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Salernitana hits Roma’s European hopes with 2-2 draw

Salernitana players celebrate after scoring a goal against Roma in Serie A. Getty

Salernitana unexpectedly held AS Roma to a 2-2 home draw on Monday, ending their chances of using their Serie A standing to advance to the next season’s European competition.

After Juventus were deducted 10 points late on Monday as a result of a fresh decision in the case centered on their transfer dealings, Roma climbed one spot to sixth place with 60 points.

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With two games left, Monday’s tie put Jose Mourinho‘s Roma team four points behind fourth-placed AC Milan and one behind fifth-placed Atalanta.

After Lassana Coulibaly’s cross in the 12th minute, Salernitana unexpectedly seized the lead through midfielder Antonio Candreva.

Stephan El Shaarawy of Roma brought the score level just after the half, but Boulaye Dia gave Salernitana the lead back before Nemanja Matic pulled the visitors parity seven minutes from time.

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If Roma defeats Sevilla in the Europa League championship match on May 31, they may still qualify for the Champions League through a different way.

When asked about the most recent Juventus ruling, Mourinho told DAZN: “Learning this with two games left to play is a joke to me. Before Monza (1-1) and before Bologna (0-0), if they had told me this, our strategy would have been different.

However, we made the decision to do so after realizing that Juve were scoring goals and that our wisest course of action would have been to place all of our bets on the Europa League.

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Paulo Dybala, a forward for Roma, was absent because he is still not fully fit after suffering an ankle injury against Atalanta at the end of April.

“What’s up? “Bad,” remarked Mourinho. “I don’t know if he will recover in time for Sevilla.”

Roma was caught off guard by Candreva’s goal, which the midfielder converted on the first attempt from Lassana Coulibaly’s cross.

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In the last seconds of the first half, Roma thought they had equalized when Roger Ibanez knocked the ball past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa following a corner, but the goal was disallowed after a thorough VAR review for handball in the build-up.

However, the hosts did draw level two minutes into the second half after Ochoa turned away a free kick from Lorenzo Pellegrini and El Shaarawy was on hand.

In the 54th minute, Dia headed in a Krzysztof Piatek cross from close range to give Salernitana their first lead back.

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However, seven minutes from time, Roma, which has lost six straight league games, managed to tie the score once more through halftime substitute Matic.

On Saturday, they will go to Fiorentina, who finished second in the Europa Conference League. On June 4, they will play a last home game against the bottom-feeding Spezia.

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