Both coaches sent off as Napoli's perfect start ends with Roma stalemate
Milan, Oct 24, 2021 (AFP) - Napoli's 100 percent start to the Serie A season came to an end on Sunday with a goalless draw at Roma which halted their winning run at eight matches.
Napoli retake top spot in the Italian top flight but are level on 25 points with AC Milan following their hard-fought win at Bologna on Saturday.
The draw means Roma keep the record for the most wins from the start of a Serie A season, with 10 consecutive victories in 2013/14.
Both sides will be ruing missed chances which could have decided a tight, at times poorly tempered match between two rivals which saw both coaches sent off.
Roma boss Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands for dissent with nine minutes left while an incredulous Luciano Spalletti was shown a red card for what referee Davide Massa thought was sarcastic applause.
It was a decent result for Roma, who needed a good showing following their six-goal humilation at the hands of Norwegian outfit Bodo/Glimt in midweek.
Tammy Abraham should have opened the scoring in the 28th minute after being set clean through on goal by Bryan Cristante, but he could only roll a great chance wide.
That was the best opportunity of the opening half, although Lorenzo Insigne shot over from a very presentable position shortly before half-time.
The game opened up much more after the break however, with Napoli striking the woodwork twice in three minutes around the hour mark.
Both times Victor Osimhen was involved, first forcing the ball onto the post via a deflection from Roma defender Ibanez before his header from Piotr Zielinski's corner.
With Napoli on top, Roma responded with a clutch of chances of their own, with Lorenzo Pellegrini twice off target when in good positions.
However the home fans had their heads in their hands when Gianluca Mancini headed a glorious chance wide with 18 minutes left, somehow failing to find the target when Pellegrini's free-kick found him completely unmarked.
Osimhen then had a bullet header goal correctly ruled out for offside, and that was that before the players surrounded Massa at the final whistle and collected several yellow cards.