Contrasting result for Roman rivals

Valverde faces up to the reality of Copa del Rey final defeat at the hands of Valencia

Roma’s hopes of challenging defending champions Juventus for the Serie A title suffered a body blow on Saturday when they were held to a draw by Hellas Verona at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi.

The sides emerged for the second half with the scores tied at 0-all, but the deadlock was broken just 16 minutes later when Verona attacker Bosko Jankovic forced an Emil Hallfredsson cross into the net.

However, the lead lasted just six minutes until a powerful long-distance shot from Roma fullback Alessandro Florenzi crept inside the left post.

Miralem Pjanic had two chances to steal a victory for Roma, but neither side managed to score in what remained of the fixture.

Meanwhile, the Giallorossi’s greatest rivals kicked off their season with dominant performance and a victory.

Lazio hosted Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico and made the home advantage count as early as the 17th minute when the ball fell to Lucas Biglia in the box and he made no mistake with his finish.

Ricardo Kishna doubled the score just six minutes later when he met an inch-perfect cross and beat Bologna goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.

Bologna managed to halve the deficit two minutes before half time when Matteo Mancosu beat two opposition defenders and fired past Antonio Mirante.

Lazio had several chances to extend their lead again in what remained of the game, but Berisha’s acrobatics ensured the game finished 2-1.