Icon bid farewell to boyhood club after 25 years and, with victory looking unlikely, saw his side nick late three points
FRANCESCO TOTTI’S big day ended in dramatic fashion as Diego Perotti’s last-gasp winner saw them qualify for the Champions League group stage.
With a win still essential for the Giallorossi, Luciano Spalletti opted to leave the iconic No.10 on the bench from the off.
But he came on in the second-half and showed some neat touches as Roma sealed the win a pulsating contest.
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Pietro Pellegri, 16, opened the scoring for visitors, Genoa, before the hosts flipped the game around — only for a Wojciech Szczesny howler which looked to have spoilt the party.
But Perotti stepped up in injury time to make it a perfect send off for Totti.
In light of last season’s exit at the play-off stage against Porto, manager Luciano Spalletti started without Totti.
Roma needed to better Napoli’s result to guarantee automatic passage to the Champions League group stage and home game against a Genoa side which only preserved their Serie A status last weekend had seemed the perfect occasion.
Roma fans laud hero Francesco Totti during his final match for the club
However, the hosts were made to wait until the 74th minute when another hometown hero, Daniele De Rossi, popped up just ahead of Totti to score what everyone inside the stadium thought was the winner.
But just four minutes later, Darko Lazovic capitalised on a Szczesny mistake to equalise.
Everyone inside the stadium hoped Totti would be the hero of the day, but it was Diego Perotti who stepped up with the winner in stoppage time.
Though the 40-year-old was expect to come on no matter what, his cause had not been helped by events on the pitch.
First of all, opponents Genoa had taken a second-minute lead.
The goal scorer was Pellegri — 24 years younger than Totti — who was making his first start for the club.
Edin Dzeko did equalise eight minutes later to confirm he finishes the season as the leading scorer in Serie A.
But Spalletti was forced into an early substitution when defender, Emerson, picked up what looked like a serious knee injury.
And, to make matters even worse, Napoli — who started the day a point behind Roma — sewed up the win they needed early on in Sampdoria.
Should the pair have finished level on points, the Giallorossi would end the season in second place courtesy of their better head-to-head record.
However, Perotti’s goal ensured a happy end to the afternoon.