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Borriello inspires superb Roma recovery

AS Roma 3-2 FC Bayern München
Two down at half-time, Roma mounted a stirring fightback capped by Francesco Totti's late penalty that put them within a point of the last 16.

Borriello inspires superb Roma recovery
Borriello inspires superb Roma recovery ©UEFA.com

AS Roma edged closer to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 with a thrilling comeback win against FC Bayern München.

Despite falling behind to Mario Gomez's first-half double, the Giallorossi rallied after the break. Marco Borriello and Daniele De Rossi drew them level before Francesco Totti's penalty sealed the points and kept the Italian side second in the section, within a point of qualification.

Bayern coach Louis van Gaal fielded several unfamiliar faces, not least goalkeeper Thomas Kraft, who had a debut to remember after being forced into action as early as the third minute. The 22-year-old repelled a powerful strike from Marco Borriello and was relieved to watch Jérémy Menez blaze over the rebound from ten metres. On the quarter-hour Mirko Vučinić also threatened, sending an ambitious chip off beam from 20 metres.

Kraft was again called upon midway through the half, parrying John Arne Riise's speculative effort; this time Leandro Greco skied the rebound. Despite these chances, Bayern had enjoyed most of the possession, with Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller and Franck Ribéry selflessly supporting the lone Gomez. Martín Demichelis, twice, and Andres Ottl both fired over, but when the breakthrough came, in the 33rd minute, it was from a fine team move. Ribéry teased a clever a reverse pass into the path of Gomez, who directed his shot in off the far post.

Roma were slow to react and within seven minutes were two down, Gomez pouncing again to poke in following a fine pass by Müller. The Stadio Olimpico was silenced and but for a reaction save from Júlio Sérgio's outstretched legs, the hosts would have been three behind at half-time. Instead, the Giallorossi fightback began, four minutes after the restart, following a rapier-like move down the right. Menez picked out Borriello, who turned and beat Kraft from a prone position.

Roma twice came close to an equaliser soon after but were again denied by a fine double save from the impressive Kraft, who first clawed away as Fábio Simplício went to head in from under the bar, and then made an extraordinary stop from Marco Brighi. The debutant could do little about the equaliser, though, as with nine minutes to go, Vučinić found Riise with a slide-rule pass and the full-back's cross was dispatched by De Rossi.

Roma were rampant and completed the remarkable turnaround within three minutes of drawing level. Francesco Totti, a 75th-minute substitute, played Borriello in on goal and Kraft's first error of the night was to fell the Roma forward. Totti applied the coup de grâce.

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