In a game of never-ending drama in the eternal city of Rome, Maurizio Sarri and his men took the spoils of war at the Stadio Olimpico, leaving Jose Mourinho and his Roman army to lick their wounds.
After a surprisingly quiet opening ten minutes, Sarri’s men drew first blood with a mix of brilliance, vision, and bravery. Felipe Anderson played a deftly executed floating cross that fell teasingly between Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Rui Patricio. The Serbian won the duel with the ball ending up in the back of the net before being clattered by the Portuguese stopper. A collision that hampered celebrations and caused a bit of worry but after treatment, the Serbian was good to go.
Jose Mourinho was announced as the new AS Roma head coach at the start of the season. A move that didn’t bode well for Pedro Rodriguez as the former Chelsea man was deemed surplus to requirements. The Spaniard would reunite with former Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri at Lazio. The move came back to bite Jose in the ass when Pedro drilled home a perfectly placed low drive from the edge of the box to extend Lazio’s lead. Pedro with all the achievements in the world became just the third player to score for both teams in the Derby Della Capitale. He scored for the Giallorossi in this fixture just four months ago.
Roma gradually began to grow into the game and threaten. They caused all sorts of trouble with their corners. Their pressure would be rewarded. Roger Ibanez glanced home a near-post header and gave Jose Mourinho’s men a lifeline. His goal before halftime was his first-ever Serie A goal and what a time and fixture to score it.
As expected, Jose and his men came out for the second half firing on all cylinders. They were desperate to grab an equalizer. Lazio struck again as Ciro Immobile teed up Felipe Anderson to bury a third. It looked to be game set and match. The Lazio fans were still celebrating their goal when Roma were awarded a controversial penalty on the other end of the play. Jordan Veretout made no mistake and again the Giallorossi were back in it.
A nervy finish for Lazio. They were pressed until the very end. However, heroics from Pepe Reina to deny Nicolo Zaniolo and Eldor Shomurodov ensured Maurizio Sarri and his men returned to winning ways most staggeringly. And in a very important fixture in the course of the season, a very important win for Lazio.