Roma and Milan draw 1-1 after goals in stoppage time
MILAN (AP) — Roma and AC Milan netted in stoppage time to draw 1-1 in Serie A, a result on Saturday that did neither any favors in a tight race for the Champions League qualifying spots.
Tammy Abraham thought he secured a crucial win for Roma when he scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time with the first shot on target of the match.
But Alexis Saelemaekers leveled three minutes later to leave Abraham shaking his head almost in disbelief.
Fourth-placed Milan led Roma on goal difference. Head-to-head is the first tiebreaker but the sides are level after two late Roma goals helped it snatch a 2-2 draw at Milan in January. They are also level on goal difference.
But Roma has eight goals less than Milan overall.
Inter Milan can move level on points with a win over second-placed Lazio on Sunday. But Lazio needs the victory to prevent Napoli from clinching the title when it plays Salernitana later that day, in a match that was rescheduled from Saturday for security reasons.
Late Saturday, seventh-placed Atalanta could close the gap to the top four to two points if it won at Torino.
Roma forward Paulo Dybala was fit only for a place on the bench at Stadio Olimpico after hurting an ankle last weekend in the loss at Atalanta. He was sorely missed as Roma — and Milan — struggled to carve out chances.
Roma had the best chance of the first half but Lorenzo Pellegrini’s close-range effort was accidentally charged down by his own teammate, Abraham.
Milan almost broke the deadlock on the hour mark when Olivier Giroud knocked the ball down for Rafael Leão and he managed to cut into the box and cross for an unmarked Saelemaekers at the back post, but his volley was narrowly over the bar.
It appeared as if Roma won the match when Mehmet Çelik picked up the ball just inside his own half and sprinted foward. He picked out Abraham, who took one touch and fired into the bottom left corner to send the Stadio Olimpico wild with joy.
But moments later, the home fans were silenced. A poor clearance from Gianluca Mancini came to Leão, who floated in a cross that Saelemaekers managed this time to volley in from close range.
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Daniella Matar, The Associated Press