Roma beat Udinese in rearranged fixture after Ndicka collapse

Bryan Cristante heads in the winner for Roma
Bryan Cristante heads in the winner for RomaAFP
AS Roma netted a stoppage-time winner to overcome Udinese in the final 18 minutes of their Serie A clash played out 11 days after kick-off, keeping the Giallorossi’s top-four dreams alive as they seek UEFA Champions League qualification for the first time since 2018.

Despite their respective league positions, it was Udinese who started the first half stronger, as Lorenzo Lucca and Thomas Kristensen headed just wide in the opening stages.

Tommaso Baldanzi did see his shot spilled by Maduka Okoye for Roma before Roberto Pereyra put the hosts in front shortly after, bundling in his fourth goal of the season past Mile Svilar after being clean through.

However, the visitors reacted well, as Romelu Lukaku should have tucked his header away at the back post, but the ball flashed wide as Le Zebrette held onto their lead before the break.

Roma came out of the traps quickly in the second half, with Leandro Paredes forcing Okoye into a fine save four minutes in. Lazar Samardzic then had a chance to double the lead when his effort whizzed just wide, but the visitors did find an equaliser through Lukaku, who beat the rushing Okoye to head home his 19th goal in all competitions.

Unfortunately, the game was abandoned on 72 minutes when Evan Ndicka collapsed on the pitch, and he was discharged from hospital the day after the original fixture was played.

He was cleared to resume all footballing activities, but did not make the starting XI when the match restarted tonight, while another notable absentee from the original fixture was goalscorer Lukaku, who has since gotten injured. Udinese’s XI was unchanged from the team that finished the original fixture.

The first chance after the restart fell to Lorenzo Pellegrini, but he blazed over from the edge of the box. Udinese then came close when Lucca forced Svilar to tip his shot away, but a mistake at the back for the hosts almost allowed Sardar Azmoun to fire Roma ahead, yet he was denied by Okoye.

Deep into stoppage time, an incredible finale saw Bryan Cristante head home from a corner to steal the points for the Giallorossi, who cement their fifth place in Serie A, four points off fourth-place Bologna. Meanwhile, defeat leaves Udinese treading water, above the drop zone on head-to-head record alone.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Bryan Cristante (Roma)

Check out the match stats with Flashscore.

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