Totti penalty gives Roma draw with Juventus


MILAN, Italy — Francesco Totti’s first-half injury time penalty gave AS Roma a share of the Serie A points with Juventus in a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Totti held his nerve for his first league goal of the season after Vincenzo Iaquinta opened the scoring 10 minutes earlier.

Juventus enjoyed the better of the chances and only an acrobatic save from Roma goalkeeper Julio Sergio denied the home side the win after Fabio Quagliarella fired in a volley with four minutes remaining.

"There were two teams that wanted to win tonight," Roma coach Claudio Ranieri said. "We just needed to create a couple more chances in the first half.

"We had enough possession and we caused Juventus enough problems, but we couldn’t find the finish. We needed to be more incisive."

Also, Fiorentina kept up its improved form with a 1-0 win at home to Cesena.

Alberto Gilardino scored in the 59th. From Alessio Cerci’s cross he found space in the area and fired a left-foot shot past Cesena goalkeeper Francesco Antonioli.

However, Gilardino’s strike partner Adrian Mutu limped off before halftime and was diagnosed with a strained abductor muscle. The Romanian will be assessed over the next 36 hours and was facing three to four weeks out of action.

In Turin, Roma’s Jeremy Menez forced Juventus goalkeeper Marco Storari to push his shot away in the 11th minute.

Iaquinta nearly opened the scoring in the 24th. Alberto Aquilani whipped over a cross, Quagliarella flicked the ball on with a header, but Iaquinta was unable to reach the ball at the far post.

Aquilani and Iaquinta combined for the first goal of the game. The former Roma midfielder’ cross found Iaquinta unmarked on the edge of the area to volley home.

"Of course setting up a goal is always good," Aquilani said. "It was important we scored at that point, but we should have scored again and won.

"I was thinking about this match for a long while. Today was different from normal and it was very emotional for me, but 1-1 is fair."

Totti brought Roma level in injury time after Simone Pepe handled.

In the second half, Claudio Marchisio went close from Pepe’s cross and Aquilani’s shot from the edge of the area was blocked by the Roma defence.

In the 86th Quagliarella was first to Alessandro Del Piero’s flick on and hit a dipping volley that Sergio needed to be at his best to stop.

"If we had a bit more luck we could have won, but Roma is a good team and a point is good for us," Aquilani said.

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