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Roma´s Euro hopes take another big hit

Roma’s chances of playing in Europe next season took a hit after they drew with Catania on Saturday as Fiorentina beat Lecce.

At the Stadio Olimpico, it took a 77th-minute goal from Francesco Totti to earn Roma a point against Catania.

The draw sees Roma remain in seventh place with 53 points, three points out of fifth and two points shy of sixth-placed Inter Milan.

Roma now need both those sides to lose their last two matches to have any hope of making Europe.

It was hardly the result club skipper Totti deserved in his 500th league appearance for Roma, although the draw could be partially attributed to him after he saw his ninth-minute penalty saved to the left by Catania goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carizzo.

Totti also embarrassingly blazed the rebound from that spot-kick way over the bar as he blew the chance to give his side an early advantage, although he went some way to making up for it by opening the scoring for Roma in the 52nd minute with a left-footed strike.

Catania hit back six minutes later, however, as Gabriel Heinze brought down Pablo Barrientos in the area, allowing Franceso Lodi to equalise from the spot before Lodi produced a fine cross for Giovanni Marchese to fire home in the 67th minute.

But Totti gave his side some hope of playing in Europe as he slotted Miralem Pjanic’s cross with 13 minutes remaining, with the draw seeing Catania stay in 10th on the table.

Fiorentina, meanwhile, have climbed to 12th as they ended a terrible week on a high with a 1-0 victory at Lecce.

Fiorentina headed into this match under a cloud after a 2-2 draw with Novara in mid-week, a result that saw the club sack coach Delio Rossi after he attacked midfielder Adem Ljajic in the dug-out.

But with team manager Vincenzo Guerini in charge for his first match in 14 years, Fiorentina proved too good for Lecce as Alessio Cerci’s 35th-minute goal sealed the result and ensured the Tuscans are in no danger of being relegated.