a 26th-minute lead when Paulo Dybala capitalised on an error from Mauricio.

Stefano Mauri levelled matters by volleying home from close range and a wonderful solo goal from Antonio Candreva 12 minutes from time secured victory in style.

Lazio replace Fiorentina in fourth after a frantic finish to their game with Torino at the Stadio Artemio Franchi resulted in a 1-1 scoreline.

Khouma Babacar missed a 10th-minute penalty for the hosts but, when January recruit Mohamed Salah combined with Alberto Gilardino to fire a low finish five minutes from time, it looked like his miss would not be costly.

But Torino hauled themselves level two minutes later, with Giuseppe Vives netting after Maxi Lopez's shot was saved.

Milan eased the pressure on under-fire boss Filippo Inzaghi courtesy of a 2-0 win over lowly Cesena - Jack Bonaventura opening the scoring and Giampaolo Pazzini sealing the points with a last-minute spot-kick.

Elsewhere Empoli claimed an important 3-0 win over Chievo, while the scheduled game between Parma and Udinese was postponed on Friday amid dire financial straits for Serie A's bottom club.