Roma’s January got even worse on Tuesday as they crashed out of the Coppa Italia at the hands of Spezia in humiliating fashion, losing 4-2 after extra time.
In an action-packed night at the Stadio Olimpico, Paulo Fonseca’s side conceded twice in the opening 15 minutes, had two players sent off within a minute of extra time getting underway, and made one substitution more than the five permitted.
Andrey Galabinov and Riccardo Saponara had the Aquilotti soaring in the capital with just 15 minutes played, but the Giallorossi managed to get back on level terms to force extra time through goals from Lorenzo Pellegrini and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Gianluca Mancini was shown a second yellow card seconds into extra time, and from the resulting freekick a ball over the top saw Pau Lopez rush out of his area, clatter into Roberto Piccoli, and receive his own marching orders.
Then, Roma made a double substitution, bringing on goalkeeper Daniel Fuzato and Roger Ibanez for Bryan Cristante and Pedro, with what were their fifth and sixth changes of the night. However, despite some competitions allowing an additional substitution in extra time, the Coppa Italia does not, meaning Roma would have been handed a defeat by default regardless of how the remainder of the night played out.
But Daniele Verde headed Spezia ahead before Saponara scored a stunning chip from outside the box with a finish that resembled some of Roma icon Francesco Totti’s best work.
Spezia will now face Napoli in the quarter-finals.