No sec­ond chances for Roma at Juve

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

ROME: A home game against In­ter Mi­lan awaits sec­ond-place AS Roma on Sun­day as they chase Serie A lead­ers Ju­ven­tus who face cross-town ri­vals Torino on the same day.

All four teams will be back on the pitch from mid-week ac­tion on the con­ti­nent.

Roma suf­fered a late 1-1 draw at CSKA Moscow while Juve won 2-0 at Malmo in the Cham­pi­ons League, leav­ing both with a chance to ad­vance to the last 16.

Roma seem to have lost their early-sea­son grit when they con­ceded a last-gasp equaliser in Moscow that com­pli­cated their qual­i­fi­ca­tion chances from Group E ahead of a fi­nal home game to Manch­ester City.

“Ev­ery­thing was per­fect. We were ahead form a goal I scored,” said AS Roma cap­tain Francesco Totti. “A great team should han­dle their ball pos­ses­sion bet­ter. It was as if I got a punch from (boxer Mike) Tyson. We were almost qual­i­fied.”

The Gial­lorossi go into the match at the Sta­dio Olimpico with 28 points from 12 games, three be­hind Juve.

In­ter Mi­lan are ninth on 17 points. The re­turn of coach Roberto Mancini to re­place Wal­ter Maz­zarri brought lit­tle im­prove­ment last week­end as the Ner­az­zurri drew 1-1 in a lit­tle en­ter­tain­ing derby with AC Mi­lan.

“We have th­ese two paths be­fore us: Ei­ther fin­ish the (Serie A) league among the top three (to get a Cham­pi­ons League berth), or win the Europa League. We must clinch one of the two,” Mancini said.

A place in the Cham­pi­ons League knock-out stage is almost clinched for Juve, who need just one point from the game tie at home to al­ready qual­i­fied Atletico Madrid.

Coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri, how­ever, raised the stakes as he said that “we must try to win with a two-goal lead and fin­ish first.”

City ri­vals Torino have lost the past two out­ings in do­mes­tic ac­tion, slip­ping to just three points above the drop zone.

Sas­suolo open the 13th round to­mor­row against Verona, fol­lowed by Chievo ver­sus Lazio. The other Sun­day games see Ce­sena at home to Genoa, AC Mi­lan against Udi­nese, Cagliari tak­ing on Fiorentina, Palermo against Parma and Em­poli host­ing Ata­lanta. Sam­p­do­ria host Napoli on Mon­day. – Sapa-dpa

PIC­TURE: GETTY IMAGES

RO­MAN: AS Roma cap­tain Francesco Totti will lead his team against In­ter Mi­lan at the Sta­dio Olimpico in Rome on Sun­day.

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