Hauge strikes as Milan edge 10-man Sparta

Roma rally for draw despite missed penalty at Fiorentina


Roma rallied after falling behind to an early Josip Ilicic goal to draw 1-1 with Fiorentina in their Europa League last-16 tie at Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Ilicic put the hosts ahead in the 17th minute and Roma struggled to get back on terms until late in the match.

The Giallorossi missed a chance to draw level in the 60th minute when Adem Ljajic saw his penalty saved by Murara Neto but Seydou Keita found the equaliser in the 77th minute the leave the all-Italian tie delicately poised.

The game started at pace when Daniele De Rossi missed an early chance for Roma when he headed wide from Alessandro Florenzi's free-kick in the first minute.

Mohamed Salah's curling left-footed strike at the other end was blocked by Keita shortly after, before Fiorentina midfielder Borja Valero had a shot from the middle of the area blocked by Jose Holebas.

Viola midfielder David Pizarro volleyed wide from 20 yards in the 15th minute but the home side did not have to wait for much longer to break the deadlock as Ilicic found the net two minutes later.

The Slovenia international was on hand to power in a shot after Salah intercepted a pass from De Rossi in midfield and surged forward before laying the ball off to Ilicic, who did the rest.

Jose Maria Basanta missed the chance to double Fiorentina's lead in the 24th minute when he fired over from 18 yards out.

Roma went close to finding the leveller shortly before the break when Alessandro Florenzi's strike from the right of the area was blocked by Neto. Ljajic then sent his follow-up effort over the bar.

The Eternal City outfit then squandered a gilt-edged chance to get back on terms on the hour mark when Ljajic's penalty was saved by Neto who dived to the right.

It was a quick way to make amends for the Fiorentina keeper after he had conceded the spot-kick for bringing down Juan Iturbe.

Valero and Marcos Alonso both fired wide for the hosts but it was Roma who scored next when Keita headed in from close range 13 mintues from time.

It was a soft goal from Fiorentina's point of view as Florenzi's corner found Keita in the box a little too easily and he needed no further invite to head past Neto.

Milan Badelj went close to tipping the balance back in Fiorentina's favour in the 78th minute but Roma keeper Lukasz Skorupski made a brilliant save and tipped the ball over the bar.

That was the best chance of the final quarter of the match, and the sides will now battle it out for a place in the last eight on March 19.

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