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Serie A: Juventus are made to wait for title

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Rudi Garcia pleased with penalty U-turn

Roma coach Rudi Garcia praised Sassuolo striker Nicola Sansone for his honesty after referee Nicola Rizzoli was convinced to revoke a penalty awarded in Sunday's 2-0 defeat to the Giallorossi.

Sassuolo striker Nicola Sansone speaks to referee Nicola Rizzoli during his side's defeat to Roma.
Sassuolo striker Nicola Sansone speaks to referee Nicola Rizzoli during his side's defeat to Roma.

Rizzoli pointed to the spot after consultation with his assistant placed behind the Roma goal when Sansone went to ground under the challenge of Medhi Benatia. After further consultation with his linesman and, after speaking to the Sassuolo forward, Rizzoli revised his decision and recommenced play with a drop ball.

"It was a good decision by Rizzoli," Garcia told Sky Sport. "It looks like the referee behind the goal gave the penalty, but Rizzoli did well because the Sassuolo player only slipped. It pays to be honest and Sassuolo's player did well to admit it was not a foul."

Sassuolo coach Eusebio Di Francesco did not share that view, however.

"I don't think you should take a full day and then ask the player to decide whether or not to give a penalty," he said. "The referee has to take his own responsibility, and he has not done that. He's there to take these decisions.

"We're sick of being treated this way. Things like this can change your season and I'm not going to accept us losing this way. If I make a mistake as a coach then I'm fired. It's incredible."

Sassuolo were losing 1-0 at the time of the penalty claim, eventually going down 2-0 to see their survival hopes suffer another setback, while Roma kept their title hopes alive, reducing the deficit on Juventus at the top of Serie A to 11 points. The Giallorossi also have a game in hand and host Juve on the penultimate weekend of the season.

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