Roma’s faint Serie A title hopes suffered a major blow after Atalanta left the Stadio Olimpico with a hard-earned point on Saturday.
The Giallorossi, chasing a fifth successive league win to maintain the pressure on leaders Juventus, fell behind to a wonderful volley from Jasmin Kurtic in the 22nd minute with their only reply coming from leading scorer Edin Dzeko early in the second half.
Atalanta had already wasted a glorious second-minute opening, Hans Hateboer’s goal-bound shot striking Antonio Rudiger, before they took the lead. Andrea Conti whipped in a cross from the left and Kurtic steered his volley into the left-hand corner in style.
Roma’s immediate response was muted with a Daniele De Rossi header, which flew straight at Pierluigi Gollini, the best they could offer in the opening 45 minutes.
But they upped the tempo after the break and it took just five minutes for Dzeko to conjure up an equaliser. Mario Rui’s left-wing cross to the far post was expertly nodded down by Mohamed Salah for Dzeko to stab past Gollini.
Roma pushed for a winner – De Rossi firing a scissor kick inches wide and Radja Nainggolan striking the underside of the bar with a powerful right-foot shot – but without success as they slipped eight points behind Juve with just six games remaining.