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Roma fails to reclaim Serie A lead from Juventus

November 25, 2013

ROME (AP) — Roma was held to a 0-0 draw by visiting Cagliari on Monday and failed to reclaim the Serie A lead from Juventus despite remaining unbeaten.

It was Roma’s third consecutive draw after opening the season with 10 straight wins.

Still without injured captain Francesco Totti, Roma moved within one point of Juve, which won 2-0 at Livorno on Sunday.

“Our goal at the start of the season was to reach the Champions League and we’re still seven points ahead of fourth place,” Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi said. “That said, we’ll of course try to get the lead back.”

Despite dominating for long stretches, the closest Roma came to scoring came when Gervinho hit the post with a header in the 38th minute at the Stadio Olimpico.

Having grown frustrated by his squad’s inability to score, Roma coach Rudi Garcia was sent off for protests in the 72nd and watched the end of the match from the stands.

Cagliari moved level with struggling AC Milan in 13th place.

The match was moved to Monday to let the pitch recover from Saturday’s Italy-Argentina rugby test.

Roma dominated the first half but couldn’t quite find the target.

Gervinho, Maicon, Kevin Strootman and Dodo each had chances in the opening 10 minutes.

In the 39th, Strootman collected a pass behind the defense and had only the goalkeeper to beat but Cagliari ’keeper Vlada Avramov saved his shot by the near post.

Cagliari threatened with a header from Victor Ibarbo in the 34th but Roma goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis made a diving save.

Roma again took the initiative after halftime but Avramov made a spectacular save on a long shot from Maicon in the 51st.

A header from Cagliari forward Marco Sau found the net but was waved off for offside in the 54th.

Roma defender Mehdi Benatia limped off with an apparent injury in the final minutes and Avramov preserved the draw by stopping a close-range header from De Rossi in added time.

Avramov “was the best player on the pitch,” De Rossi said.

A minute of silence was observed before the match in memory of the victims of recent flooding in Sardinia, and Roma wore black armbands in memory of Amedeo Amadei, the center forward of the Giallorossi squad that won the 1942 Serie A title. Amadei died Sunday at age 92.


Follow Andrew Dampf at http://twitter.com/asdampf

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