Serie A | Roma 1-1 Venezia: Relegated Lagunari stall Mourinho

Roma were held 1-1 by already-relegated Venezia in a bizarre match, as David Okereke scored within 50 seconds, Sofian Kiyine was sent off for a nasty kick and the Giallorossi rattled the woodwork four times.

There was an odd atmosphere going into this game, as the Giallorossi were perhaps focused more on the upcoming Conference League Final than fighting for fifth place, while the Lagunari found out this afternoon they were already relegated. Gianluca Mancini was suspended with Henrikh Mkhitaryan injured and Nicolò Zaniolo nursing a slight muscular issue, but Leonardo Spinazzola got his first start in 10 months. Ethan Ampadu returned from his ban, but Thomas Henry, Sergio Romero, Marco Modolo and Luca Lezzerini missed out.

Incredibly, it was Venezia who took the lead within 50 seconds, as Mattia Aramu’s cross found David Okereke unmarked for a glancing free header from six yards and the Giallorossi defence fast asleep.

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Spinazzola showed some of the old magic by pulling back from the by-line and Carles Perez was brought down after a strong solo run, while Lorenzo Pellegrini curled a free kick around the wall and back in to thump the crossbar on 19 minutes.

Mattia Caldara made a decisive sliding tackle on Tammy Abraham when he was clear on goal and Spinazzola drilled just wide.

Antonio Vacca was already playing with a protective mask after fracturing his nose, so went off after accidentally getting smashed in the face by a football from point-blank range.

Less accidental was Sofian Kiyine kicking Pellegrini in the crotch, which is why the ex-Lazio player – already on a yellow card anyway – was shown a straight red after a VAR review.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles from distance tested Niki Maenpaa, as did a Carles Perez free kick, but Roma moved to four at the back for the second half.

Bryan Cristante could not have come closer, a ferocious strike from outside the box thumping the underside of the crossbar, bouncing off the ground and back out.

Pellegrini clipped the frame of the goal with another free kick, this time just the top of it, while Maenpaa fingertipped a Stephan El Shaarawy curler round the far post and took the sting out of Nikola Zalewski’s scorcher.

The equaliser finally arrived when Shomurodov’s back-heel flick sent Pellegrini through, Maenpaa rushed off his line to clear, but the Uzbekistan international fired the rebound into the roof of the net. That was their 32nd shot on goal of the evening.

It was not the last, as the siege continued with a save on Cristante and then Nicola Zalewski’s rocket bounced off the underside of the bar, hit the ground and went back out.

Maenpaa made a double save in stoppages on the deflected Shomurodov attempt and El Shaarawy’s follow-up.

It still wasn’t over, Roma had penalty appeals for potential handball amid chaos and on the counter Venezia nearly won it with Dennis Johnsen and Ridgeciano Haps, but Pellegrini sprinted back for a decisive block.

Roma ended the game with 46 shots on goal, 16 of them on target.

Roma 1-1 Venezia

Okereke 1 (V), Shomurodov 76 (R)

Sent off: Kiyine 32 (V)

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