Serie A: Roma offer chance to Juventus in scoreless Sampdoria draw
Serie A title challengers Roma dropped two precious points in a scoreless draw away to high-flying Sampdoria that could see Juventus restore their three-point gap at the top of the table.
Roma travelled to Genoa looking for a positive result following the humiliation of a 7-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.
However despite shading a match of few real chances, Rudi Garcia`s men struggled to find the target with Samp holding on for the draw that has kept them in third place only three points behind Juve (19) and Roma (19).
Juventus host struggling Palermo in Turin on Sunday and will be hoping to get back to winning ways following their 1-0 Champions League defeat to Olympiakos.
Roma took to the pitch at the Luigi Ferraris Stadium wearing commemorative T-shirts adorned with the photo of father and son Cristian and Stefano De Amicis, who were killed in a moped accident following Roma`s defeat to Bayern.
Banners paying tribute to Stefano, 38, and his seven-year-old son were also unfurled in the stadium.
Garcia, who left Ashley Cole on the bench following the English defender`s poor performance in midweek, had called for a win away to Sinisa Mihajlovic`s side in a bid to erase the pain of Roma`s humbling by the German Bundesliga leaders.
But it took the visitors until the half hour to fashion any kind of chance, Gervinho running on to Davide Astori`s through ball only to see his effort come off the outside of the post.
Gervinho went close minutes later when he sent an angled drive across the face of goal and the Ivorian`s scuffed shot immediately after the restart forced Sergio Romero to make a fingertip save.
Samp had the ball in the net seven minutes after the restart when Manolo Gabbiadini ran through to beat Morgan De Sanctis but the striker was correctly ruled offside.
Roma survived a bigger scare on 70 minutes when former Roma youth prospect Stefano Okaka saw an easy tap-in go over the bar from a metre out after Radja Nainggolan had nodded Gabbiadini`s free kick towards the back post.
Samp went close again when Daniele Gastaldello failed to make contact with another free kick that found the central defender in space near De Sanctis`s far post.
A disappointing Francesco Totti made way for Mattia Destro on 78 minutes, and the change brought immediate promise.
Alessandro Florenzi found Miralem Pjanic with a through ball and the Bosnian`s cross for Destro into the area was blocked.
Roma right-back Vasilis Torosidis then found himself in space down the right and although his pinpoint cross found the head of Florenzi, Romero pulled off a spectacular acrobatic save to deny the Italian what was the last chance of the game.
Earlier, rock bottom Parma`s season went from bad to worse with a 3-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Sassuolo as Cagliari moved up four places with a 4-0 rout of promoted Empoli.
Parma have now lost seven games and five on the trot, while Sassuolo claimed their first win of the campaign.
Asked if something had been `broken` at Parma, coach Roberto Donadoni told Sky Sport: "That`s obvious, we`ve lost seven times in eight games so there`s not a lot to smile about."
Cagliari`s resurgence continued with a 4-0 rout of Empoli that gave Zdenek Zeman`s men only their second win of the season and moved them up to 13th and two points clear of the relegation zone.