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El Shaarawy brace as Roma crush Udinese

Stephan El Shaarawy bagged a first-half brace as AS Roma overwhelmed Udinese 3-0 to secure a third straight Serie A win on Saturday.

AS Roma’s captain Francesco Totti greets fans during a ceremony following his last match with AS Roma after the Italian Serie A football match AS Roma vs Genoa on May 28, 2017 at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. Italian football icon Francesco Totti retired from Serie A after 25 seasons with Roma, in the process joining a select group of ‘one-club’ players. / AFP PHOTO

Italian forward El Shaarawy scored twice after Edin Dzeko’s 12th-minute opener, as Roma move up to fifth in Serie A with 12 points from five games, and with a game in hand just three points behind leaders Napoli and Juventus who play later.

Luigi Delneri’s visitors were struggling from the outset at the Stadio Olympico with Dzeko on hand for the opener and his sixth goal of the season after Radja Nainggolan pushed his way through a porous Udinese defense.

Dzeko rolled in a cross for El Shaarawy’s first after half an hour with a blunder by Udinese’s Danish defender Jens Stryger Larsen giving the player nicknamed ‘The Little Pharaoh’ his second just before the break.

Diego Perotti had a chance to make it 4-0 late but fired his spot-kick off target with Stryger Larsen getting one back after his earlier misfortune beating the offside trap to score a consolation goal in the final minutes.

It was a confidence-b


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