Friendly: Impressive Roma hold FC Porto

by | Jul 28, 2021 21:59

It was an impressive Roma performance against FC Porto in an ill-tempered friendly, as Rui Patricio made several big saves and only a late equaliser cancelled out the Gianluca Mancini header.

Rui Patricio was given his debut for the club and Lorenzo Pellegrini returned after an injury setback, but Alessandro Florenzi, Bryan Cristante and Jordan Veretout were still unavailable.

The Portuguese goalkeeper made an impact immediately, with a fantastic reaction save getting down to palm the Mehdi Taremi effort off the line with one hand.

Rui Patricio excelled himself again just before half-time, getting his fingertips to an Otavio glancing header on a free kick.

Roma were more effective after the break, Edin Dzeko sent through by a Henrikh Mkhitaryan nutmeg and skimming the far post.

Amadou Diawara then unleashed a screamer from distance that Diogo Costa had to palm out from under the bar. On the resulting Nicolò Zaniolo corner, Gianluca Mancini gave Roma the lead with a diving header.

The game descended into an ugly brawl on 64 minutes when Pepe smashed into Henrikh Mkhitaryan, the Armenian reacting on the ground by kicking out and suddenly members of both benches were involved as well as the players on the pitch.

Mkhitaryan had to be dragged back from confronting serial provocateur Pepe again, so he was wisely substituted.

Taremi’s free header was over the bar, but at the 89th minute Porto managed to snatch an equaliser with Vitinha in a quick give-and-go with Evanilson on the edge of the box.

Due to the earlier brawl, the referee gave six minutes of stoppages, during which Taremi had the chance to win it, but blasted wide from 15 yards.

Porto 1-1 Roma

Mancini 56 (R), Vitinha 89 (P)

Porto: Costa; Joao Mario, Mbemba, Pepe, Manafà; Otavio (Vitinha 83), Sergio Oliveira (F Conceicao 83), Bruno Costa (Luis Diaz 71), Pepê (Grujic 71); Toni Martinez (Evanilson 83), Taremi

Roma: Rui Patricio; Karsdorp, Mancini, Smalling, Calafiori (Ibanez 69); Darboe (Villar 46), Diawara; Zaniolo (El Shaarawy 69), Pellegrini (Kumbulla 90), Mkhitaryan (Perez 69); Dzeko

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