Maxi Lopez converted a last-gasp penalty as Torino held Roma 1-1 following Daniele Padelli’s howler on Miralem Pjanic.
The Giallorossi were under huge pressure after one point from three competitive games, including back-to-back defeats to Barcelona and Atalanta. Gervinho returned after two weeks out injured, but Mohamed Salah, Francesco Totti, Kevin Strootman and suspended Douglas Maicon missed out. Toro were without Danilo Avelar, Gaston Silva, Nikola Maksimovic, Joel Obi and Alexander Farnerud.
Incredibly, Roma’s last Serie A defeat away to Torino was way back in October 1990, followed by nine stalemates and five victories.
Wojciech Szczesny was dropped last week, but returned with an immediate impact, parrying with a leg from point-blank range on Andrea Belotti, who came sliding on to a Daniele Baselli low cross. Moments later Bruno Peres’ screamer took a huge deflection to loop just over the bar.
There was bad news for Roma, as just 25 minutes into his comeback, Gervinho limped off with a relapse of his muscular problem.
The tension got to Alessandro Florenzi, who was booked in a row with Afriyie Acquah and had to be dragged away by teammates. He also insulted Juan Manuel Iturbe for a misplaced pass.
Just before half-time Toro wasted a golden opportunity on the counter, as Belotti blasted over the bar. Straight after the restart Bruno Peres went on one of his coast-to-coast runs and rode three tackles before Szczesny intercepted the cross.
Roma’s first shot of the entire match came after 48 minutes, a Radja Nainggolan volley straight at Daniele Padelli. A corner was flicked on by Kostas Manolas, but it ricocheted around the six-yard box.
Antonio Rudiger hit a fresh-air clearance from six yards, but Belotti wasn’t expecting the howler and didn’t react quickly enough.
Acquah also blasted a promising counter off target and Dzeko’s first touch let him down, allowing Torino defenders to clear.
Dzeko should’ve scored on 71 minutes, but steered his free header wide from a Florenzi cross. Juan Manuel Iturbe did the same thing on a corner, hitting the side-netting from four yards.
Roma did eventually take the lead with a stroke of luck and a big helping hand from Padelli. Pjanic’s free kick floated over the head of Dzeko, but Padelli mistimed the run off his line and saw the ball sail past him into an empty net.
Josef Martinez spun on the spot and his half-volley was well controlled by Szczesny, while Dzeko sprung the offside trap only to fire straight at Padelli.
Just as Roma were ready to celebrate a much-needed victory, Rudiger clumsily mis-controlled in the box and Belotti pounced, tripped from behind by Manolas. Replays suggest the Greek defender may well have got the ball. The referee pointed to the spot and deep into stoppages Maxi Lopez converted successfully for a 1-1 draw.
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