Edin Dzeko needed a last-gasp bundle over the line to give Roma this 3-2 victory away to Frosinone, but Kostas Manolas was stretchered off.
The Giallorossi needed a victory to keep up with fourth-placed Milan and break away from Atalanta, who lost to Torino this afternoon. Cengiz Under, Patrik Schick and Rick Karsdorp were still out of action, but Eusebio Di Francesco rested Federico Fazio, Alessandro Florenzi and Nicolò Zaniolo, largely because they were one yellow card away from a ban and next week it’s the Rome Derby.
In truth, this is also a regional derby, as Frosinone are in the Lazio region. The hosts had won two of their last four games, but both were away, and they missed Federico Dionisi, Paolo Ghiglione, Luca Paganini, Stefan Simic and Lorenzo Ariaudo.
It was the perfect start for the Canarini, as within five minutes they had taken advantage of a catalogue of errors to go in front. Steven Nzonzi’s sluggish pass was easily intercepted by Camillo Ciano, whose snapshot from distance seemed to be simple enough for Robin Olsen, but instead he palmed it up into the air and it looped over him into the empty net.
Ciano very nearly got a second moments later, firing over from close range as Andrea Beghetto’s cross went past everyone. Roma finally started to settle and Stephan El Shaarawy’s header was fingertipped out from under the bar by Marco Sportiello.
The Giallorossi got back on level terms, as Frosinone returned the favour with a howler of their own. Edoardo Goldaniga stood and watched the loose ball bounce, not noticing Edin Dzeko was right behind him to sneak up and fire in off the inside of the near post.
Within 72 seconds, Roma had turned the game around completely. Dzeko sparked the counter and Sportiello only got a hand to El Shaarawy’s angled drive, so Lorenzo Pellegrini followed it up.
Ciano nearly made it 2-2 straight away, his ferocious strike stinging Olsen’s gloves. The windy conditions made it increasingly difficult and the two teams had to play the ball largely to feet.
Federico Viviani blasted well over, but Andrea Pinamonti almost scored within a minute of coming on, but Santon got just enough on the cross to put him off and the striker inexplicably tried a build-up to the volley from six yards, shinning it sideways.
Bryan Cristante’s attempt from a corner was deflected inches wide, but there was very bad news for Roma when Kostas Manolas made a last-ditch tackle on Cristian Molinaro and had to be stretchered off clutching his ankle.
Moments later, his absence was sorely felt, because shocking Roma defending allowed Frosinone to equalise on the counter. Pinamonti and Ciano surged forward, all three defenders surrounded Ciano, so he just rolled it back across for his totally unmarked teammate to control and prod in from eight yards.
Another substitute, Marcello Trotta, pulled a save out of Olsen with his angled drive, as Roma were completely unbalanced and open to the counter.
Just as Roma seemed to be heading towards a frustrating stalemate with the penultimate club, they snatched a winner with 10 seconds of stoppages left. El Shaarawy did well to control the long De Rossi ball down the left and get in a cross, which Dzeko bundled over the line with his stomach and thigh from point-blank range.
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