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Salah assists as Roma snatch a draw with Fiorentina
The game started full of pace as both teams looked to start off the tie immediately in their favour. Both teams have already met each other three times before this game with Roma edging it.
However, the hosts started the better playing with higher up the field and with decent shots from Pizarro and Spanish player Borja Valero reminding the visitors what Fiorentina were capable of.
Fiorentina took the lead in the 17th minute when Daniele De Rossi gave the ball away, Mohamed Salah threaded through a brilliant ball for Josip Ilicic to finished emphatically, beating the Roma keeper at his near post.
The hosts started to get in the game though and they transformed their brief dominance into a great chance with Norberto Neto sticking out a foot to deflect Iturbe’s volley.
However,the positivity from Roma was short-lived as Roma captain De Rossi suffered an injury and vented his frustration when being replaced by Miralem Pjanic.
The second half started similarly with very few chances, then a penalty was awarded when Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa decisively blocked an Ilicic strike in the box, but Iturbe went on a rapid counter and fell in a one-on-one with Neto. The referee awarded a penalty to Roma, but the Viola were furious, and their anger was justified as Neto appeared to get his fingertips to the ball. Fiorentina got the last laugh though as Neto superbly saved Ljajic’s penalty.
Fiorentina were alert after the dramatic events and looked for a second but Roma had other ideas when Pjanic’s brilliant free kick found Keita who could not miss from 5 yards to snatch a late draw for the away team, with the game ending 1-1.
The return leg will be played next week in Roma with Fiorentina hosting AC Milan next monday, whilst Roma host Sampdoria at the Stadio Olimpico.