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Dzeko rescues point at Bologna as Barca clash distracts Roma

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Roma’s forward from Bosnia ed Erzegovina Edin Dzeko (L) heads the ball next to Bologna’s defender from Senegal brahima Mbaye during the Italian Serie A football match Bologna vs AS Roma at the Renato D’all’Ara Stadium in Bologna, on March 31, 2018. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP


Edin Dzeko rescued a 1-1 draw at Bologna on Saturday as Roma were hit by a Radja Nainggolan injury that could compromise their Champions League quarter-final clash at Barcelona in midweek.

Second-half substitute Dzeko headed in after 76 minutes at the Stadio Dall’Ara after Erick Pulgar had given Bologna the lead on 18 minutes.

Roma were chasing a fourth straight Serie A win to consolidate third place, but Inter Milan and Lazio can close the gap when they play bottom two Verona and Benevento respectively later on Saturday.

“It’s difficult to explain what went wrong,” said Dzeko. “We were too slow in the first half, without movement, despite creating some interesting chances. They had one shot on goal and scored.

“In the end we got an important point, even if we think that we ultimately dropped two here today.”

Roma lacked speed with Bologna’s third-choice keeper Antonio Santurro proving the unlikely hero for his side.

Santurro, 26, was appearing in first Serie A game with Antonio Mirante suspended and understudy Angelo Da Costa injured.

And he did well on his debut keeping out an early Patrik Schick strike, followed by a Daniele De Rossi header from the resulting corner.

Nainggolan limped off after just 16 minutes with a muscular problem, and looks in doubt to face Barcelona.0

Two minutes later Bologna were ahead, Pulgar picking up a poor clearance on the edge of the box to fire past Alisson.

Santurro denied Stephan El Shaarawy, with Kevin Strootman missing the chance to equalise when alone in front of goal.

But Dzeko replaced El Shaarawy with half an hour to go and got his head to Argentine winger Diego Perotti’s cross to fire past Santurro.

Dzeko admitted their trip to the Camp Nou for the first leg of their quarter-final clash was already on Roma’s minds.

“We are going into a very important match, we all had our thoughts on Barcelona a little bit, but even then we had chances and could have scored more,” added Dzeko.Bologna stay eleventh with just two points from their last four games.


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Edin Dzeko
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