SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 23 - 21 Feb 2021 (19.45 UK)
Benevento 0 - 0 Roma
Stadio Ciro Vigorito

Roma were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Benevento, as Luca Caldirola cleared a chance off the line and a last-gasp penalty was revoked via VAR.

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The Giallorossi had to completely reinvent their defence, as Chris Smalling, Marash Kumbulla, Roger Ibanez, Bryan Cristante, Davide Santon and Riccardo Calafiori were all injured. Federico Fazio had been frozen out, but was thrown into the starting XI with Leonardo Spinazzola improvising as a centre-back. Edin Dzeko was again dropped in favour of Borja Mayoral.

Gianluca Lapadula had the ball in the net, but only after he’d clearly wandered offside, while Montipò got down for a one-handed save on Lorenzo Pellegrini’s strike.

Fazio hadn’t started since August and was visibly out of shape, struggling to keep up with Lapadula, who had two shots smothered by Pau Lopez.

Kamil Glik’s header was charged down by Gonzalo Villar and the Federico Barba follow-up tested Pau Lopez, while Mkhitaryan couldn’t quite get his toe to a Pellegrini through ball.

It remained a scrappy game and Benevento went down to 10 men, as Glik was already on a yellow card when catching Mkhitaryan late.

Roma also threw on Edin Dzeko along with Mayoral in a rare new partnership, but they continued to struggle when creating chances.

Gonzalo Villar shinned a chance wide from a promising position, but there was a catalogue of errors on 81 minutes. Roma gave it away twice during the same counter-attack, but Andres Tello was running towards goal, lifted his head to see his options, and lost the ball with a dismal touch.

Dzeko got his header on target from a Spinazzola cross, but straight at Montipò. The best chance came at the 92nd minute when Dzeko nodded it down for Pellegrini to bundle in from close range, but Luca Caldirola managed an acrobatic goal-line clearance.

With the last kick of the game, the referee awarded a penalty for Daam Foulon’s tackle on Stephan El Shaarawy. However, VAR intervened to clarify that Pellegrini was offside in the build-up, so the penalty was revoked.

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Benevento: Montipò; Depaoli, Glik, Barba, Foulon; Hetemaj (Tello 78), Schiattarella, Viola (Caldirola 59); Ionita, Caprari (R Insigne 68); Lapadula (Moncini 78)
Roma: Pau Lopez; Fazio (Juan Jesus 72), Mancini, Spinazzola; Karsdorp (Pedro 72), Villar, Veretout (Dzeko 58), Bruno Peres; Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan (El Shaarawy 82); Borja Mayoral
Ref: Pairetto

Sent off: Glik 57 (B)