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Italian Serie A

Stadio Olimpico (ATT 50,000) 26th August 2012 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: A De Marco

Roma Roma vs Catania Catania

Roma 2

D Osvaldo (59)
N Lopez (90+1)

ft

Catania 2

G Marchese (28)
A Gomez (69)

Zeman's Roma held

Last Updated: 26/08/12 10:40pm

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Nico Lopez is congratulated on his late equaliser

Nico Lopez is congratulated on his late equaliser

Both the highs and lows of the Zdenek Zeman experience returned to Serie A as Roma scrambled a 2-2 draw against Catania in a match where defending was not on the agenda.

The Czech coach, famous for his preference for out-and-out attacking football, returned to the Stadio Olimpico this summer after 15 years to revive the Giallorossi's fortunes.

But his counterpart Rolando Maran was equally keen to make an impact on his debut and twice saw his Elefanti take the lead in the capital.

The Sicilians regularly exposed Roma's high line, Giovanni Marchese and Alejandro Gomez notching, but twice the Giallorossi responded in true swashbuckling style.

Pablo Osvaldo treated the home fans to an acrobatic overhead kick following good work from Daniele De Rossi, before Nico Lopez coolly beat his man to rescue a point at the death

Sergio Almiron's free-kick stripped paint off a post as Catania saught to catch their hosts off guard in the early exchanges.

Pablo Barrientos then saw his impromptu volley blocked by Leandro Castan's face, the Brazilian a little shaken after bravely keeping his side in the game.

But the Elefanti did get the breakthrough their early pluck deserved in the 28th minute.

Almiron knocked a quick free-kick against the blocking Osvaldo, Marchese gleefully tapping home the wild rebound.

A chorus of boos supported Zeman's calls for offside but the referee ruled Osvaldo had provided the decisive touch.

The Czech tactician urged his troops forward and, in the confusion, Osvaldo stumbled over Erik Lamela's snapshot to deny the Lupi a quick equaliser.

And Roma almost paid dearly for spurning the clear-cut opportunity as it fell to Maarten Stekelenburg to deny Gomez in a tricky one-on-one.

Zeman must have sternly reminded players of their attacking obligations at the interval as Roma flew out of the blocks after the break.

Osvaldo was first thwarted as a snapshot rattled the crossbar but on the hour mark he rifled the hosts back into contention.

De Rossi lofted a superb ball over the Rossazzurri defence, Osvaldo twisting to convert with a crowd-pleasing scorpion kick.

But after such a dizzying spell, Zeman's smile disappeared as Gomez capitalised on a defensive mix-up to nudge Catania back into the lead.

Again, there were calls for offside from the Giallorossi as Francesco Lodi seized on a forward ball to tee up an easy finish for his team-mate.

When talismanic striker Francesco Totti was withdrawn for Lopez, much of the capicity crowd was left wondering what Zeman's next move was.

The answer came one minute into stoppage time as the teenage Uruguyan flicked the ball over a defender before smashing it past Mariano Andujar.

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Matches

Table

Italian Serie A

Italian Serie A
Pos Team P Pts
1 Juventus 15 36
2 Roma 15 35
3 Sampdoria 15 26
4 Genoa 15 26
5 Lazio 15 26
6 AC Milan 15 24
7 Napoli 15 24
8 Fiorentina 15 23
9 Udinese 15 21
10 Palermo 15 21
11 Inter Milan 15 20
12 Sassuolo 15 19
13 Verona 15 17
14 Empoli 15 16
15 Torino 15 14
16 Atalanta 15 14
17 Chievo 15 13
18 Cagliari 15 12
19 Cesena 15 8
20 Parma 15 7