Filippo Inzaghi’s team played a large part of the second half with 10 men after Kamil Glik’s dismissal before the Benevento coach himself was sent off late on, but Paulo Fonseca’s team never took advantage, failing to close the gap even further on second-placed AC Milan after their Derby della Madonnina hammering earlier in the day.
The opening exchanges were lively with both sides having half-chances, Roma enjoying lots of the ball in the final third while Benevento – the side with the least possession in Serie A this season – broke on the counterattack a couple of times by using the tireless Gianluca Lapadula as an outlet.
The Peru international had the ball in the net on the 15-minute mark after another breakaway, but his fine finish into the bottom corner was ruled out for offside as he continued to play on the shoulder of the last man.
Lorenzo Pellegrini drew a save from Lorenzo Montipo in the 34th minute, before a couple of tame Lapadula efforts were collected comfortably by Pau Lopez as the hosts stuck to their game plan of trying to get at Roma the route-one way but to no avail, the teams going in level at the break.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan managed to find room in the box early in the second half, making a clever run to get onto the end of Pellegrini’s clever through ball but couldn’t quite stretch enough to poke the ball beyond Montipo, who came off his line smartly to smother the effort.
Then came the moment that swung the game in Roma’s favour when Glik received his marching orders in the 57th minute for a clumsy challenge on Mkhitaryan which resulted in the defender’s second yellow, thus leaving the Stregoni with a numerical disadvantage for the remaining half hour or so.
Roma piled on the pressure but couldn’t convert their domination of the ball into telling chances, Benevento sitting strong and heading away cross after cross as the away side looked for the head of Edin Dzeko who managed one weak header that went straight down the throat of Montipo.
Then came late, late drama when Pellegrini thought he’d finally broken the deadlock only to see his weak effort cleared off the line by Luca Caldirola.
Inzaghi was then sent off for leaving his technical area in stoppage time before Roma broke to win a last-gasp penalty for Daam Foulon’s foul on Stephan El Shaarawy. VAR intervened though, and the spot kick was overturned as Pellegrini was adjudged to have been offside in the build-up.