by Petar Todorovski
The worse-form team won the derby again. The Lupi edged out arch rival and table toppers Lazio with 2:0 scoring from a double of penalties in a match full of controversy. Roma managed to extend their unbeaten run which now is four games in the league.
Despite Mirko Vicinic’s great play early in the game Lazio was the team that created first clear chances, but Tommaso Rocchi and Hernanes failed to score. Roma’s first chance was Simone Perotta’s free kick. The game went on in chanceless manner before the first controversial moment happened. Few minutes before the half time whistle Leandro Greco scored from five meters after received an assist from Marco Boriello. The assistant referee raised an offside flag waiving away the protests caused by the harsh decision. Marco Boriello failed to score the last chance in first half being pressured by strong Lazio defenders.
Scoreboard was opened in the 52th minute. Fabio Simplicio’s almost broke Liechsteiner’s hand with the ball when he sent a shot from 20 meters. Emidio Morganti could do nothing but to award Roma a penalty. Boriello took his chance and scored from an almost saved shot.
The game went further with a great equalizing opportunity for Lazio. Hernanes had a one-on-one situation with Julio Sergio, but the Gialorossi keeper managed to save his goal. Moment after Pasquale Foggia was close to equalize when he hit the post.
Fabio Simplicio was center of attention once again fiercely hitting the bar from close range. Muslera was unable to do anything in such situation, but only to watch the bar shaking.
Next interesting moment happened in 81th minute when Stefano Mauri fell down in Roma’s penalty area. He expected to receive a far post assist but just when it was easiest to score he fell while Riise was pulling him with both hands. Lazio players went mad when referee Morganti refused to point to the spot, creating probably the most controversial moment on the game.
Roma sealed the victory in 87th minute once again from spot kick. Morganti awarded them a doubtful penalty when Julio Batista fell in the area, making the Biancocellesti angry one more time. It was interesting to see how the Gialorossi big man fell down like he was hit by a truck after a slight contact with Dias. This time Mirko Vucinic took the responsibility and, unlike Boriello, scored with confidence, sending Muslera on the wrong side.
Roma managed to win this match but there’s an impression that they had huge help from the referee, for whom they wanted to be excluded from the derby before it starts. If Lazio equalized the game the result could go either way. This victory means that Roma now is in an active fight for Champions League spot for next year. Alhough first placed Lazio is only seven points far they need a run of victories to reach the Scudetto battle.
Claudio Ranieri was happy with the result after game, but he didn’t want to talk about controversies. He just called everyone to recognize his team’s victory without watching the replays. He also stated that is satisfied with the mental condition of the team, although the physical has to be improved.
However they didn’t improve their form anyway. Without Totti the team struggled to create chances, Boriello was losing the ball anytime he was pressured; Vucinic was the only one trying to do something. But that’s characteristic of big teams: they keep winning even when they could do better.