Serie A - Roma hang on for 25-minute draw

Wed, 08 Feb 18:46:00 2012

Roma grabbed a 1-1 draw at Catania after playing out the final 25 minutes of their Serie A match after the original match was suspended due to poor conditions.

2011-12 Serie A Catania-Roma AP/LaPresse - 0

Fabio Borini came closest to stealing the result after 87 minutes as his snap shot from eight yards almost beat Tomas Kosicky, but the keeper did well to save and gather at the second attempt.

Cristian Llama came close for Catania a couple of minutes earlie, but his shot from distance was expertly tipped over the bar by Martin Stekelenburg.

The result means Roma are still stuck in sixth place, while Catania move up a position to 14th.

In the original match last month, referee Paolo Tagliavento stopped the match in the 66th minute and after a hiatus, in which the rain continued to fall, it was officially postponed until a later date.

Nicola Legrottaglie had given Catania the lead in the 24th minute with a header before Daniele De Rossi nodded in an equaliser four minutes later.

Catania were the better side in the first half, working their way into several goalscoring positions but unable to convert more than one due to a mixture of the weather and last-ditch Roma defending. On 15 minutes they countered after former Barcelona star Bojan lost possession for Roma and Gonzalo Bergessio rounded keeper Maarten Stekelenburg, but ran out of room and slipped over on the greasy surface.

Two minutes later, at the other end of the pitch, Aleandro Rosi was clearly fouled in the box but referee Paolo Tagliavento waved away Roma's penalty claims.

A minute before the opener Gonzalo Bergessio found space in the box and beat Maarten Stekelenburg with his shot, but Simon Kjaer was on the line to clear - rather fortuitously as he missed his kick and the ball came off his standing leg.

Francesco Lodi's free-kick from the right was headed home by Legrottaglie - there were home players in offside positions, but the big defender was not one of them - to set the soaked fans inside the Stadio Angelo Massimino celebrating.

But De Rossi dampened the mood with a close-range finish from a Francesco Totti corner.

The match was quite niggly, something that the rain - which fell heavily and constantly from well before kick-off - did not help. However in the first half the weather added to the spectacle rather than subtracting from it.

This was manifested in Catania missing several great chances to score in the latter stages of the half. First Pablo Barrientos went through on the right and opted to square to the far post for Bergessio, who slid to meet it but was short. Ordinarily, you suspect, he would have shot himself.

A minute later Bergessio received the ball into feet inside the box on the left, and seemed to have plenty of time to shoot - but delayed long enough to allow Simon Kjaer to slide across and block. Alejandro Gomez then teased the away defence on the left before firing across goal.

With the rain continuing throughout the interval, by the time the players and officials re-emerged the standing water had increased substantially and the play was adversely affected as a result.

Barrientos and Bergessio were unlucky not to score for Catania while Luis Enrique's Roma insisted on passing short despite the conditions, which put paid to any chance they had of creating anything.

Tagliavento then stopped play to bounce the ball in different areas of the pitch: he opted to continue the first time, but after the ball slipped out of Alvarez's hands while taking a throw-in and several passages of play ended with the ball simply being stuck in puddles, he took the players off.

Most of the fans left immediately and 15 minutes later, with no improvement in the conditions, the conclusion of the match was postponed until February 8.

Eurosport

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