HT: Zaniolo keeps Roma afloat

Nicolò Zaniolo immediately cancelled out a German Pezzella opener, but Luis Muriel also hit the woodwork as Roma hang on with Fiorentina.

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This was a showdown for position, although both risked losing sight of their objectives, falling behind in the race for Champions League and Europa League football respectively. Kostas Manolas was suspended, with Alessandro Florenzi and Stephan El Shaarawy still injured, but Nicolò Zaniolo returned to the starting XI. Robin Olsen was dropped after too many howlers, making way for Antonio Mirante. The Viola had Federico Chiesa only fit for the bench, missing Edimilson Fernandes and Marko Pjaca injured, but they had beaten Roma 7-1 in the Coppa Italia in January.

The first test for 35-year-old Mirante was palming a Marco Benassi volley out from under the bar, then he got his fingertips to a Luis Muriel angled drive.

On the resulting corner, captain German Pezzella was allowed a free header to give Fiorentina the lead, as neither Federico Fazio nor Aleksandar Kolarov jumped.

Barely 90 seconds had gone by when Roma were back on level terms, as Justin Kluivert floated a cross from the right for Zaniolo’s header, which bounced off the inside of the upright and squirmed over the line.

Muriel nearly had another on 25 minutes, as he unleashed a screamer that swerved viciously from distance and thumped the base of the upright.

Alban Lafont parried an Edin Dzeko long-range strike, as it remained a very even game at the Olimpico.

Roma 1-1 Fiorentina (Half-Time)

Pezzella 12 (F), Zaniolo 14 (R)

Roma: Mirante; Santon, Fazio, Juan Jesus, Kolarov; Zaniolo, Nzonzi, Cristante; Kluivert, Dzeko, Perotti

Fiorentina: Lafont; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Vitor Hugo, Biraghi; Benassi, Veretout, Dabo; Muriel, Simeone, Gerson

Ref: Massa

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