Roma advanced to semi-finals of the Coppa Italia thanks to a 95th minute Francesco Totti penalty and set up a Rome Derby Semi Final.
Roma took the lead thanks to Edin Dzeko, but was pegged back by a plucky Cesena thanks to a goal from Luca Garritano. But deep into stoppage time Roma won the game thanks to a debatable penalty from Francesco Totti.
Roma had their first opportunity on goal after nine minutes, Antonio Rudiger played a slice ball over the top to the on running Stephan El Shaarawy whose close range effort was well blocked by Agliardi in the Cesena goal.
Kostas Manolas then went close for Roma, a Roma corner from the right hand side was well dealt with by the Cesena defence, the ball fell to Manolas outside of the area who swivelled and hit low drive past the upright. Roma lost Diego Perotti after eighteen minutes with looked like a muscle injury and was replaced by top goal scorer this season Edin Dzeko. Stephan El Shaarawy then had an effort from outside of the area which was hit wayward over the crossbar.
Cesena went close to taking a shock lead away at Roma when a deflected effort from Ligone which hit Kevin Strootman and left Allison flat footed and went out for a corner, Rodriguez the Cesena striker was lurking around looking for the rebound. The away side were looking very comfortable and had two great opportunities to take the lead, Kone at the back post un marked from a Cesena set piece had a volley which hit the upright. Rodriguez again causing the Roma back three problems, pressed high and won the ball but had his effort hit wide.
A cross in from the left hand side found Alejandro Rodriguez who hung in the air and rose to head a brilliant effort which was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Allison. Cesena had the best chance of the first half, a lovely defence splitting ball found Alejandro Rodriguez who capitalised on a Kostas Manolas slip but Rodriguez effort was brilliantly blocked by Allison.
A very disjointed first half performance from Roma who did not look at the races in the first half and that played into Cesena hands who were fantastic in that first half. Rodriguez the pest up front has caused Roma defence all sort of problems and their one/two touch football has been very easy on the eye.
Radja Nainggolan came on as a half substitute and he replaced defender Juan Jesus, with that change Roma changed their shape to a 4-2-3-1.
Roma were looking much of a better side since the half time break, Radja Nainggolan had Roma first opportunity of the second half as the Belgian took aim from distance but his effort was well parried away by Agliardi and cleared away by the Cesena defence. Excellent work down the Roma right hand side by Edin Dzeko where he cut in past the Cesena defence and curled a lovely effort just past the far post.
Antonio Rudiger played a lovely ball over the top to the on rushing Edin Dzeko who hit a low drive which was brilliantly blocked again by Agliardi. Moments later, Francesco Totti played a lovely cross in for Dzeko who could only slide the ball wide with his knees.
Roma finally took the lead after 68 minutes and it was a lovely team goal, from defence to attack in a matter of seconds with quick one touch football, El Shaarawy crossed in for Dzeko who tapped home from close range. Moments later, Cesena were denied a penalty as Garritano looked to have brought down by Leandro Paredes but the Cesena attacker was booked for diving.
Cesena equalised on the 73rd minute and it came from a Roma goalkeeping mistake from Allison who collided with his defender Manolas, the ball fell to Luca Garritano who hit a lovely half volley from outside of the area. Francesco Totti then had a well hit free kick brilliantly parried away by Agliardi as the home side were pushing on for a late winner.
Roma were awarded a penalty in the final minute of added on time when Radja Nainggolan played a lovely ball to Kevin Strootman who collided with the on rushing Cesena goalkeeper. Up stepped Francesco Totti who held his nerve and gave Roma a very fortunate win and advanced to the Semi Final of the Coppa Italia where they will take on city rivals Lazio.
A horrible performance from Roma from start to finish and it was a get out of jail finish with the Francesco Totti penalty. Many players in the game played within themselves and thought the game was won before kick-off and had to turn up to get the win, but sadly it doesn’t work like that. Because if you show an ounce of carelessness, opposition teams will pounce on and exploit it in a matter of moments. Roma will need to up their mentality in the next few games or the fate of their season could be over in early February.
Excellent performance by Cesena who came to Rome playing without any fear and deserved so much better from this result. They were very impressive with the 3-5-2 set up and played very nice one touch football and was outdone by a very soft penalty call which was a massive kick in the teeth.