Match ends, Roma 1, Empoli 1.
Roma's Serie A title hopes suffered a blow as they were held by struggling Empoli in a game that saw both teams reduced to 10 men before half-time.
Roma defender Kostas Manolas was sent off for a foul and Massimo Maccarone put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot after 39 minutes.
Empoli's Riccardo Saponara was then dismissed for two bookings in the space of three minutes.
Empoli had never won at Roma and were denied by Maicon's 57th-minute strike.
With a six-point gap behind leaders and defending champions Juventus, Roma desperately needed to end a run of three straight draws in the league.
They had knocked Empoli out of the Coppa Italia earlier this month but failed to manage a shot on target in the first half and lost play-maker Francesco Totti to injury before the break.
They trailed after Manolas bundled Saponara to the ground to earn a red card and allow ex-Middlesbrough striker Maccarone to put Empoli in front.
Sapanora then picked up a second caution after handling the ball in first-half stoppage time to balance out the numbers.
Roma continued to struggle to create chances in the second half.
But they avoided defeat when Miralem Pjanic picked out Maicon and the former Manchester City full-back finished superbly with a left-footed shot which curled inside the far post.
Juventus play at mid-table Udinese on Sunday.
- 26De Sanctis
- 13SisenandoSubstituted forVerdeat 82'minutes
- 44ManolasBooked at 37mins
- 4NainggolanBooked at 90mins
- 7IturbeSubstituted forFlorenziat 25'minutesBooked at 58mins
- 10TottiSubstituted forAstoriat 40'minutesBooked at 90mins
- 21Mário Rui
- 6ValdifioriBooked at 71minsSubstituted forSignorelliat 84'minutes
- 5SaponaraBooked at 45mins
- 11CroceBooked at 50mins
- 7MaccaroneSubstituted forZielinskiat 58'minutes
- 20PucciarelliSubstituted forMchedlidzeat 74'minutes
- Carmine Russo
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Roma 1, Empoli 1.
Radja Nainggolan (Roma) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Davide Astori (Roma).
Piotr Zielinski (Empoli) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Levan Mchedlidze (Empoli) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Daniele Croce from a direct free kick.
Davide Astori (Roma) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Davide Astori (Roma).
Daniele Croce (Empoli) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Seydou Keita (Roma) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Levan Mchedlidze (Empoli).
Attempt blocked. José Holebas (Roma) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Adem Ljajic.
Foul by Seydou Keita (Roma).
Mário Rui (Empoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Radja Nainggolan (Roma) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Miralem Pjanic.
Corner, Empoli. Conceded by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Foul by Radja Nainggolan (Roma).
Levan Mchedlidze (Empoli) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Empoli. Franco Signorelli replaces Mirko Valdifiori.
Corner, Roma. Conceded by Daniele Rugani.