SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, November 4, 2013
Michael Bradley grabbed a rare start for Roma on Sunday night, as the Giallorossi were held for the first time all season versus Torino.
Bradley made his second start of the year, and first since matchday 1, after missing significant time with an ankle injury.
Roma were a victory away from tying Tottenham Hotspurs' European record of 11 victories to open a season set in the 1960-1961 season.
The Giallorossi, who were still without attacking players Gervinho and captain Francesco Totti, began brightly, coming close to a breakthrough in the 25th minute, but Alessandro Florenzi could not get his well-struck volley off of a Miralem Pjanic on target.
However, three minutes later, Roma found the opener: Balzaretti opened up the Torino rear ranks with a cutting pass to Pjanic, who then crossed for and found Kevin Strootman. The big Dutchman made no mistake from five yards out and Roma had their lead.
Torino, however, were not deterred by the goal. The hosts had a bunch of chances, the majority of which came through Squadra Azzurri midfielder Alessio Cerci.
In the 57th minute Riccardo Meggiorini forced Roma netminder Morgan De Sanctis into a spectacular save after the Torino striker hit a left-footed volley flush from the edge of the box.
In the 63rd minute De Sanctis was finally beaten after 743 minutes. Meggiorini muscled Mehdi Benatia off the ball in the box, before picking out a streaking Cerci in front of goal and the Italian midfielder redirected to equalize.
Roma continued to attack and generated a handful of decent scoring chances, and had two legitimate arguments for a penalty as Pjanic and Maicon were sent to the ground after contact. But another goal was not in the cards and Roma had to settle for a road point.
Next up for Bradley and Roma is a Sunday home date versus Sassuolo.