Roma only managed a 1-1 home draw with decimated Atalanta, so second place is in doubt and they fell eight points adrift of Juventus.
This was an opportunity for revenge, as the Giallorossi were beaten 2-1 in Bergamo back in November, but star man Papu Gomez sat out a ban with Leonardo Spinazzola, Boukary Drame and Ervin Zukanovic injured, Etrit Berisha and Anthony Mounier had flu. Daniele De Rossi was struggling with an ankle problem, Emerson Palmieri and Alessandro Florenzi sidelined.
Luciano Spalletti celebrated his 400th Serie A game as a Coach. Atalanta are still unbeaten against Roma since a 2-1 Bergamo result in November 2014, winning two and drawing three. Their last defeat at the Olimpico was 3-1 in April 2014.
Atalanta had a big chance within the first couple of minutes, as Hateboer’s angled drive was deflected wide after a Jasmin Kurtic counter.
It was a warning that Roma did not heed, so the visitors broke the deadlock. Andrea Conti dribbled past Antonio Rudiger down the left and pulled back for a low Kurtic volley from 14 yards.
The Giallorossi struggled to create any sort of threat, other than a Daniele De Rossi header straight at the goalkeeper and Mattia Caldara’s decisive tackle on Diego Perotti.
Spalletti’s half-time talk must’ve done some good, because Bruno Peres came on, moving Rudiger to centre-back, and Roma equalised. Mohamed Salah knocked down a Mario Rui ball over the top for Dzeko to turn in from five yards, right on the edge of offside.
Perotti just failed to meet a Salah cross to the back post. De Rossi thought he’d scored the goal of a lifetime, his spectacular overhead bicycle-kick from a corner smashing against the near post.
Roma hit the woodwork again, a Radja Nainggolan screamer bouncing off the underside of the crossbar, but while they threw everything at the Orobici, there was no way through.
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