Roma held again as Cristante leaves it late to rescue draw at Sassuolo

Roma held again as Cristante leaves it late to rescue draw at Sassuolo

Roma's Italian midfielder Bryan Christante (R) holds back Spezia's Slovakian forward David Strelec during the Italian Serie A football match between AS Roma and Spezia on December 13, 2021 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP)

ROME: Bryan Cristante scored a 94th-minute equaliser to rescue a 2-2 Serie A draw for AS Roma at Sassuolo on Sunday (Feb 13), as Jose Mourinho’s side lost more ground in the race for European qualification.

The Giallorossi were looking for a response after a 0-0 league draw with relegation battlers Genoa and 2-0 Coppa Italia defeat by Inter Milan in the last week.

However, another league stalemate leaves them seventh with 40 points, two behind Lazio and five behind Juventus in fourth, who are playing later.

“If you had asked me at the start, I would not have wanted a draw, but in the 90th minute, definitely,” Mourinho told DAZN.

“I can compare this match to defeats we had earlier in the season against Verona, Venezia and Bologna. We had chances to draw those games, and could have had three points more with three draws.

“It isn’t the result we wanted, but if nothing else we haven’t lost in the last four in Serie A, we have got eight points.”

A Tammy Abraham penalty gave the capital club the lead at the end of the first half, but a mistake from goalkeeper Rui Patricio led to a Chris Smalling own goal for the equaliser, before Hamed Traore completed the turnaround with a well-taken strike.

However, Sassuolo defender Gian Marco Ferrari picked up a second yellow card with 12 minutes remaining and Roma capitalised deep in stoppage time through a Cristante header.

Elsewhere, bottom two Genoa and Salernitana played out a 1-1 draw that did little to help either sides’ hopes of survival, leaving them six and nine points adrift of the safety zone respectively.

Cagliari earned a 1-1 draw at Empoli that took the 18th-placed Sardinians level with Venezia above them on 21 points, while midtable Hellas Verona hammered Udinese 4-0.

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