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Roma 1-1 AC Milan: What were the key talking points as Roma & AC settle for a stunning late point at the Stadio Olimpico?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, Serie A 30 Apr 2023

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In what was a stunning last-gasp affair from the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening, Roma and AC Milan eventually had to settle for a remarkable 1-1 draw.

With both of the Italian giants might have entered the half-time break without getting on the scoresheet, chances certainly came at a real premium in what was often a cagey affair.

However, two sides who are desperate to claim a crucial top-four finish this season, Jose Mourinho’s men thought that they had snatched a famous late winner on home soil as Tammy Abraham bagged just his second Serie A strike since the start of February.

Nevertheless, while Roma might have been seconds away from laying down a top-four marker, there was just about time for second-half substitute Alexis Saelemaekers to stun the Stadio Olimpico crowd.

Eventually bagging a remarkable 97th-minute equaliser and keeping their own top-four ambitions alive, both sides would have been disappointed to have left Rome with just a single point to show for their troubles this weekend.

In a showdown between two Italian icons, we have taken a look at the key talking points from Saturday’s thrilling 1-1 draw.

Roma suffer heartbreak in what could have been a season-defining victory

With both Mourinho and the Stadio Olimpico support left stunned following Saelemaekers last-gasp equaliser, the former Manchester United boss would have known that his side missed out on a golden opportunity here.

Punching their Europa League semi-final ticket last week as they claimed an action-packed 4-2 aggregate victory against Feyenoord, the Giallorossi had enjoyed an eye-catching return from March’s international break.

However, left stunned away at Atalanta on April 24th as they were handed a 3-1 drumming on the road, Mourinho’s men know that they still face a real uphill battle in their bid to book a top-four return.

With Saturday’s 1-1 draw seeing them drop out of the Champions League spots, Roma could have let a season-defining victory slip through their fingertips here.

With it looking like Inter Milan’s trip to the Stadio Olimpico on May 6th could play a huge role in deciding who pinches that final Champions League ticket, stability is key for Mourinho’s side over the coming weeks.

Late joy doesn’t cover the Rossoneri’s domestic issues

Springing what was a real Champions League upset on April 18th as they edged past runaway Serie A leaders Napoli thanks to a famous 2-1 aggregate victory, AC Milan won’t be blamed for having their sole attention focused on their European adventure.

However, although Stefano Pioli’s side might have snatched what was a stunning last-gasp point here, it is fair to say that the former Italian champions have shown some extended domestic issues on either side of March’s international break.

Forced to settle for a pair of uninspiring stalemates against Empoli and Bologna earlier in the month, the Rossoneri have now claimed just a pair of victories from any of their last eight Serie A appearances – a run that stems back to a 2-0 win against Atalanta on February 26th.

Still seeking some domestic consistency, Pioli will also have a growing headache over his side’s issues away from the San Siro.

Including a 3-1 drumming at the hands of Udinese prior to the international break, AC Milan have recorded just two Serie A wins on their travels since the start of January.

The Serie A top-four chase is going down to the wire

While both Roma and AC Milan might have punched their respective European semi-final spots last week, this season’s top-four chase has quickly become a nail-biting battle.

Watching Juventus have their 15-point deduction temporarily overturned earlier in the month, the race to clinch a Champions League spot is still hanging firmly in the balance over the final few weeks.

With just six points currently separating Lazio in second all the way down to Atalanta who are clinging onto that final top-six spot, Saturday’s opponents will have plenty of expectations to deal with.

Although Roma and AC could have all of their eggs in the European basket, there still remains plenty of work that needs to be done over their final six Serie A appearances.

Both making it clear that an automatic Champions League spot is at the top of their agenda this season, this year’s top-four chase looks set to be going down to the wire.

Match Report

Roma: Patricio, Mancini, Kumbulla, Ibanez, Spinazzola, Matic, Cristante, Celik, Pellegrini, Belotti, Abraham

Subs: Solbakken, Camara, Bove, El Shaarawy

AC Milan: Maignan, Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Hernandez, Tonali, Krunic, Diaz, Bennacer, Leao, Giroud

Subs: De Ketelaere, Saelemaekers, Thiaw, Origi, Kalulu

Goals: Roma: Abraham (90+3’) – AC Milan: Saelemaekers (90+7)

Yellow Cards: Roma: Matic, Cristante, Ibanez – AC Milan: Krunic, Tomori

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Daniele Orsato

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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