SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 22 - 3 Feb 2019 (19.30 UK)
Roma 1 - 1 Milan
Piatek 26 (M), Zaniolo 46 (R)
Stadio Olimpico

Krzysztof Piatek was on target again for Milan, but Gianluigi Donnarumma heroics ensured Nicolò Zaniolo only grabbed a point for Roma.

There was only one point separating these teams in fifth and fourth respectively going in, but the Giallorossi were in crisis after a 7-1 Coppa Italia quarter-final defeat to Fiorentina midweek. Bryan Cristante and Steven Nzonzi were suspended, with Cengiz Under, Diego Perotti and Juan Jesus injured, so Daniele De Rossi had his first start in three months, Patrik Schick and Alessandro Florenzi stepped into the supporting trident. Gennaro Gattuso’s confidence was high, though, as they beat Napoli 2-0 in the Coppa on Tuesday with new buy Piatek bagging a brace. Cristian Zapata, Pepe Reina, Mattia Caldara, Lucas Biglia and Jack Bonaventura were still on the treatment table.

It was a strong start from the hosts, as Lorenzo Pellegrini’s volley was charged down by Ricardo Rodriguez, then Gianluigi Donnarumma’s gloves were stung by an Edin Dzeko snapshot.

However, Milan’s two January buys combined to create the opening goal. Lucas Paquetá robbed Pellegrini, squirmed away to pull back from the by-line and Krzysztof Piatek got between centre-backs to tap in at the near post. It was his third goal in two starts for the Rossoneri.

Zaniolo controlled the ball with his right boot and smashed the angled drive with his left, but Donnarumma got down so quickly for a crucial one-handed reaction save.

Donnarumma performed an extraordinary double save on the stroke of half-time, first clawing Schick’s header out of the far bottom corner, then rushing off his line to parry the Dzeko follow-up with his legs from point-blank range.

Roma came flying out the blocks for the second half, scoring the equaliser within 60 seconds. Musacchio almost scored an own goal on the Rick Karsdorp cross, denied only by another incredible Donnarumma save, and Zaniolo was there to blast in the rebound.

Suso had penalty appeals waved away as he tried to cut back past Aleksandar Kolarov, who used his arms and body to block the path, as VAR showed an offside position. Schick was also marginally offside after a wonderful take on De Rossi’s floated pass.

Donnarumma needed another remarkable save on Dzeko’s towering header from a corner, as Roma poured forward and Milan focused on counter-attacks.

Lorenzo Pellegrini was unlucky to see his flicked header on a Kolarov cross bounce off the far post with Donnarummaa beaten this time.

Pellegrini was fortunate moments later not to get a second yellow card for pulling Suso back, then Stephan El Shaarawy got away so well down the left and followed the move he had started, only to attempt a back-heel flick at the finish.

Substitute Diego Laxalt came close to a Milan winner in the final minute, controlling a long Samu Castillejo pass and hitting the half-volley for an Olsen save at the near post. Olsen was caught in no man’s land during stoppages and Kostas Manolas had to come to the rescue.

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Roma: Olsen; Karsdorp (Santon 86), Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; De Rossi, Lorenzo Pellegrini; Schick (Kluivert 80), Zaniolo, Florenzi (El Shaarawy 64); Dzeko
Milan: G Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Bakayoko, Paquetá (Castillejo 77); Suso (Laxalt 86), Piatek (Cutrone 86), Calhanoglu
Ref: Maresca