Roma s Paulo Dybala celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Roma and Udinese at Rome s Olympic Stadium, Italy, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. AP
Argentina forward Dybala rolled Roma into the lead with nine minutes remaining at the Stadio Olimpico with a calm finish after being brilliantly flicked through by Romelu Lukaku, with Stephan El Shaarawy then completing the scoring in the final minute.
Dybala's third goal of the league campaign helped move Roma into the European positions and three points from fourth-placed Napoli -- who hold the last Champions League spot -- and saved the hosts' blushes against struggling Udinese.
Roma were level after Florian Thauvin equalised Gianluca Mancini's 20th-minute opener and struggling to break down Udinese until Dybala struck.
Jose Mourinho's side took advantage of Atalanta and Fiorentina losing respectively to Napoli and AC Milan to leapfrog the pair.
However Roma are 10 points behind Mourinho's former club Inter who are in Turin defending a two-point league lead on their fiercest rivals.
Inter are hunting a 20th league title and are in great form, winning their last six in all competitions.
Udinese are only a point above the relegation zone, with Empoli just inside the bottom three after Sassuolo's Domenico Berardi consigned them to a late 4-3 home defeat.
Italy winger Berardi lashed home a deflected winner in the second minute of stoppage time in Tuscany, the dramatic second of a brace after he had put the away side 3-2 ahead midway through the second half, only to see Matias Vina hand Empoli an own goal leveller four minutes from the end.
Defeat sent Empoli down to 18th, level on 10 points with Cagliari who move out of the drop zone following their 1-1 draw with Monza in Sunday's late match.
Ilario Monterisi ensured Frosinone moved up to 10th with a 92nd-minute winner against fellow promoted outfit Genoa, who sit 15th after their seventh defeat of the campaign.
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