Roma fought back twice for a 2-2 friendly draw with Athletic Club Bilbao, although there was a red card, Aleksandar Kolarov scorcher and cheeky Nicolò Zaniolo incident.
The game was played at Perugia’s Stadio Renato Curi and Edin Dzeko, reportedly on the verge of a €20m transfer to Inter, was on the bench.
Amadou Diawara made two errors in front of the defence in the opening 26 minutes, one of them leading directly to a goal, as Inaki Williams could thread through for Iker Muniain.
A Cengiz Under lob didn’t quite come off, but Roma drew level thanks to a stunning long-range free kick from Aleksandar Kolarov, flying over the wall and into the far top corner from a good 30 metres out.
Moments later, Athletic went down to 10 men for a crunching Yuri tackle on Gregoire Defrel.
However, another horrible mistake from the Giallorossi midfielders proved costly, as this time Lorenzo Pellegrini gave away possession and Dani Garcia’s strike was charged down by a Gianluca Mancini arm. Raul Garcia converted the resulting penalty.
Nicolò Zaniolo had the ball in the back of the net after a well-worked move, but only after Kolarov had drifted offside to put in the cross.
There was a last-gasp Roma equaliser in bizarre fashion, as Kolarov’s cross struck an arm and the referee pointed to the spot, but replays suggest the only arm it hit was that of Zaniolo.
Nonetheless, Pellegrini converted the penalty for a 2-2 draw.
Roma 2-2 Athletic Bilbao
Muniain 26 (A), Kolarov 59 (R), Raul Garcia pen 77 (A), Pellegrini pen 90 (R)
Roma: Mirante (Pau Lopez 46); Florenzi (Kolarov 46), Mancini, Jesus (Fazio 46), Spinazzola (Santon 74); Pellegrini, Diawara (Cristante 46); Under (Zaniolo 46), Antonucci, Perotti (Kluivert 67); Defrel (Dzeko 67)
Athletic Bilbao: Unai Simon; Capa, Yeray Alvarez, Iñigo Martinez, Yuri Berchiche; Unai Lopez (Vesga 86), Dani Garcia; Muniain, Raul Garcia, Cordoba (5Unai Nuñez 59); Iñaki Williams (Kodro 81)
Sent off: Yuri Berchiche 61 (A)
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