VAR controversy at Roma, Ronaldo hits tenth in Juve stroll

Roma players remonstrate with the referee in a bad night for VAR (Gazzetta dello Sport)

ROMA – Controversy surrounding the Video Assistant Referee overshadowed a highly entertaining 2-2 draw between AS Roma and Inter Milan, while Cristiano Ronaldo capped off another comfortable Juventus victory with his tenth goal in the Serie A.

 Fans at the Stadio Olimpico saw Roma twice come back from a goal down to thwart an Inter Milan side looking to leapfrog Napoli into second place. Keita Balde Diao gave the away side a 1-0 lead going into half-time after a convincing penalty appeal from Roma was turned down just minutes before, despite the referee not consulting VAR for assistance. A superb 25-yard strike from Cenzig Ünder six minutes after the break brought Roma back into the game, before Mauro Icardi was left unmarked from a corner, the Argentinian striker confidently heading the ball home.

 Fired up by the home support, Roma pushed on in search of a second equaliser, putting pressure on Inter’s defence, which duly cracked. A corner with 15 minutes to play struck Marcelo Brozovic on the arm and, after the referee checked a video replay, Roma were awarded a penalty. Aleksander Kolarov converted the chance, bringing his side level for the second time, giving them a well-earned point.

 Juventus capitalised on Inter’s failure to overtake Napoli, who face Atalanta on Monday evening, and extended their lead at the top of the Serie A to 11 points after just 14 games with 3-0 win away at Fiorentina. Ronaldo added the last of Juve’s goals with a penalty, which saw him move level with Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek at the top of the goal-scoring table, adding a tenth to his tally.

 There was no change at the bottom of the table, as five of the bottom six clubs recorded draws. Chievo and Frosinone’s games finished 1-1 against Lazio and Cagliari, respectively, despite both leading at half-time. Udinese missed a chance to overtake SPAL, who shared the spoils with Empoli after an entertaining 2-2 draw, and couldn’t find the target in a goalless game with Sassuolo.

 Elsewhere, Milan recovered from 1-0 down to take three points in a tight 2-1 victory against Parma to elevate them into the top four for the first time this season. Torino inflicted the same result on Genoa with two goals in added-time in the first half.