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Roma were held to a goalless draw in Serie A, failing to score against Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico for the first time in 30 matches.

Having overturned Inter Milan midweek, Bologna dodged an early penalty shout, as even after a VAR check Michael Fabbri chose not to point to the spot. A much-changed Roma began well but toiled despite dominating possession. Ainsley Maitland-Niles flashed a tempting delivery across the six-yard box, but there was no teammate to divert it home, an issue that repeated itself on more than one occasion. Seeking a first double over Roma since 1966-67, Bologna saw their most promising chances fall to Marko Arnautović but Roma goalkeeper Rui Patrício was equal, keeping the Austrian striker out with three impressive saves across the first half. Łukasz Skorupski was also called into action when he responded well to palm away a vicious drive from Felix Afena-Gyan – but Roma contributed little before the break.

The introduction of Tammy Abraham, who has scored three goals in his side’s last three home matches, was the most important of the quartet of substitutes made on the hour mark by the hosts. Immediately, he teed up Lorenzo Pellegrini, who struck wide. Roma have collected all 17 league victories from teams outside of the top four but struggled to create much of note against Bologna. Skorupski did well to keep out a header from Marash Kumbulla, which looked destined for the bottom corner, but with just one win from their last 16 trips to Rome, Bologna might have left with more than a point had Patrício not kept out a header from Lorenzo De Silvestri late on.

A point moves Jose Mourinho’s side into fifth place ahead of Lazio on goal difference with three games to go. Bologna stayed 13th, maintaining hopes of bettering successive 12th-placed finishes with another impressive performance against a top side.

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