Jordan Veretout’s controversial penalty was cancelled out in the final minutes by an Alessandro Florenzi volley, as Roma scraped a point against Fiorentina.
The two Coaches had never previously shared the spoils, as Stefano Pioli and Eusebio Di Francesco had won four meetings apiece.
This was a head-to-head for European places, as they were locked together on 15 points going into the Stadio Franchi. With Daniele De Rossi, Luca Pellegrini, Diego Perotti and Rick Karsdorp injured, Lorenzo Pellegrini moved back to a central midfield role, giving 19-year-old Nicolò Zaniolo his first Serie A start in the trequartista position. It was a special game for Gerson, on loan from Roma, and he immediately blasted over from distance, while Giovanni Simeone’s glancing header whistled wide.
Federico Fazio also nodded off target from an Alessandro Florenzi cross, while Simeone scuffed his finish from a Federico Chiesa counter.
Edin Dzeko ballooned over from eight yards after a smart Lorenzo Pellegrini ball was floated over the top.
Cengiz Under gifted Fiorentina a penalty, as his truly awful back-pass was just an assist for Simeone, who went down under the Robin Olsen challenge. Replays suggest if there was any contact, it was minimal at best, but Jordan Veretout converted the penalty into the side-netting. The referee did not go over to view the VAR footage himself because those in the booth did not consider it a clear and obvious error.
Roma were unlucky not to equalise moments later, as Pellegrini’s free kick was headed on to his own upright by Nikola Milenkovic and it flashed across the face of an empty net.
After the restart, Alessandro Florenzi’s strike was deflected over after a give-and-go with Cengiz Under, then Alban Lafont got down brilliantly to beat away his fellow 19-year-old Zaniolo’s half-volley from the edge of the box.
Edimilson Fernandes came off the bench and immediately blasted just wide, but Fiorentina really should’ve scored on 59 minutes. Chiesa went clear and decided to roll it across for Simeone and it would’ve been a tap-in had Cholito been alert enough to make the run. Instead, Gerson forced Olsen to parry with an outstretched foot at the near post.
The Viola were pouring forward and Chiesa curled just wide, but Kolarov hit the side-netting at the end of a well-worked move once Roma put Pellegrini back in the trequartista role.
German Pezzella risked an own goal with his defensive header just wide, but Roma got their equaliser when they seemed to be running out of ideas.
Lafont flapped at a Kolarov cross from the left and Florenzi kept his cool for the volley from 10 yards with just five minutes to go.
It remained open to the end, as Cristiano Biraghi’s free kick was deflected and Dzeko saw his snapshot beaten away by Lafont.
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