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Roma hold Man Utd to end winning streak
December 13, 2007 09:16 IST
A second-half Mancini goal earned AS Roma a 1-1 draw with Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday, scuppering the English side's bid to finish Group F with a perfect record of six wins.
The Brazilian midfielder stepped inside Wes Brown after Mirko Vucinic had found him on the left and curled the ball into the top corner in 71st minute.
Spanish defender Gerard Pique had headed in a Nani corner to put the visitors in front in the 34th.
The result does not alter the positions in Group F.
The Premier League champions, who were sure of topping the group before the game and fielded a second-string team, have 16 points while the Serie A side, who had already qualified for the knockout stage in second, are on 11.
After the trouble that marred both quarter-final ties between the two teams last season, there were more clashes among rival supporters. Five United fans and one Roma supporter were stabbed before kickoff, the ANSA news agency reported.
"This is something we hoped would not happen," United manager Alex Ferguson told a news conference. "We hoped for a quiet night with no incidents. I'm disappointed at that. I hope the fans are OK."
Roma had plenty of chances either side of Pique's opener.
Francesco Totti [Images] had the ball in the back of the net in the 11th minute but the goal was disallowed as the striker was offside when he latched on to Philippe Mexes's long pass.
Portuguese defender Antunes came close with a cross-cum-shot in the 20th minute, Mauro Esposito glanced the ball wide in the 29th and United's Polish keeper Tomasz Kuszczak produced a great save to keep out Mancini just before the break.
United's biggest scare of the first half came in the 37th minute when Totti rolled the ball to Mancini, who hit the crossbar from short range and Esposito headed the rebound over the bar. The effort would not have counted though, as Totti was offside again.
The visitors almost doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half when Michael Carrick diverted a corner towards Chris Eagles whose attempt was flicked over by Doni.
Louis Saha later wasted a great opportunity, firing straight at Doni when clean through on goal.
Antunes, French midfielder Ludovic Giuly and Vucinic came close to snatching a win for Roma in the final stages.
"We're satisfied with the performance," Ferguson said. "We're a bit disappointed with the second half. Sometimes we gave possession away and we also watched the goal. It's always a lesson in European football."
He praised the young players in his side, saying they were better prepared mentally than when they had their last chance at first-team action, in September's League Cup defeat by Coventry City.
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti said his substitutions were key to earning his side a draw.
"In the second half the fresh players gave speed and brilliance to the team and put on a show for the public," he said.
UEFA Champions League 2007-08: The Complete Coverage