Roma bow out after draw
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: 03/11/04 9:45pm
Roma bowed out of the UEFA Champions League after a 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen at an empty Stadio Olimpico.
The stadium was deserted as Roma's punishment for their fans injuring Swedish referee Anders Frisk in the home game against Dynamo Kiev came into affect.
Roma went behind late in the second half when Dimitar Berbatov produced a wonderful finish, but the Italians did manage to level in the final minute with a nice goal of their own from Vincenzo Montella.
The none existent atmosphere did little to enhance the game and Roma seemed to suffer from the lack of support more than the visitors.
Roma did have the first chance through Alberto Aquilani as he fired just over in the very first minute. Thereafter, Bayer were the better side for sizeable portions of the opening 45 minutes - with Berbatov snapping a shot at goal.
Francesco Totti was trying, with little effect, as he too failed to find the target with a curling 25-yard effort.
Polish star Jacek Kyznowek was becoming an increasing threat, as he tried to spark his team into action. The Bayer star was unlucky on the half hour when he broke clear and almost pounced as Carlo Zotti spilled the ball, but he was adjudged to have committed a foul.
Robson Ponte then tested Zotti as Bayer looked the more likely, but just before the interval Roma came the closest to breaking the deadlock.
It was the previously ineffective Montella who from nothing hit a stunning right-foot volley which cannoned off Hans-Jorg Butt's right hand post.
Just moments into the second half and Montella again came agonisingly close to opening the scoring as he received the ball from Totti and unleashed a great strike, but unfortunately for the Italians it went into the side netting.
Berbatov was also continuing to prove a handful and he should have done better after Marko Babic found him on the edge of the area, but the Bulgarian fired wide.
Hanno Baltisch then prevented a real chance for Totti as he just got his foot to the ball in the six-yard box as the Roma skipper was preparing to fire home.
Bayer were then handed a great chance as Phillipe Mexes hauled down Berbatov right on the edge of the area, but Krzynowek fired straight into the wall.
The game then threatened to boil over as Carsten Ramelow slid on Totti, who jumped the challenge but landed with both feet on the German - who understandably reacted angrily. Luckily for the Roma skipper he only received a yellow when it could easily have been red.
Just as the game seemed destined for a goalless outcome, a moment of brilliance broke the deadlock as Bayer went ahead.
Berbatov picked the ball up on the edge of the area and as Traianos Dellas came in to make the challenge, the striker flicked the ball over him and then as Zotti came out he lobbed the ball over him and into the corner.
Bayer could easily have extended their lead soon after as Kryznowek broke into the area, but Zotti did brilliantly to come off his line and block.
Bayer could added to their scoreline, but again Zotti produced a great save as Kryznowek fired another effort at goal.
Then as Bayer looked set to seal victory, Roma finally played some football - albeit in the last minute.
Montella started the move and played a nice ball into Totti, he fed it back to his strike-partner who lashed the ball past Butt with a first-time shot.
Bayer now remain locked level on points with Real Madrid and Dynamo Kiev, whilst Roma's first point of the tournament is not enough to keep them in and a place in the Uefa Cup also looks highly unlikely.
|Roma||Team Statistics||Bayer Leverkusen|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|1||Shots on Target||3|
|5||Shots off Target||5|
UEFA Champions League
Wed 3rd Nov - Group B
Dynamo Kiev2 - 2R Madrid
Roma1 - 1Leverkusen
Wed 3rd Nov - Group C
Mac Tel Avi2 - 1Ajax
Bay Munich0 - 1Juventus
Wed 3rd Nov - Group D
Lyon4 - 2Fenerbahce
Man Utd4 - 1Sp Prague
Wed 3rd Nov - Group A
Deportivo0 - 1Liverpool
Olympiakos1 - 0Monaco
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
|2||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H