Martinez Quarta responds to Lukaku, then Roma resists with 9 men against Fiorentina


By John

Roma-Fiorentina 1-1
NETWORKS: 5′ pt Lukaku; 21′ st Martinez Fourth
ROME (3-5-2): Rui Patricio 6.5; Mancini 6, Llorente 5.5, Ndicka 5.5; Kristensen 6, Cristante 5.5, Paredes 5.5, Pellegrini 5 (40′ st Bove sv), Zalewski 4; Dybala 7 (25′ st Azmoun 5, 17′ st El Shaarawy 6), Lukaku 6. On the bench: Boer, Svilar, Karsdorp, Celik, Spinazzola, Renato Sanches, Aouar, Pagano, Pisilli, Belotti. Coach: Mourinho 6.
FIORENTINA (4-2-3-1): Terracciano 6; Kayode 6.5 (36′ st Maxime Lopez sv), Martinez Quarta 7, Ranieri 6, Biraghi 6.5; Arthur 6, Duncan 6.5; Ikoné 6 (27′ st Nico Gonzalez 6), Bonaventura 7 (32′ st Sottil sv), Kouamé 6.5; Nzola 6.5. On the bench: Vannucchi, Christensen, Milenkovic, Mina, Parisi, Infantino, Mandragora, Pierozzi, Barak, Beltran, Brekalo. Coach: Italian 6. REFEREE: Rapuano of Rimini 6.
NOTE: mild evening; playing field in good condition. Expelled: Zalewski, in the 19th minute, for a double yellow card; Lukaku, in the 42nd minute, for dangerous play; Milenkovic, from the bench, at the end of the day, due to protests. Booked: Cristante, Ikone, Biraghi, Paredes, Duncan, Llorente. Angles: 1-6. Recovery time: 4′; 7′.

ROME | Roma are unable to continue their climb up the ladder and, also forced into a double numerical inferiority (Zalewski and Lukaku sent off), are slowed down by Fiorentina in the matchday 15 match. It ends 1-1 at the Olimpico with the Belgian striker’s opening goal scored in the second half by Martinez Quarta: Mourinho’s men still remain in fourth place in the table, trailing Napoli by a point but are caught by a surprising Bologna (clash heading to the next one), while the Italian team remains just below, on par with the Neapolitans.
Just five minutes passed after the kick-off and the Giallorossi immediately broke the deadlock: Dybala exchanged with Cristante and offered a great ball from the outside to Lukaku, who couldn’t miss the 1-0 with a header. Close to the quarter of an hour, Dybala would have the ball to double the lead on the left foot after an assist from Zalewski, but the Argentine (who came out shortly after due to injury) hits badly and sends it wide. On the other side, the Viola try to respond with Nzola, served well by Bonaventura and providentially blocked coming out of an attentive Rui Patricio, then in the final half of the first half it is Bonaventura himself who wastes a good chance on the counterattack after a bloody turnover from Left-handed. In the second half the first ring came from Ikone who didn’t worry the Giallorossi goalkeeper too much, while on the opposite side Duncan almost miraculously saved a certain tap-in from Lukaku or Azmoun, stationed near the line following a foiled corner kick halfway from Terracciano.
As the minutes passed, Fiorentina took courage and in the 63rd minute Bonaventura hit the crossbar, then a few moments later a naive foul by Zalewski (already booked) on Kayode cost Roma numerical inferiority. The Viola took advantage immediately and made it 1-1 with a header from Martinez Quarta following a perfect cross from Kouame.
The match completely changes face and the Italian team becomes master of the pitch, coming close to taking the lead in the 82nd minute again with an aerial play from Quarta, this time promptly rejected by Rui Patricio. In the final, things get even more complicated for Mourinho’s team, even forced to remain with nine men for the red card directed at Lukaku for a bad foul against Kouame. The latest Tuscan assaults, however, lead nowhere