Torino vs. Roma, final score 1-1: Roma's perfect start ended at last

Valerio Pennicino

Roma's 100% start to the season was finally ended as Torino grabbed a fully deserved point, Alessio Cerci once again the hero for the Granata with his eighth goal of the season.

Giampiero Ventura made three changes to the Torino side that entertainingly drew 3-3 with Livorno in midweek, with Giuseppe Vives, Nicola Bellomo and Ciro Immobile dropping out for Migjen Basha, Paulo Barreto and Riccardo Meggiorini to make up an adventurous-looking 4-2-4 formation. Despite registering a 10th straight victory against Chievo on Thursday, Rudi Garcia still saw fit to make five changes with Maicon, Nicolas Burdisso, Federico Balzaretti, Michael Bradley and Alessandro Florenzi playing in place of Vassilis Torosidis, Leandro Castan, Dodô, Marquinho and Adem Ljajić.

Unsurprisingly, it was Roma who made the most of the early exchanges in the match, pushing Torino right back into their own half even with the home side's seemingly attacking setup; however, despite long periods of patient buildup, clear chances were hard to come by.

Torino were dangerous on the break with the relentless energy of Alessio Cerci always a threat and the first real chance fell to them when Cerci laid off for Omar El Kaddouri, his curling shot from 20 yards going just over the bar.

Despite all their dominance, it took until the 25th minute for Roma to have a real chance, Alessandro Florenzi unleashing a quite stunning volley from 20 yards directly from Miralem Pjanić's corner which whistled just over Daniele Padelli's crossbar.

Three minutes later and Roma were ahead. After Marco Borriello's header was deflected on to the roof of the net, the resulting corner was intelligently worked to Federico Balzaretti, who fed Pjanić in the penalty area. The Bosnian was able to then pull back and Kevin Strootman was on hand to lash the ball home from 10 yards and Roma looked well set to continue on their way to another three-point haul.

The goal appeared to shock Torino into action however, and as the half wore on, they saw more and more of the ball with the talisman, as ever, Alessio Cerci. His wicked dipping free kick from 25 yards went just over and his curling effort from the right-hand corner of the penalty area had to be parried away by Morgan De Sanctis, his first real involvement in the match.

In the second half, Torino again provided a threat on the counter whilst Roma attempted to control possession and push the home side as far back as they possibly could, but it was the home side who were able to carve out more chances. Riccardo Meggiorini hit a superb volley from a Cerci cross that De Sanctis again had to be alert to keep out.

Just after the hour mark, and Torino finally got the goal they had been threatening since midway through the first half. Riccardo Meggiorini outmuscled Mehdi Benatia to get to Alessandro Gazzi's long ball forwards and, after just keeping the ball in play, was able to pull back for Cerci to tap in from close range to get his richly deserved eighth goal of the season.

Thereafter, Roma huffed and puffed in search of a winner but they just weren't able to carve out enough opportunities. Nicolas Burdisso headed just over from a corner whilst Adem Ljajić and Marquinho were introduced in order to inject some sort of attacking threat for Roma. Ljajić had two free kicks in quick succession saved by Padelli in the dying moments, but Torino held firm for a fully deserved point, simultaneously ending Roma's 100% start to the season.

Torino: Padelli; Darmian, Glik, Moretti, D'Ambrosio; Gazzi, Basha; Cerci (Maksimović 90'), Meggiorini, Barreto (Immobile 59'), El Kaddouri (Bellomo 75')

Goals: Cerci 63'

Roma: De Sanctis; Maicon, Benatia (Marquinho 73'), Burdisso, Balzaretti; De Rossi, Strootman, Bradley; Florenzi (Dodô 88'), Borriello (Ljajic 67'), Pjanić

Goals: Strootman 28'

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