SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 11 - 3 Nov 2013 (19.45 UK)
Torino 1 - 1 Roma
Strootman 28 (R), Cerci 63 (T)
Stadio Olimpico

Alessio Cerci ended Roma’s 743-minute clean sheet and Torino cut off the run of 10 straight wins with a 1-1 draw.

The Giallorossi had already made history by becoming the first Serie A side ever to win the opening 10 games, but could still match Tottenham’s European top five League record of 11 in 1960-61. Francesco Totti, Gervinho and Mattia Destro were still out and Leandro Castan sat out a ban, so Nicolas Burdisso came in at centre-back with Miralem Pjanic moved into attack. Toro fumbled a 2-0 lead midweek for a 3-3 draw at Livorno and missed Marcelo Larrondo, Guillermo Rodriguez and Alexander Farnerud, while Giuseppe Vives was suspended. Giampiero Ventura returned to his old 4-2-4 formation.

Roma were unbeaten in Turin since 1990 and won their last six encounters with the Granata, home and away.

Omar El Kaddouri fired over the bar from the edge of the box, as Toro had a strong start. Roma’s first real opportunity was on 24 minutes when a corner found Alessandro Florenzi in the D, his stunning volley skimming the bar.

Mehdi Benatia was booked and will be suspended for the next game against Sassuolo, so the centre-back pairing won’t be reunited for a while yet.

Marco Borriello’s header was deflected on to the roof of the net and from that corner Roma took the lead. Pjanic pulled back for Kevin Strootman’s cool angled drive from eight yards.

Alessio Cerci’s free kick curled just over the bar, Paulo Vitor Barreto’s shot was charged down by Daniele De Rossi and Morgan De Sanctis got down to palm away a Cerci scorcher.

It was end-to-end before half-time, as first Roma went on the counter with Borriello, then De Sanctis was again tested by El Kaddouri.

Straight after the restart Toro had penalty appeals for a handling offence, but the ball was deflected on to Federico Balzaretti from point-blank range. Benatia was already on a yellow card and ran several risks with late tackles, as the Granata poured on the pressure.

Meggiorini almost scored an absolutely sensational goal with a fierce volley, but De Sanctis flew to palm it away and maintain his clean sheet that has lasted over 700 minutes of football.

The pressure was growing and Torino got a deserved equaliser. Meggiorini robbed Benatia at the by-line and pulled back for ex-Roma man Cerci to tap in at the near post, getting between defenders. It was only the second goal Roma had conceded all season, the other by Jonathan Biabiany for Parma on September 16, 743 minutes of football ago.

Moments later a Kamil Glik diving header was decisive to stop Douglas Maicon’s cross reaching Florenzi. From a corner Burdisso nodded just over the bar, but on the counter Torino wasted a golden opportunity with a complete Danilo D’Ambrosio mis-kick.

With Adem Ljajic’s introduction, Pjanic was playing as a Cesc Fabregas style centre-forward and he had penalty appeals for a Mattia Darmian tackle. So did Maicon, though any contact appeared to be outside the area from Nicola Bellomo.

De Sanctis smothered a D’Ambrosio effort, Padelli palmed away a Ljajic free kick and Marquinho’s diving header was charged down in the box. Both sides wanted to win this right to the death and Marquinho blasted over in stoppages. 


Torino: Padelli; Darmian, Glik, Moretti, D'Ambrosio; Gazzi, Basha; Cerci (Maksimovic 89), Meggiorini, Barreto (Immobile 59), El Kaddouri (Bellomo 75)
Roma: De Sanctis; Maicon, Benatia (Marquinho 73), Burdisso, Balzaretti; De Rossi, Strootman, Bradley; Pjanic, Borriello (Ljajic 67), Florenzi (Dodo’ 87)
Ref: Banti