SERIE A MATCH REPORT

Serie A Week 24 - 22 Feb 2015 (14.00 UK)
Verona 1 - 1 Roma
Totti 26 (R), Jankovic 38 (V)
Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi

Francesco Totti was on target, but Roma were held to yet another 1-1 draw by Verona and fall nine points behind Juventus.

Both teams were in crisis and desperate for a morale-boosting victory. Hellas had lost six of their last seven games, while the Giallorossi were held to a series of disappointing draws, including 0-0 with Parma and 1-1 against Feyenoord. Douglas Maicon, Juan Manuel Iturbe, Victor Ibarbo, Leandro Castan and Kevin Strootman didn’t make the trip, while the hosts missed Jacopo Sala, Rafael and Guillermo Rodriguez.

Verona hadn’t won this fixture since a 2-1 result in 1996 and the visitors started strong, Radja Nainggolan’s snapshot palmed round the base of the post.

Kostas Manolas nodded off target from a corner, but Francesco Totti made Roma’s pressure pay off with a snapshot from 25 metres that appeared to bounce right in front of Francesco Benussi, flying into the near bottom corner.

Emil Hallfredsson was fortunate to get away with a crunching studs-up tackle on Alessandro Florenzi’s ankle, which forced the Roma youngster off injured.

Verona became more aggressive and got their equaliser with a bit of luck, as Bosko Jankovic’s header from a Hallfredsson corner took a double deflection off Davide Astori and Seydou Keita to leave Morgan De Sanctis completely stranded.

In first half stoppages, Adem Ljajic curled a splendid free kick on to the crossbar. Juanito Gomez Taleb turned wide after a Kostas Manolas error, but Verona somehow didn’t take the lead on 52 minutes. It was chaos, as Vasilis Torosidis performed a double goal-line clearance on Hallfredsson and the follow-up.

Benussi just about punched away a Nainggolan screamer, while Seydou Doumbia failed to connect with an Ashley Cole assist.

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Verona: Benussi, Brivio, Marquez, Moras, Greco; Ionita (Obbadi 69), Tachtsidis, Hallfredsson; Gomez Taleb (Christodoulopoulos 84), Toni, Jankovic (Greco 69)
Roma: De Sanctis; Florenzi (Torosidis 40), Manolas, Astori, Cole; Pjanic (Verde 83), Keita, Nainggolan; Gervinho, Totti (Doumbia 66), Ljajic
Ref: Gervasoni