Stadio Olimpico, Roma, Italy
74′ De Rossi
Francesco Totti’s final match at the Stadio Olimpico ended in perfect fashion as his Roma side came from behind to defeat Genoa 3-2 to secure a second-place finish in Serie A and seal automatic Champions League qualification in what was a thrilling contest.
All eyes were on Totti prior to the match but the skipper, who was making his final appearance at the Olimpico after 25 years at the club, started on the bench as expected, as 16 year-old Pietro Pellegri stunned the hosts to put Genoa briefly ahead after just two minutes before Edin Džeko levelled the scores eight minutes later. Daniele De Rossi then put the Giallorossi ahead in the 74th minute in what looked to have been the winner, but the Rossoblu didn’t read the script as Darko Lazović headed home the equaliser five minutes later, before substitute Diego Perotti fired home the winner late-on.
The visitors took a surprise lead in the second minute when Pellegri, who was making his first start for the side, latched onto a through-ball from Lazović before firing home past Wojciech Szczęsny.
Six minutes later the Rossoblu had a good chance to double their lead when Szczęsny was caught in no-man’s land. Raffaele Palladino received the ball to fire an effort just wide from-range with the Polish keeper retreating.
Two minutes later the Giallorossi capitalised on their visitors’ missed opportunity to level the scores when Džeko bundled the ball home after his initial effort on the half-volley struck the post following a cross from Kevin Strootman.
Nine minutes later the hosts had a good chance to take the lead when Strootman played Džeko through on-goal, the Bosnian had just Eugenio Lamanna to beat, but the striker’s effort was palmed away by the keeper. A minute later Roma had another good chance to go in front when Stephan El Shaarawy was sent through on-goal by Strootman, but the former Milan forward fired the ball just wide.
In the 29th minute the hosts nearly found the net when El Shaarawy’s delivery across the face of goal was almost put into his own net by Miguel Veloso, but Lamanna made a good stop.
Ten minutes later the Giallorossi thought they should have had a penalty when Džeko put the ball wide from close-range, following a fantastic Strootman cross, under-pressure from Santiago Gentiletti, who had a hold of the Bosnian, but the referee was unmoved.
Two minutes into the second-half the hosts went close to going ahead when substitute Mário Rui’s teasing cross found Džeko, who flicked the ball just wide.
Six minutes later, Totti came on from the bench and received a rapturous ovation from the fans, having replaced Mohamed Salah.
In the 59th minute the visitors went close to taking the lead themselves when substitute Nikola Ninković fired an effort just wide from-range.
Seven minutes later Roma went close when Strootman fired a powerful effort just wide from-range.
Two minutes later the hosts had a good chance when Totti’s fantastic cross-field pass was met by El Shaarawy with a header that Lamanna brilliantly palmed over the bar.
In the 74th minute Roma found the net. Džeko latched onto a cross-field pass from Strootman to pull the ball back to De Rossi, who fired the ball home.
However the lead lasted barely five minutes as Genoa levelled the scores to silence the Olimpico. A Diego Laxalt cross caused havoc for Szczęsny, allowing Lazović to head home and dent Roma’s automatic Champions League qualification hopes.
Two minutes later the visitors very nearly found another when Lazović was sent through on-goal, he looked set to chip Szczęsny, but the keeper smothered the effort onto the post.
Time was running out for the Giallorossi, but on the 90th minute they found the winner. Genoa failed to deal with a Radja Nainggolan freekick, which was eventually flicked-on by Džeko into the path of Perotti, who volleyed home.
The result meant that Roma secured a second-place finish in Serie A as they moved onto 87 points and sealed automatic Champions League qualification while Genoa finished in 16th on 36 points. The match was Francesco Totti’s final match for Roma at the Stadio Olimpico after a career spanning 25 years in which he made 786 club appearances and scored 307 club goals, winning a Serie A title and two Coppa Italia titles. The former Italian international also made 58 appearances for the national side, scoring nine times and wining the World Cup in 2006.