Roma frustrated in goalless draw with Parma


Roma squandered the chance to put pressure on Serie A leaders Juventus after being held to a goalless draw by rock-bottom Parma. Despite largely dominating at the Stadio Olimpico, some woeful finishing from Rudi Garcia's men saw them held to their fifth draw in their last six league matches and gives Juve the chance to extend their lead to nine points at the top of the table on Sunday night. Parma ended a five-match losing run in all competitions and although they gave their survival hopes a slight boost, the Gialloblu are still 11 points adrift of safety. They were nearly presented an opening in what would prove to be a rare attack as Morgan De Sanctis fumbled a cross before Roma were able to scramble clear. Daniele De Rossi then spurned the first clear cut chance when he fired over after the ball was squared to him on the edge of the area. Only desperate defending from Parma kept the scores level as close range strikes from Gervinho, playing in his first match since helping Ivory Coast to glory in the African Nations Cup, and Adem Ljajic were blocked. But the capital club were given a let off on the half hour when defender Kostas Manolas recklessly shoved Parma's on-loan midfielder Antonio Nocerino in the back in the area. Referee Piero Giacomelli failed to spot the foul and Ljajic nearly compounded their woes shortly before half-time but his threatening mazy run into the area was followed up by a rash shot wide. Ljajic continued to pose problems in the second half and his dangerous delivery flashed across the face of the goal, but no one could get on the end of it. Gervinho exchanged a one-two with Ashley Cole but his strike was too close to Antonio Mirante, who punched clear. Full-back Cole, who has yet to open his account following his move last year from Chelsea, then chipped into the Parma goalkeeper's arms. The one-way traffic continued as substitute Daniele Verde curled an effort straight at Mirante, who was left stranded as Radja Nainggolan's 25-yard sighter deflected narrowly wide. Nainggolan then shot meekly wide after a corner to the back post had been headed back across goal, while Seydou Doumbia failed to get on the end of the Belgian's dink into the area. Verde was making a nuisance of himself on the right and the highly-rated 18-year-old's cross was latched onto by Cole, who headed against the post from a tight angle. It was the closest Roma came to breaking the deadlock as Parma held on to secure a hard-fought point.