Super Roma Keeper Frustrates Rojiblancos in Goalless Draw
Two European powerhouses met on Tuesday night as Roma hosted Atletico Madrid at the Stadio Olimpico in one of the opening games of the Champions League group stages.
The result of the early encounter may well prove crucial in group C, that also includes Premier League champions Chelsea.
The away side were the slight favourites going into the game and it didn't take the Spanish side long to make their first clear cut chance. In the 3rd minute Filipe Luis broke down the left wing, his delightful pullback finding Saul Niguez, but the Spaniard's drilled shot flew a whisker past the Roma keeper's right hand post.
Roma may feel hard done by not to have been awarded a penalty mid way through the first half, after an Aleksander Kolarov cross struck Vietto's hand inside the box, only for the referee to not award what looked like a certain penalty.
The game had promised to be an exciting one and it finally heated up on the half hour mark with a host of chances for either side. The first of those fell to the home side as a well worked free-kick routine saw Kolarov pull the ball back to Radja Nianggolan. The Belgian's pill driver of a shot seemed destined for Oblak's right hand corner, but the Slovenia international made a world class save to keep it out.
Oblak managed to hold onto the ball and quickly released his Atletico side on the counter attack. Saul drove down the right wing and put in a teasing cross which rolled past everyone in the Roma box. Eventually it fell to Koke whose shot across the box looked like a certain goal, only for Manolas to make a hero like sliding clearance on the Roma goal-line.
Atletico came out in the second half clearly riled up by Diego Simeone at the break as they started to dominate proceedings. A Vietto chip was again saved by the fantastic Roma keeper, Allison, in the 56th minute after a fantastic passing move from the Madrid side.
Bravo Roma, Player of the match Allison great goal keeping by him he saved at least 4 goals— Roma Club Montreal (@asromamtl) September 12, 2017
Allison was again Roma's hero as he made multiple outstretched, fantastic saves to keep out Angel Correa and Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco in quick succession after the hour mark.
Roma will have felt somewhat hard done by on the night in terms of refereeing decisions, as the officials denied a further two penalty claims from the Giallorossi in the second half. Both Perotti and Kolarov were brought down inside the box, with both soft challenges being waved away by the referee.
Atletico's best chance of the night came in the dying embers of the game. A 92nd minute header was latched onto by Ferreira-Carrasco only for Allison to make another difficult save low down to his right. However Allison could only parry, but to Carrasco's despair he smashed the follow-up onto the keepers upright, when he really should've secured Atletico all three points.
In the end, Roma managed to hold on for a well deserved point, although much of the credit has to go to the fantastic performance of their Brazilian keeper Allison.