Angry 10-man Roma hold on for 0-0 draw with Sassuolo

The match, played in relentless rain at the Stadio Olimpico, took a dramatic twist in the 40th minute when Pedro was given a second yellow card.

AS Roma (in orange and black) and Sassuolo players in action during their Serie A meeting.   -  GETTY IMAGES

AS Roma had forward Pedro sent off, a goal disallowed and coach Paulo Fonseca also dismissed in a five-minute spell before halftime but still held on for a 0-0 draw at home to Sassuolo in a stormy top-six Serie A clash on Sunday.

The match, played in relentless rain at the Stadio Olimpico, took a dramatic twist in the 40th minute when Pedro, who had already been booked, naively committed a tactical foul in midfield and was given a second yellow card.

Shortly afterwards, Roma thought it had taken the lead when Henrikh Mkhitaryan finished off a counter-attack. However, after a long VAR review, the goal was chalked off amid Roma protests for a foul by Edin Dzeko.

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Roma continued to remonstrate with the referee after the halftime whistle and Fonseca was ordered off in the confusion.

Curiously, Roma looked more dangerous in the second half as it sat back and tried to catch Sassuolo on the break.

Leonardo Spinazzola saw a shot blocked by veteran goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo, then Dzeko flicked a Spinazzola cross shot onto the post and saw another effort fly wide.

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Sassuolo substitute Lukas Haraslin thought he had given Sassuolo the lead with a spectacular effort from 25 metres but another VAR review showed that he was a fraction offside and the goal was also disallowed.

Almost immediately, Roma broke up the other end and Mkhitaryan shot centimetres wide. Sassuolo nearly grabbed a winner deep into stoppage time but Mehdi Bourabia's header from a corner flew wide.

Sassuolo, fourth in the standings with 19 points, stayed one point and one place ahead of Roma although Napoli (17 points) was away to Crotone later on Sunday and could overtake both sides with a win.