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Andreolli saves Roma at the last

Fulham FC 1-1 AS Roma
Marco Andreolli smashed in a superb 93rd-minute equaliser to deny Group E rivals Fulham maximum points from their meeting in London.

Andreolli saves Roma at the last
Andreolli saves Roma at the last ©UEFA.com

A superb 93rd-minute strike by Marco Andreolli rescued AS Roma from defeat at UEFA Europa League Group E rivals Fulham FC.

Fulham denied
The defender smashed the ball in off the underside of the crossbar after David Pizarro's corner fell to him beyond the far post, so denying a Fulham side who had looked certain to hold on to the lead given them by Brede Hangeland's first-half header when Mark Schwarzer saved Jérémy Menez's spot-kick. Fulham, who lost defender Stephen Kelly to a red card in the incident preceding the penalty, slipped to second place in Group E behind FC Basel 1893, with Roma third ahead of the teams' rematch in the Italian capital.

Positive start
Fulham seem to be enjoying only their second European adventure and started positively, forcing a succession of corners from which they eventually took a 24th-minute lead. Jonathan Greening and Kelly had already tested goalkeeper Doni before, from Bjørn Helge Riise's seventh flag-kick, Hangeland leapt above Andreolli and Doni to power a header into the net. The other Riise brother, Roma's John Arne, threatened an equaliser at the other end soon after the half-hour, unleashing a tremendous first-time strike that drew a fine stop from Schwarzer. Roma, missing injured skipper Francesco Totti, had struggled to open up the hosts and coach Claudio Ranieri made a double substitution at the break – introducing Pizarro and Simone Perrotta – and within seven minutes, Daniele De Rossi had the ball in the net only to be flagged offside.

Late drama
Though Doni had to save at the feet of Diomansy Kamara, Roma began to pin the London club back. Menez dragged a shot past the post, then it took another excellent Schwarzer stop to frustrate substitute Mirko Vučinić in the 73rd minute. Kelly's trip on Riise four minutes later earned him a red card and the penalty that Schwarzer kept out, but the big Australian was finally beaten as Andreolli picked the perfect time to net his first Roma goal.