Diego Perotti saved Roma's season with the most dramatic of last-ditch volleys in a victory over lowly Genoa that sent the Giallorossi into the group stages of the Champions League and kept Francesco Totti's tear-soaked farewell to a packed Stadio Olimpico from turning into a funeral.
Perotti lashed home Edin Dzeko's knock down just as the game had edged into injury time and it looked like Napoli were going to pip Roma to second place. The goal sent the 60,000 fans who had come to say goodbye to their captain wild with joy.
Roma were only in the lead for nine minutes the whole game, thanks to Pietro Pellegri's shock, third-minute opener for the away side, and Darko Lazovic sucked the life out of the stadium with a close-range header. Five minutes earlier, Daniele De Rossi charged toward the delirious Curva Sud after putting Roma ahead with just over a quarter of an hour to go.
In the middle of all that was Dzeko sealing Serie A top-scorer status with his bundled-in, 10th-minute equaliser -- his 29th league strike of the season -- but that was almost forgotten amid the tension of the match and the emotional outpouring for Totti at the end.
Now Roma have to look ahead to a future without their icon on the pitch, but with the Champions League windfall heading their way and one of the world's best sporting directors in place, that needn't necessarily be such a depressing thought.
If there's one thing this team doesn't lack, it's fight. It would have been very easy to collapse when Lazovic nodded in Genoa's equaliser, having just pushed their noses in front and after missing a hat load of chances. However Roma kept pushing and got their reward.
Leaving aside the sloppy start and strange lack of bite that characterised the team's display, Sunday being Totti's final appearance in a Roma shirt dominated the day, so much so that at times the match seemed like a side show. Fans were distracted by Totti's movements on the bench, and after he was brought on by Luciano Spalletti just after the break, they were more keen to olè any flicks and tricks rather than cheer on the rest of the team. Emerson Palmieri injuring the cruciate ligament in his left knee could be a huge blow for next season.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- On what will likely be his final match as Roma boss, Spalletti picked his usual lineup with his usual 4-2-3-1 formation, but his charges came out with all the aggression of a dozing kitten. Having been forced to bring on Mario Rui early for the injured Emerson and obliged to use Totti at some point, his choice of Perotti as his other sub paid off a treat.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Wojciech Szczesny, 6 -- Saved the day when Lazovic was clean through on goal and the score was 2-2. Left horribly exposed for both of Genoa's goals.
DF Antonio Rudiger, 6 -- Did OK, but the sooner the German is brought back into the centre of defence, the better. He can't attack.
DF Federico Fazio, 6 -- Had so little to do, it's a wonder his backline were hit for two goals and nearly conceded a third.
DF Kostas Manolas, 6 -- Completely lost Pellegri for Genoa's opener. Seemed distracted all day.
DF Emerson Palmieri, 4 -- A laboured 13 minutes before he was carted off with a knee injury.
MF Daniele De Rossi, 6 -- Took his goal wonderfully well first time on his left, but suffered in comparison with Kevin Strootman.
MF Kevin Strootman, 8 -- His neat flick set up Dzeko for his equaliser, and his passing was superb throughout. The one player who stood up to be counted today.
AM Mohamed Salah, 6 -- Substituted for Totti five minutes in the second half thanks to a largely blunt display.
AM Radja Nainggolan, 6 -- Strootman did practically all of his creative work for him, but he snapped at heels and put his foot in.
AM Stephan El Shaarawy, 6 -- Having been excellent throughout May, the Pharaoh failed to spark into life. Missed a great chance in the first half.
FW Edin Dzeko, 8 -- The equaliser and two assists. Despite missing at least two other great opportunities, that's a solid day's work for the capocannoniere.
DF Mario Rui, 6 -- Hasn't had much game time this season and today it really showed. Slow and lethargic.
AM Francesco Totti, 6 -- As sad as it is to see him go, the 40 minutes he was given showed why this season will be his last for Roma -- he's not up to it physically any more.
AM Diego Perotti, N/R -- Saved Roma's season. What else needs to be said?