Lazio: Peruzzi; Oddo, Siviglia, Cribari, Zauri; Mutarelli, Ledesma, Mauri (Manfredini 91), Mudingayi; Rocchi (Foggia 84), Pandev (Makinwa 73)
Roma: Doni; Panucci, Mexes, Chivu, Tonetto (Vucinic 61); De Rossi, Pizarro; Taddei, Perrotta, Mancini; Totti == Lazio’s 3-0 triumph in the Derby della Capitale has left Roma seven points adrift of leaders Inter.
The city rivals have been on good form going into this traditionally fiery showdown. The Biancocelesti’s run of three straight wins was ended by a slender 1-0 defeat at Fiorentina, while the Giallorossi were pushing Inter for Serie A leadership on six consecutive victories.
Francesco Totti was a major injury doubt with an ankle problem, while Matteo Ferrari and Alberto Aquilani were injured. Lazio welcomed Stefano Mauri back from a ban. There was a minute’s silence before kick-off for sports journalist Alberto D’Aguanno, who died this weekend at the age of 42.
Totti chipped a cross to the back post, missing both Simone Perrotta and Rodrigo Taddei, then Angelo Peruzzi rushed out to close down the Roma captain. Massimo Mutarelli was booked for a late tackle on Christian Panucci, while Amantino Mancini’s shot was deflected into the air for a Taddei volley charged down.
Lazio mainly focused on the counter-attack with Cristian Chivu closing down Tommaso Rocchi.
Totti attempted the most audacious of shots from a tight angle, his stunning right-foot volley almost catching Peruzzi by surprise, as he managed to block it just before the ball crossed the line.
A corner kick went out to the edge of the area, where David Pizarro’s rocket on the half-volley stung Peruzzi’s palms, but Perrotta was halted for offside as he pounced on the loose ball.
Perrotta and Mancini combined brilliantly down the left flank, repeatedly exchanging passes, until the World Cup winner was closed down inside the area by Emilson Cribari.
Perrotta was again dangerous on Max Tonetto’s cut-back, but Cristian Ledesma came flying in with a goal-saving tackle as he prepared to pull the trigger.
Lazio really should’ve taken the lead on 35 minutes, as Stefano Mauri hesitated on Rocchi’s pass and gave Tonetto the time to perform a crucial challenge.
Totti gathered Taddei’s cushioned assist but the left-foot finish was too central to trouble Peruzzi. Moments later Taddei curled a looping header just wide of the target.
The Biancocelesti had the best opportunity of the game so far on the stroke of half-time. Massimo Oddo’s corner kick found Cribari and his powerful header at the near post was fingertipped on to the crossbar by fellow Brazilian Doni.
That raised Lazio’s confidence and seconds later they took the lead with a truly spectacular goal. Ledesma picked up the ball from 25 metres and unleashed a left-foot rocket into the far top corner that Doni only saw at the last moment as it swerved away from him.
It could’ve been 2-0, but De Rossi dived in for a crucial challenge as Rocchi sprung the offside trap to sprint into the area.
The second half started with a weak Pizarro effort, but on the counter-attack Pandev took advantage of a Philippe Mexes error and prodded the ball past Doni, tripping over the goalkeeper’s body.
At first the referee had waved play on, but after consulting with his assistant, Roberto Rosetti awarded a penalty. There was further confusion, as he sent off Doni, then decided it wasn’t a clear scoring opportunity, as Panucci made the goalline clearance, so he switched it to a yellow. Oddo stepped up and lifted his kick over the ‘keeper to double Lazio’s lead.
Francesco Totti was livid at the decision and his anxiety spilled out soon after in a reaction foul on Luciano Zauri, as he pushed him over the byline and gave a tiny kick when he was on the ground. Both players were booked for the ensuing scuffle.
Mancini’s spectacular volleyed scissor kick was over the bar and Peruzzi smothered a Perrotta snapshot. Totti went for glory and cut back to fire over with his left foot rather than pass to his teammates.
Both Mauri and Rocchi curled long-range strikes round the far post as the Derby della Capitale truly came to life. Mirko Vucinic came on for Tonetto to give Roma more attacking options in a 3-2-3-2 system and Totti nodded a free kick just wide.
Vucinic’s first touch let him down on Totti’s inspired pass, allowing Peruzzi to recover. Another Mauri left-foot attempt from the edge of the area was off target and Stephen Makinwa replaced the tired Pandev.
Lazio put the result beyond doubt on 73 minutes, as Mauri ran on to Rocchi’s lifted pass and round Doni for a chip that came off the crossbar, but right into the path of Mutarelli for the tap-in.
A Totti volley was deflected wide and he continued his match-long row with Sebastiano Siviglia. Totti’s final attempt was smothered by Peruzzi, as Roma go down fighting.