Serie A round-up: Roma frustrated in draw with Sassuolo as Inter draw with Lazio
Last Updated: 30/12/17 9:43pm
Roma's bid to break into Serie A's top three at the halfway stage of the season was thwarted in part by two video assistant referee decisions as they drew 1-1 against Sassuolo.
Eusebio Di Francesco was leading the Giallorossi against his former employers and it was another man to have switched to the Stadio Olimpico, Lorenzo Pellegrini, who opened the scoring.
After the break, Edin Dzeko thought he had scored his ninth goal this term but VAR decided he had been offside and, minutes later, Simone Missiroli levelled for Sassuolo with a well-placed header.
Alessandro Florenzi found the back of the net with five minutes remaining, only for VAR to intervene once more. The point left Roma just outside the Champions League spots.
It also kept the side two points behind Inter Milan, who could only labour to a Saturday evening stalemate with Lazio at San Siro.
Lazio's Ciro Immobile won a penalty in the second half, but VAR overturned the referee's decision, with Mauro Icardi heading just wide for Inter late on.
In Saturday's late game, Paulo Dybala scored twice as Juventus beat Hellas Verona 3-1 away from home.
Blaise Matuidi gave Juventus the lead early on before Martin Caceres levelled for the hosts, but Dyabala's second-half double within six minutes gave the visitors all three points, taking them to within a point of leaders Napoli at the halfway stage of the season.
Hakan Calhanoglu spared AC Milan from ending the year with a defeat by scoring the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina.
Giovanni Simeone's second-half header set Milan on a course to lose their third straight league match but Turkey international Calhanoglu acted quickly to salvage an away point.
There was unbridled joy at Benevento's Stadio Ciro Vigorito on Saturday afternoon as the promoted club finally celebrated a first top-flight victory thanks to Massimo Coda's first strike of the campaign.
Benevento had just one point on the board after 18 games but Coda sealed a 1-0 win over Chievo to spark the faintest glimmer of hope they will be able to battle for survival in 2018.
Kevin Lasagna scored his fifth goal in as many matches as Udinese recovered to triumph 2-1 at Bologna.
Danilo's own goal gave the Rossoblu the upper hand before the half-hour mark but defender Silvan Widmer levelled with a bullet header.
Following the interval, Lasagna slotted Rodrigo De Paul's pass home to lift Udinese above Milan.
Ten-man Cagliari held on to claim a 2-1 success over Atalanta in Bergamo.
Leonardo Pavoletti fired the Sardinians ahead with six minutes gone and Simone Padoin tucked Diego Farias' cross away to give Cagliari a comfortable lead.
Right at the death, though, Alejandro Gomez slashed the deficit and Senna Miangue's dismissal for a second bookable offence made for a tense finale.
Sampdoria sustained their push for European football as Fabio Quagliarella scored two last-gasp goals in a 2-0 home win against SPAL.
The veteran striker broke the deadlock from the penalty spot when Emiliano Viviani brought down Gaston Ramirez and Quagliarella doubled up from a Dawid Kownacki assist in the dying seconds.
Elsewhere, Torino and Genoa ground out a goalless draw.
Pick your dream team for the Champions League final to be the latest £50k jackpot winner.