Fiorentina hit the woodwork with Stevan Jovetic and David Pizarro, but Pablo Daniel Osvaldo won it for Roma deep into stoppages.
These old rivals go head-to-head for Europe, as the Viola were just one point shy of Milan’s third place, while the Giallorossi were pushing for a Europa League spot. Vincenzo Montella faced his former club, as did Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, Alberto Aquilani and David Pizarro. Stefan Savic was suspended with Facundo Roncaglia and Giuseppe Rossi injured, while the visitors missed Maarten Stekelenburg.
After three minutes Francesco Totti’s fierce free kick stung Emiliano Viviano’s gloves, then Stevan Jovetic didn’t get enough power behind an angled drive to beat Bogdan Lobont and Alessandro Florenzi nodded a Totti cross over.
Borja Valero and Juan Cuadrado both went for the same ball in the box and Nicolas Burdisso bravely threw himself at it to block.
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo tested Viviano on the counter-attack and Cuadrado hit the side-netting after skipping past Federico Balzaretti. Burdisso was again decisive to stop a fine passing move in the box and Jovetic had the ball in the net only after play had been halted for a mid-air collision between Gonzalo Rodriguez and Lobont. The second choice goalkeeper was left dazed and bleeding, but able to continue after treatment.
Cuadrado’s angled drive flashed across the face of goal, but Jovetic went extremely close on 37 minutes. A wayward shot went into his path, so he turned and smacked a powerful finish from 12 yards that Lobont fingertipped on to the upright. It was a sensational save from the Roma goalkeeper.
Manuel Pasqual’s free kick on the edge of the box accidentally struck teammate Jovetic.
Lobont had bleeding stemmed throughout the first half and couldn’t make it for the second amid reports of a fractured nose, so Mauro Goicoechea came on as Roma’s third choice goalkeeper – even if he had been first choice under Zdenek Zeman.
Ljajic curled just over the far top corner from the edge of the area, then Goicoechea got down very quickly to turn the Serbian’s daisy-cutter round the base of the near post. From the subsequent corner, Pizarro drilled inches wide.
Cuadrado threaded through for Alberto Aquilani, but Goicoechea and Daniele De Rossi sprinted over to charge him down for a corner. Cuadrado blasted well over from distance and the Colombian’s free kick whistled just wide too.
Former Roma striker Luca Toni and Mati Fernandez replaced Jovetic and Aquilani for the final 20 minutes.
Borja Valero drilled just wide with the aid of a fingertip from Goicoechea, but Osvaldo had a good chance charged down in the box.
De Rossi ran a double risk on 76 minutes when he deflected a Ljajic cross on to the side-netting with his arm. The referee awarded a corner, claiming it had bounced off his chest first, but his arm was outstretched.
Osvaldo fired across the face of goal when Totti and Marquinhos were in better positions to score.
David Pizarro thought he’d won it in stoppages when he unleashed a screamer from distance, but it cracked against the top of the upright with Goicoechea beate.
Roma immediately went on the counter and Miralem Pjanic’s effort was charged down in the penalty area.
It looked to be over, but Osvaldo got a glancing header from a corner, nodding in from six yards when he got above the crowd. It was a particularly galling goal for the Viola, who have confirmed they tried to sign Osvaldo.