Soccer-Penalty chaos adds to Roma misery

MILAN, Feb 10 (Reuters) - AS Roma's troubles were publicly exposed during Sunday's 3-1 defeat at Sampdoria as Pablo Osvaldo won an argument with Francesco Totti over who should take a penalty, then had his effort saved.

Osvaldo said he expected everyone to turn their backs on him after the incident which happened at a crucial moment in the Serie A game with Roma, who last week sacked coach Zdenek Zeman, trailing 1-0.

"I'm very disappointed but I need to look ahead," Osvaldo told Roma's website. "I know that I'm going to get a lot of criticism and everyone will turn their backs on me, but I will have to look forward.

"I wanted to take on the responsibility for the penalty and I felt ready to take it after what has been a very difficult week."

Osvaldo was involved in a discussion with Roma stalwart Totti who walked away looking disgruntled after losing out.

New coach Andrea Andreazzoli was as surprised as anyone by the incident.

"I don't know why Osvaldo took the penalty. I can say that Totti is the penalty taker. Maybe they came to an agreement," he told reporters.

Roma have slipped into mid-table after taking only two points from six games since the start of the year, a run which caused Zeman to lose his job last week even though his side were the league's top-scorers at the time.

Midfielder Daniele De Rossi, recalled by Andreazzoli, denied he had fallen out with the Czech-born coach despite being left out of the team on several occasions.

"The story that I had problems with him is not true," he told reporters. "I always had a civil and cordial relationship. Obviously, I didn't like it when I didn't play."

(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Ed Osmond; brian.homewood@thomsonreuters.com; +41 79 917 1402; Reuters Messaging: brian.homewood.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net) (Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)

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