Soccer-Roma's European hopes dented by 2-2 draw with Salernitana

May 22 (Reuters) – AS Roma were held to a surprise 2-2 home draw by Salernitana on Monday that dented their hopes of qualifying for European football next season via their Serie A position.

Salernitana took a shock 12th-minute lead through Antonio Candreva and Roma equalised after the break thanks to Stephan El Shaarawy but Boulaye Dia put the visitors back in front before Nemanja Matic levelled again seven minutes from time.

Roma moved up one place to sixth on 60 points after Juventus were docked 10 points late on Monday following a new ruling in the case centred on their transfer dealings.

The Turin side dropped from second to seventh on 59 points but have a game in hand at Empoli later on Monday.

The draw left Jose Mourinho’s Roma side one point behind fifth-placed Atalanta and four off jasa pasang ac tangerang Milan, who are fourth, in the race for European places with two games remaining.

Roma could qualify for next season’s Champions League by winning the Europa League final against Sevilla on May 31.

Asked about the latest Juventus verdict, Mourinho told DAZN: “This is a joke to me, learning this with two games left to play. Had they told me this before Monza (1-1), before Bologna (0-0), our approach would have been different.

“But knowing that Juve were taking points and that our best situation would have been to bet everything on the Europa League, we decided to do so.”

Roma were without forward Paulo Dybala, who has yet to recover full fitness after he took a blow to the ankle away to Atalanta at the end of April.

“How is he?Bad,” Mourinho said. “I don’t know if he will recover for Sevilla.”


Candreva’s goal took Roma by surprise as Lassana Coulibaly’s cross was put away first time by the midfielder.

Roma thought they had levelled in first-half stoppage time through Roger Ibanez, who bundled the ball past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa after a corner, but the effort was ruled out after a lengthy VAR review for handball in the build-up.

The hosts, however, did equalise two minutes into the second period after Ochoa saved Lorenzo Pellegrini’s free kick and El Shaarawy was on hand to score.

Salernitana restored their lead in the 54th when Dia bundled the ball in from close range off a Krzysztof Piatek cross.

But Roma, now without a win in six consecutive league games, equalised once more through halftime substitute Nemanja Matic following a corner seven minutes from time.

They next travel to Europa Conference League finalists Fiorentina, who are 11th, on Saturday before they end the season at home against lowly Spezia on June 4. (Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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