Berardi strike stuns Roma
Domenico Berardi's stoppage-time strike earned struggling Sassuolo a 1-1 draw at Serie A leaders Roma.
Last Updated: 10/11/13 4:59pm
Roma's mini stumble continued after a goal four minutes into injury time by Domenico Berardi saw struggling Sassuolo claim a 1-1 draw with the Serie A leaders at the Stadio Olimpico.
Rudi Garcia's side had seen their perfect run come to an end last weekend with a draw at Torino but Sunday's game against their lowly visitors appeared to offer a great chance to immediately return to winning ways.
An own goal by Alessandro Longhi after 19 minutes put the hosts ahead and they were completely dominant.
However, they failed to capitalise on that and were made to pay in injury time as they conceded for just the third time this season.
While they remained top, it meant their lead could be cut to one point with Napoli and Juventus, second and third respectively, meeting later on Sunday.
Miralem Pjanic shot inches wide from Marco Borriello's cross in the first attack of the game and from there it was one-way traffic.
Adem Ljalic missed Alessandro Florenzi's cross from the right but the ball fell for Federico Balzaretti only for him to fire a great chance over the bar when well placed in the six-yard box.
However, Roma were ahead a minute later and it was hard on Sassuolo goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo who somehow managed to save a close-range shot by Florenzi only for Longhi to put into his own goal.
Adem Ljalic fired over the bar after linking up with Pjanic and the same combination came together in first-half injury-time only for the former to be denied by Pegolo.
Florenzi fired over from the edge of the area and Ljalic just failed to get on the end of a low cross from Sinesado Maicon in the six-yard box.
Ljalic had a great chance to double the lead when he received a superb long pass from Florenzi and found himself with just Pegolo to beat but the keeper managed to parry the ball.
Sassuolo were again indebted to Pegolo when he dived to save a fierce shot from Ljalic and despite all their possession, the hosts were living dangerously.
Diego Farias failed to capitalise from close-range for the visitors as the game entered its final 10 minutes and with just five minutes left Roma keeper Morgan De Sanctis was called into action to block Antonio Flores.
Again Ljalic was denied by Pegolo who saved his close-range shot with his body and Roma were left to rue their inability to capitalise on their numerous chances when a scramble inside the box ended with Berardi slotting home from close range to earn a vital point and deny the hosts.