‘Derby Della Capitale’
Stadio Olimpico, Roma, Italy
66′ Cataldi Sent off
Roma won their fourth consecutive ‘Derby Della Capitale’ in Serie A after defeating neighbours Lazio 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico.
Two second-half goals from Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan helped the Giallorossi leapfrog AC Milan into second and extend their unbeaten league run against the Biancocelesti to eight matches.
Both sides started positively but it was Lazio, who went close in the 12th minute when Sergej Milinković-Savić found Ciro Immobile, who exchanged a nice one-two with Marco Parolo, who found the striker but he fired over the bar.
Seven minutes later the Biancocelesti went close again when Felipe Anderson found Immobile, who surged forward before firing just wide of the near-post.
In the 28th minute the Giallorossi thought they had been awarded a penalty when the referee initially pointed to the spot after an apparent foul on Bruno Peres from Lucas Biglia. The Brazilian had actually lost his footing outside the area despite the Roma players insisting it was inside, however the referee eventually reversed the decision and gave a freekick instead to Roma outside the area, which didn’t amount to anything.
Three minutes into the restart the Biancocelesti went close when Parolo surged forward to fire an effort from-range that Wojciech Szczęsny saves well.
Four minutes later Roma had a good chance when Nainggolan’s crossfield-pass following a freekick was flicked-on by Kostas Manolas into the path of Edin Džeko, but his tame effort was easy for Claudio Marchetti.
On the hour-mark the Giallorossi should have taken the lead when a teasing delivery from Nainggolan was met by Džeko, whose header forced Marchetti into a fine save although the Bosnian had to score. The loose ball spun inches wide of the far-post.
Three minutes later Roma did make the breakthrough thanks to a poor error from Lazio’s Wallace. The Lazio defender tried to take-on Strootman on the edge of his own area but the Dutchman read what he was trying to do, dispossessed the defender and coolly chipped home past Marchetti.
In the moments that followed one of the substitutes on the Lazio bench, Danilo Cataldi was sent off. The player, who wasn’t even on the pitch was dismissed for pulling the shirt of Strootman, reacting after the Roma goalscorer initially squirted water at him.
In the 71st minute Roma had a good chance to double their lead when Nainggolan seeked out Džeko with a fine cross-field pass, the Bosnian tried to catch it first-time on the volley but he miscued the effort and Marchetti claimed the loose ball.
A minute later Lazio had a great chance to level the scores when a dangerous cross from Keita ricocheted into the path of Milinković-Savić, who fired the loose ball wide under-pressure.
Four minutes later the Giallorossi made them pay as they made it two and sealed the victory. Nainggolan was too strong for Milinković-Savić and surged forward before firing an effort from about 35 yards out that beat Marchetti into the bottom-corner.
The result meant that Lazio remained in fifth on 28 points whilst Roma leapfrogged AC Milan into second on goal difference despite being level on points with 32. The result also meant that Lazio are still in search of their first victory against their neighbours in the league since November 2012.