Rome, Sep 16 (IANS) Roma was held to a 2-2 home draw against Chievo Verona on Sunday after blowing a two-goal lead in the Serie A fourth round.
The draw handed Roma a further setback ahead of their big clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday in the UEFA Champions League group stage, reports Efe news.
Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco had said in a press conference on Saturday that the Chievo match was the most delicate of the next three games, and was key for his club to regain confidence after suffering a defeat and a draw in the past two Serie A matches.
The Italian coach did not rotate forward Edin Dzeko or defenders Aleksandar Kolarov and Kostas Manolas, but only granted a bit of rest to defender Federico Fazio and captain Daniele De Rossi, who played the last minutes of the match.
The game started well for Roma, which was up 2-0 at the intermission thanks to forward Stephan El Shaarawy's goal 10 minutes into the match followed by midfielder Bryan Cristante 20 minutes later.
However, Roma showed down the pace in the second half, and their lack of aggressiveness allowed Chievo to narrow the gap after just seven minutes with a goal from midfielder Valter Birsa.
The goal restored some of Chievo's confidence, leading to Poland forward Mariusz Stepinski's late equalizer with seven minutes to go.
Stepinski, 23, has proved himself capable against the big Italian clubs, as he has scored against defending champion Juventus and Inter Milan in his Serie A career.
Roma did its best in the final minutes to pull off a win, but Dzeko squandered a scoring chance in the last minute.
Roma is seventh in the Serie A table with five points, while Chievo remains in last place table with a single point.